Thursday, March 29, 2012

Range Bubbles Up...Green River Water Battles On

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By Troy Hooper
Real Vail – March 29, 2012

A plan to divert water from Wyoming's Flaming Gorge to Colorado's Front Range is back on the table. Colorado entrepreneur Aaron Million late last week filed a new application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which last month deemed the proposal premature and short on specifics.

Million's company, Wyco Power and Water Inc., is requesting a rehearing and clarification for the basis of FERC's dismissal. In paperwork filed Friday (pdf), Wyco argues the order is inconsistent and that it establishes precedents detrimental to future development of hydroelectric facilities in the United States. The Green River passing through The Gates of Lodore in northwestern Colorado.
Jim Wark/Airphoto

"Wyco contends that it will be counterproductive and cost-prohibitive to secure all necessary permits and authorizations to construct the pipeline without confirming the locations of the associated hydroelectric facilities," the filing says.

Critics say the pipeline would drain 81 billion gallons of water each year from the Green River, a tributary of the already stressed Colorado River, and the state of Colorado projects the pipeline could cost as much as $9 billion to build. The Colorado River Water Conservation District, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, county and local governments in southwestern Wyoming and a multitude of conservation groups are opposing the potential pipeline that Million claims is needed for Colorado to meet its rising demand for water.

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