1983 Scorecard Vote
The vote is on the Edgar (D-PA) Amendment to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill (HR 3132), to delete $56 million for these two Colorado projects. Both of the projects would waste money, squander scarce western water resources, hurt the environment, and give massive federal subsidies to a few project beneficiaries in violation of important "cost-sharing" principles (see vote #5 above).
The Dolores Project has a negative cost-benefit ratio. Irrigators would repay only $121 per acre for water which costs the federal government $4,585. Municipal water users also refused to repay their share of the costs, as required by law. The project would damage the Dolores River, one of Colorado's most beautiful, which is being studied for possible Scenic River status. It would increase salt pollution in the Colorado River downstream, and it would flood or disturb 400 archaeological sites as well as migration routes and winter range for elk, mule deer, mountain lion and black bear.
The Dallas Creek Project would also set a very damaging national precedent by relieving sponsors of their normal cost-sharing obligations and by rewarding towns that have been very wasteful of scarce water resources. According to the General Accounting Office, the project provides no net national economic benefits because farmers' profits on the crops they would grow with the water would be less than the cost of the water itself. Like the Dolores Project, it would aggravate salt pollution in the Colorado River. There are also unresolved problems about whether drinking water to be provided by the project would be loaded with dangerous heavy metals.
Edgar Amendment rejected 140-257; June 7, 1983. YES is the pro-environmental vote.