Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Salt Lake City Weekly story

Writer Ted McDonough tackles the machinations of the Water Authority, which has an army of lobbyists to stomp on the hysterical fanatics far from Carson City:

Ranchers in Utah’s west desert knew they were in for a fight when Las Vegas decided to sink wells in their back yard. What they didn’t know, however, was that they’d entered a game of high-stakes federal politics.
As the clock ticked down to midnight on the last day of Utah’s legislative session, ranchers in Utah’s Snake Valley were hoping state lawmakers would pass a bill written to safeguard their interests during ongoing negotiations over who gets ancient water beneath the Utah-Nevada border. But the bill never got to the floor for a vote.
Millard County Commissioner John Cooper thinks he knows why: Nevada water lobbyists succeeded in dividing the Utah Legislature with whispers that House Bill 422 could hurt Utah’s own plans to build a pipeline from Lake Powell to growing St. George. Las Vegas can make such threats and be listened to. The majority leader of the U.S. Senate is Nevada’s Harry Reid, who will have much to say about whether Congress signs off on the planned Lake Powell pipeline.


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