Flaming Gorge Reservoir in southwest Wyoming. Click to enlarge.
Apparently unaware that Wyoming legislators can make it rain (or snow) by pumping $14 million into cloud seeding, Colorado businessman Aaron Million is pressing ahead with his proposal to pump water some 500 miles from Flaming Gorge Reservoir over the Continental Divide to Colorado’s Front Range.
In a bit of procedural sleight of hand, Million has shifted his application from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, now claiming the project will produce hydropower. In doing so he seeks whichever federal agency is most likely to give the plan a favorable review.
Former Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal opposed the pipeline, as does his successor, Gov. Matt Mead. Sportsmen from southern Wyoming and northern Utah also have ridiculed the plan, which would divert 250,000 acre feet of water — or about 30 percent of the storage capacity of Jackson Lake, for a comparison — from the Green River Basin each year, into the eastbound Platte Basin.
The staggering price tag — $3 billion by Million’s estimation, up to $9 billion by other projections — regulatory hurdles and widespread doubts make it unlikely the pipeline ever will be built. But we never can be too vigilant, so click here to submit an eComment to FERC. The docket number for the Flaming Gorge Pipeline is P-14263, and the deadline is Dec. 16.
Posted under Economy, Environment, Politics, Sports, Wyoming
Tags: boondoggles, colorado, conservation, fishing, matt mead, river running