April 8, 2010
Today, the House Subcommittees on National Parks, Forest and Public Lands and Water and Power held a joint field hearing at the Grand Canyon, Arizona. The hearing, entitled "On the Edge: Challenges Facing Grand Canyon National Park" is the latest attempt to drive up energy prices and re-allocate more water towards a small endangered fish at the expense of water and power consumers and the recreational industry.
The hearing was an effort to further regulate areas outside the Park by focusing on the reduction of hydropower from Glen Canyon Dam, a massive upstream dam, on the Colorado River. The Grand Canyon Trust, a witness at the hearing, is suing the federal government to reduce this hydropower for the benefit of the humpback chub. This litigation, if successful, would reduce hydropower production, increase electricity consumer costs and could eliminate some boating recreation and trout fishing. The hearing also led to calls for eliminating uranium mining, which is crucial to domestic nuclear power production.
Tom McClintock (CA-04), Ranking Republican on the House Water and Power Subcommittee, attended the hearing. “At a time when America's economy desperately needs vast new sources of clean, cheap and abundant electricity, it is unfortunate that the Democrat Majority is holding hearings aimed at reducing Glen Canyon hydro-electricity generation and forbidding the mining of the most productive uranium deposits in the nation. The American people have had enough of this nonsense and well understand the implications to their prosperity by going further down this path"
"The testimony at today's hearing clearly established we do not yet have enough good science to resolve the issues before the Congress,” said Congressman John Shadegg (AZ-03) who also attended the hearing. “The USGS studies make this point. In uranium and the effects of mining, the studies show very little uranium contamination of water and, where it has occurred, no evidence that it can be traced to mining. As for the management of the river, the USGS survey of 2009 shows the humpback chub population has increased, not decreased, by 50 percent in just eight years. Yet the scientists don't know why. We need more good science."
The hearing included testimony from a number of witnesses who spoke about the need to protect hydropower and the safe nature of current uranium mining practices:
Robert S. Lynch
Attorney At Law
Madan M Singh, Ph.D., P.E.
Director, AZ Department of Mines & Mineral Resources
Dr. Michael Berry
Whippany, New Jersey
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