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« Apocalypse When? | Main | Report: Western Water in the 21st Century - Stretching Supplies in a Prior Appropriation World »

Monday, 02 August 2010


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Ms. Green your point is well made and I did indeed fail to substantively query your posting, thank you for bring it to my attention.

Paul F Miller

Emily Green

Paul, I don't see any query in your "query" -- it does not deal with any of the points I made to do with Babbitt's actions in the Great Basin, as early engineer of what became the QSA or the crassness of his recent remarks in light of impending shortages faced by Arizona. That said, I find your comment interesting.


I write to query the comments of Ms. Green as I have lived in Arizona since the early 1970's when Babbitt was both AG and Governor and I need to compliment him on how he astutely postured himself as one of "common" folk, his "handlers" did a magnificent job.

Babbitt, in my opinion, to his credit, surrounded himself with sharp, quick, politically competent staff, who quickly read the "tea-leaves" to extract the last ounce posturing Babbitt to appear in whatever chameleon form that moment required and Arizona ate it up both as AG and Governor.

Moreover Babbitt became Governor of Arizona upon the death of Wesley Bolin, who was and retains a very warm spot in the hearts of most Arizona citizens for the true gentlemen he was. His "handlers" used and milked this situation for all it was worth.

Babbitt is credited with championing addressing WATER as an issue in Arizona establishing what now is our AMA (active management areas) respecting water. This action to date has neither solved nor substantively addressed Arizona's water issues, it has however provided abundant source of income for attorneys, water experts, and the grounds for a plethora of legal action surrounding water.

Babbitt's credentials as an "honest" environmentalist have been repeatedly challenged by many among them the Native Americas he claims are his friends. His position on the Board of the firm owning and operating the Snowbowl (ski resort) near Flagstaff,Arizona where sewage effluent is to be used as a source of snow on the mountain held by many southwest natives as sacred might be sufficient to give one pause about Babbitt's integrity.

Make no mistake ... Bruce Babbitt ... is first, foremost and always a capitalist.

WATER for him is only a commodity for sale to the highest bidder which he hopes he represents.


Cynthia Barnett

I have no statistics on trophy wives, but residents of Pitkin County, home of Aspen, have an average per-capita water use of 1,851 gallons a person. I think that is highest in Colorado ... highest in the West ... highest in the U.S. ... and highest in the world.

Emily Green

Before being appointed to Interior, in 1989, the former Governor of Arizona was so aware of the potential damage to the Great Basin Aquifer if the Las Vegas pipeline went forward that he roused the rural protestants – urging them to fight. He’d stand with them!

But by the time he was tapped by Clinton in 1992, he suddenly couldn’t remember the names of the alfalfa farmers, café owners and otherwise inconsequential “rurals” who he’d rallied to fight an all powerful Las Vegas. He left them to be sliced down, their land values shot to hell, their businesses shuttered, many a life ruined.

As Interior Secretary, he may have had a stalking plan, which might have been to stare down California so hard, it freed up enough water from Mead to slake LV and spare the Great Basin. He does deserves credit for curing California of its surplus habit, but this happened just as the river dried up and was no use to the Great Basin. (Hey, what’s a 4-state natural wonder so empty that voters could be counted on an abacus when it comes to political poker?)

This recent statement is outrageous considering that his own state, Arizona, stands to be hardest hit when Colorado river shortages click in – which will be soon. The state that boomed out of control under him will be hardest hit by the allocation cuts.

Pontificating in Aspen, he may have thought he was cute setting up a straw dog. Let him try it in Phoenix in about two years time. He'll get some interesting "reviews."


From the perspective that WATER is nothing more than a commodity ... Babbitt's statement appears solid and valid. When one chooses to see WATER from the perspective of the "commons" his statement loses all credibility.

As AG, Governor and Sec of Interior ... Babbitt ... was anointed the genteel mantle of a tree-hugging-environmentalist, which when one peels away the veneer a dyed-in-the-wool-capitalist is clearly revealed.

One should not be surprised by Babbitt's statement about WATER and the Southwest as they are clearly aligned with his capitalist attitude about water.

I for one do not believe Babbitt made a Freudian slip rather he quite clearly drew a line in the sand. Question is what are "we" going to do...? If history is our guide, we will resume our characteristic ostrich posture and say and do ... nothing...

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