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Legislator asks Congress to oppose breaching dams

SHARE Legislator asks Congress to oppose breaching dams

Rep. Gordon Snow, R-Roosevelt, wants to make sure Congress recognizes the benefits of popular Lake Powell.

He has filed a resolution calling on Congress and Utah's congressional delegation to oppose any efforts to breach Glen Canyon Dam or Flaming Gorge Dam.

For years, environmentalists have sought to pull the plug on Glen Canyon Dam, which stilled the Colorado River along the Utah-Arizona border in the early 1960s.

But nearby communities fear draining Lake Powell would suck their economies dry. Some 3.5 million people visit the area every year, pouring about $154 million into Page, Ariz., alone. Millions more are spent by recreationists at Lake Powell marinas in Utah.

The dam, which generates 1.3 million kilowatts of electricity and impounds 27 million acre-feet of water at capacity, is also an integral piece of federally built dams and reservoirs along the Colorado River, supporters argue.

Draining the lake would take an act of Congress and likely unleash lengthy litigation. Snow's resolution urges Congress to recognize and appreciate the water, power, recreation and environmental benefits resulting from the construction of the dam.