Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Can you say "sellout"?

Because I've spent a fair amount of time out in Snake Valley near the Utah-Nevada border, I've followed this story closely for the past few months. It seems Las Vegas, like Los Angeles in the 1930's, is sending its tentacles out far and wide to gather any water it can to supply the city's many casino fountains and hotel pools. While final approval hasn't been given yet, it's merely a formality at this point; one could say the "fix is in".

Why, you ask? There are two key factors: One, Senator Reid from Nevada is holding up a bill authorizing a land transfer between Utah and the Federal government that would give Utah several thousand acres of valuable, developable land near St. George. Second, Utah Senator Bob Bennett -- a noted horse-trading politician who would likely sell the entire state out if the price was right -- is working on the bill. Based on previous observations, I'm pretty sure that means a sellout is inevitable. All Nevada would have to do is offer Utah a share of the water, the deal would be signed the next day.

To put it bluntly, condos and golf courses in St. George and Las Vegas are far more valuable to Senator Bennett, Governor Huntsman, and the Utah Legislature than a few ranches out in western Utah. The residents of Callao and Trout Creek never had a chance.


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