Sunday, February 11, 2018

Dam Battle – September 1967 Press

4 Sep, Post, summary: Arizonans will try to revive CAP in the House next year. They are also planning to travel the go-it-alone avenue. Aspinall has ignored any signals so far. His committee is dominated by upper Basin legislators. Blame for lack of action is put by Aspinall on Sec. Udall’s no-dam initiative. Aspinall is also concerned about whether the money will ever get appropriated for all the projects involved.

4 Sep, Durango Herald analysis summarizes Aspinall’s position, calling it a “threat” to economic development in southwest Colorado. The entire West Slope should be alarmed, since it is now a minority in Aspinall’s district. His position may lead Arizona to build the CAP on its own. For years, Aspinall has been promising to move on these southwestern Colorado projects, and has been re-elected based on his promises. Lack of a dam or a water study is not enough reason to oppose the “Hayden compromise”. The dam is now a “political impossibility”

5 Sep, Sentinel answers back that what the water interests and GOP hierarchy must do is support Aspinall “100 percent”. Aspinall has the knowledge and power to do the best job of saving all Colorado River water possible for the state.

5 Sep, Sentinel features Coloradan Allott’s charge that Jackson “buffaloed” Hayden into dropping Hualapai dam and the import study. This subservience was revealed when Arizona objected to a study of a pumped storage plant below Hoover Dam because the Northwest “took a dim view of it”. Allott wants Hayden to put Hualapai into his bill.

6 Sep, Sentinel carries an Aspinall attack on “the Feds” for failing the first real test of federal-state cooperation by deciding to “appease two groups not directly involved” and “throwing overboard” intra-basin cooperation. There must be new sources, Aspinall emphasized, and a national commission is not up to the job of negotiation and cooperation, which only an 11-state group can carry out.
7 Sep, RMNews carries same story of Udall backing away from 1966 agreements.
8 Sep, Post runs their version.

7 Sep, Post reports Udall’s side, in his speech calling for a “total working partnership”, delivered even before Aspinall’s attack. There used to be a great gulf between states and the fed on resource issues, but now Udall says that is being bridged by recent federal legislation.

7 Sep, Scottsdale Progress editorializes that the congressional delegation has failed; Arizona should build its own CAP.

8 Sep, NY Times opines that the “crusty”, “peremptory” Aspinall is shutting down his committee for this year, an “arbitrary” decision contrary to other legislators’ wishes. Lots of work on Parks to be done. The Senate has accomplished more, including the CAP that left out the “discredited idea” of a dam. The legislation should also drop the dam proposed in the Gila Wilderness.

8 Sep, Republic, Arizona Power Authority says it has the funds to continue studies on state dams in the Grand Canyon.

8 Sep, Sentinel, Aspinall says he will protect his people’s interests by authorizing additional projects even though the competition for funds is “very difficult”.

9 Sep, Sentinel summarizes Aspinall’s position that he is not to blame for inaction on the river basin legislation.

9 Sep, Post lists Aspinall’s objections: There isn’t any water. There isn’t enough funding. He had been “blackmailed, almost” by an Arizona senator over money for his Public Land Law Commission.

10 Sep, editorial in Colorado paper supporting Aspinall’s critique.

20 Sep, Sentinel, columnist analyzes how the Gila River complicates water matters, and notes the preservationist opposition to a dam there.

21 Sep, RMNews carries real news: Hayden is changing tactics. In his Senate Appropriations Committee, he will move to cut $11 million in funds for Colorado’s Frying Pan-Arkansas Project. He has the votes to do so, although Allott is working to counter him, ready to “fight down to the last ditch”. A Hayden aide, saying this gamesmanship is how the legislation game is played, called it a rifle, not a shotgun, to “get some attention”. Not hiding his smile, the aide [certainly Roy Elson] says Hayden feels he is entitled to a House vote, though he does not like to do this sort of thing. Aspinall has already shut down his committee for work this year; saying the CAP is not of “utmost urgency”. Hayden’s aide based the action on the basis that if there is not enough water for the CAP, then not for Fry-Ark either. One long-time observer noted that Hayden doesn’t make threats, just promises. Colorado leaders promptly attacked the decision.

22 Sep, AP reported that when Colorado Senator Allott objected to Hayden’s motion on Thursday 21 Sep in an Appropriations subcommittee to defer Fry-Ark funds, Hayden agreed to put the matter before the full committee instead. The matter was debated for ½ hour. Hayden called for a determination of water availability. He would confer “as  early as possible” with Aspinall to find out why Basin water should move out to another basin. Allott said he would report to Aspinall.

[An interesting geo-political distinction. Colorado, source of water for the Atlantic (Rio Grande R., Platte R.) and also the Pacific (Colorado R.) was long used to inter-basin water transfers within its borders. Taking water from the Frying Pan and moving it over into the Arkansas River drainage had been no conceptual leap. Arizona, however, originated little stream water and was (almost) entirely in the Colorado drainage. So, although certainly Hayden had supported the Fry-Ark (and other such projects), he had a “moral” point in asking, if somewhat late, why Aspinall’s people got to take Colorado basin water and export it, way before poor Arizona was deprived of its share of the only river it had. And as for the other Hayden opponent, California, it was even worse, in Arizona’s eyes.]

