OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JIM GIBBONS
A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS
FROM THE STATE OF NEVADA
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And I first want to applaud you for your interest and your effort here today to hold this hearing and your leadership on this issue.
It seems that, seldom in the history of Congress, indeed perhaps even seldom in the
history of mankind, do we have an opportunity to hear extreme proposals like this one. And, in fact, this is an extremely bad proposal.
This Nation, years ago, went through considerable or great lengths and a
considerable amount of money to construct the Glen Canyon Dam and for good reasons. But this proposal to drain Lake Powell fails even in the very simplest of terms to understand that the issues that Lake Powell provide
for the humanity in Southwestern United States is at stake with this extreme proposal.
Lake Powell is an issue of storage. And it was constructed for the issue of storage. Storage, which includes municipal and
agricultural uses, maybe not directly from Lake Powell, but for downstream users. Millions of people reside in Nevada, Arizona, California, and Utah.
Sensitive ecosystems along the banks and riverways of the Colorado
River will be at stake and at risk without the storage and the flood prevention and flood control efforts of the Lake Powell Dam.
This is just totally unacceptable to have a group propose such an extreme position
without taking into consideration the needs of both the environment and humanity along the way. And I am not even speaking yet of the resource of recreation that is provided to millions of Americans every year.
Chairman, this proposal, at first glance, seems to be so far out on a limb that it should not even be considered as part of our hearing today. But, indeed, it runs the risk that, if we fail to address this issue, we
have failed to do our job in terms of the future of America. And I thank you for your leadership on this issue.