Page 127


Page 127
Colorado River problem
Is Part Of,8
Full text
432 KELLY ON THE COLORADO RIVER PROBLEM The other point is where Mr. Davis states: "The author deserves thanks for the frank official declaration of the settled policy of the Federal Power Commission, in his statement that: 'All the development needed on the Colorado will be built by private capital under adequate Federal and State regulation if the river is given over to development under the Federal Water Power Act'". The writer made a simple statement of fact to indicate that no appropriation by Congress is necessary to procure a full and economical development of the Colorado River. In another part of his discussion (page 386), Mr. Davis confirms this, but he proceeds to construe the writer's plain statement of fact into a declaration of the policy of the Federal Power Commission. The policy of the Federal Power Commission with respect to any pertinent subject can always be obtained by application to the Commission or can be deduced from the precedents set up during the past four years. The Commission has administered the Act strictly in accordance with its terms, and all municipal applications have received the preference to which the law entitled them. The only municipal application for power development on the Colorado River is that made by the City of Los Angeles for the Boulder site. The City made it clear to the Commission that it did not wish consideration of its application unless Congress definitely refused to appropriate for the Boulder Project. Judging by precedent, the City of Los Angeles can feel assured that it will get all the preference contemplated by law if and when any application for the Boulder Canyon Section of the river is considered by the Commission. Mr. Davis' statement is an accusation that the members of the Commission have acted in defiance of the law entrusted to their administration. Such an accusation has no place in an engineering discussion. It may be noted that a similar accusation has been made recently by certain municipal ownership advocates who claim that the Commission is not carrying out the law because it has subjected their projects to the same examination as private projects and has not granted the applications "sight unseen". Mr. Davis seems to be convinced that opposition to his project is due entirely to objection to public ownership. That is not the case; the writer's opposition is and always has been based solely on engineering and economic grounds. Mr. Grunsky emphasizes the need for a treaty with Mexico. He also discusses the division of the resources of the Colorado among the various States and proposes, as a solution, Federal control. The tendency to mould economic laws to fit political boundaries has always been prevalent; it probably will never be entirely overcome, although it is dangerous and has been responsible for most of Europe's troubles. All the developments on the Colorado thus far proposed involve power and occupy public lands, and, therefore, in the absence of new legislation, will come under the Federal Water Power Act, which provides a Federal control that is adequate. The Act does not provide Federal funds for construction, nor does it give the upper States a treaty guaranty of water rights, but, judging by experience under the Act to date, it will give them all the protection they need. With reference to Mr. Weymouth's discussion, the writer had no intention of misquoting or misrepresenting the data presented by the Reclamation

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