22 Sep, Sentinel reported on Hayden’s decision to defer the confrontation, noting that other committee members worried about the future impact of this action.

22 Sep, RMNews calls Hayden “out-maneuvered by Republicans and outnumbered by his fellow Democrats”, thus failing in his move. The “High Noon-type showdown” behind closed doors came after Allott had spent half the night organizing opposition. The article claims that top committee Democrats were decisive; as Elson observed, “one of the most interesting meetings I’ve ever attended.” Fifteen of the 20 members were present. A Wyoming senator, in the crossfire, did not even attend.

n.d. Post carried the same details on Hayden’s move and the response to it.

23 Sep, another Colorado editorial attacked Hayden’s “power plays” as he tries to “grab” water to which Colorado is entitled.

24 Sep, Republic editorial calmly lays out the Hayden choices, and how Aspinall had played into his hands. “If Aspinall wants cooperation, he had better extend some to Arizona.” We are delighted; we have played nice guy long enough.

26 Sep, RMNews reports the situation remains the same, with Hayden’s aide saying discussions continue.

27 Sep, RMNews editorializes its real feelings: the move is more the “fulminations of a nonagenarian than those of a statesman”. It attributes Aspinall’s resistance to being denied Colorado’s five projects. No mention of Hualapai dam or water import studies.

27 Sep, Post further added Aspinall’s reaction: “a power play—absolutely unnecessary”. All other Colorado politicos went on the attack, even telling Hayden to attack Jackson & Udall for their “double-cross”.

n.d., Sentinel wrote about another weapon in Hayden’s armory—a pet project of Aspinall’s to re-work all the public land laws. Needing an extension of time and money, it would need Hayden to let it go by, and he might insist on a close examination.

27-28 Sep, several papers carried news on Hayden’s new move, which was to skip the Appropriations Committee altogether.
Republic’s B. Cole wrote that Hayden will announce his intention to ask the Senate to suspend the rules that govern appropriations bills, so that the CAP measure can be added to the bill on the floor as a rider.  A 2/3 vote is required. (A major Colorado water project had been authorized in this fashion.) The amendment would lead to a conference and a vote on the House floor. House Arizonans were supportive and ready to help. [As, theoretically, would also have been the case with anti-dam congressman Saylor.]

The Sentinel article discussed possible House strategies, noting three of the Basin states support the Senate bill.

RMNews reported an optimistic assessment for the maneuver, after calling Hayden’s attempt to cut Fry-Ark funds “a failure”.

28 Sep, Post and Republic reported that the Appropriations Committee voted 18-5 to back Hayden’s request to add the CAP bill to the appropriations bill. Hayden explained this would circumvent a House block on the CAP. Allott claimed the move was “the most immoral thing done in Congress in a long time.” Hayden presented a long list of projects that had been approved in this manner, including TVA projects and House buildings. Wyoming, surprisingly, gave Hayden its vote.

28 Sep Sentinel presented Allott’s hopeless effort to thwart Hayden.
And in an accompanying article, it claimed Aspinall had not given any indication in 18 years of being willing to yield to Hayden’s tactics. He has issued no statement, but is reported upset. “A small, spare man, Aspinall at 71 is not one to sidestep a fight.” He has a reputation of winning more than losing in fights with the Senate. He has made enemies while trying to prevent hurt being done to Colorado. He has worked for years against bills to “lock up resources” such as the Wilderness Act.

28 Sep, Republic featured a squabble in the Arizona House showing that for some, pushing a state-built CAP was still important.

29 Sep, Sentinel tried to find Representatives who predicted failure in the House for the Hayden maneuver, and found only one, while the chair of the House Reclamation Subcommittee said he was trying to contact Aspinall.

29 Sep, Christian Science Monitor was the medium for a near-half-page ad from the Grand Canyon Workshop of Denver’s Colorado Open Space Council, headlined:
“Grand Canyon Goes From Here (Lee’s Ferry) to Here (Grand Wash Cliffs) So Should Grand Canyon National Park.” There were two maps, and quite a bit of text on the dams and their lack of justification.

29 Sep, SLTribune, F.Hewlett analyzed the situation, noting that 40 reclamation projects had used the Hayden route. However, one Senator on Appropriations doubted the CAP could be kept in conference, but it might spur the House into action. Utah’s legislators all made stern statements in opposition.

29 Sep, RMNews named Aspinall as  “standing in the path of the Hayden water plan”, in its recounting of the Senate maneuvering and posturing. In his futile and bitter-sounding effort, Allott of Colorado had kept Aspinall informed by telephone. The article noted Hayden’s backing down from his attempt on the Fry-Ark since it was “very distasteful to me”.

30 Sep, Republic editorialized that “it is one of the strangest ironies in reclamation history that Colorado, Utah, and California – all of which have benefited by reclamation projects—are moving heaven and earth to keep the House from voting” on the CAP. If Aspinall doesn’t like the present maneuvering, all he has to do is let the bill come to the House floor.

No comments:

Post a Comment