Periodically, especially during dry years, such as 2013, thirsty-for-stirring-things-up media put the spotlight on how less Colorado River water looms for the Southwest --- especially the growing Las Vegas area --- and certain steps will have to be taken to limit usage, observes Grumpy Editor.
But what is not emphasized is that the whole state of Nevada, not just Las Vegas, sips only 3 percent of the Colorado River water released from Lake Mead while a foreign country, Mexico, siphons five times more from the same source.
The water also is shared by six other states: Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Mexico was included via a treaty way back in the 1940s.
So it’s not unusual to read predictions such as “without dramatic and wide-ranging action, population growth and climate change will overwhelm the Colorado River within 50 years.”
It’s natural for dry periods to alternate with wet seasons.
With the latter, when there are large spring-summer runoffs from heavy snowfalls in western mountains, very little “water pinch” rhetoric emanates from media.
If water supply is of such concern, then perhaps the decades-old treaty with Mexico should be renegotiated to reflect population changes in the U.S.
Keystone XL pipeline hits another federal bump
Grumpy Editor notes the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, long in the works, now is sidelined by the Interior Department that is concerned on effects mainly on wildlife.
The pipeline would extend 1,700 miles from Canada’s oil sands to Texas Gulf Coast refineries and create thousands of jobs while cutting U.S. reliance on imported oil.
As pointed out by Los Angeles Times writer Neela Banerjee last week, a 12-page April 29 Interior Department letter, but posted mid-August, “grimly catalogs many ways Keystone XL could harm wildlife: ‘species displacement, increased predation rates and predator travel lanes, increased nest parasitism, vehicle collisions with wildlife…invasive plant species, increased wildfire risk, lower wildlife density, increase in collisions with power lines and electrocutions on power poles … and increase in poaching.’”
(Sounds almost like what happens daily along Los Angeles freeways.)
The Interior Department comments contradict the State Department’s March draft environmental assessment, which concluded the project would have only a temporary, indirect impact, noted Banerjee.
The Times writer also mentioned: “The State Department could issue its final environmental impact statement at any time. The Obama administration must then determine whether the pipeline serves the national interest, based not just on the State Department's analysis, but those of other federal agencies, too, such as the EPA and the Interior Department.”
In case you missed these…
Publishing items: Other publications must be drooling at the WSJ. monthly magazine for September, which is packed with ritzy ads. With 160 pages, readers don’t get to the list of editorial contents until page 37…Koch Industries Inc. over the weekend ended speculation on buying the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune or other Tribune Co. newspapers. Brothers Charles and David Koch say they are no longer interested. This must have brought relief to some L.A. Times staffers who earlier vowed to quit if the billionaire brothers took over. Name mentioned now is Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. chairman, who has expressed interest in the L.A. Times with its closeness to the entertainment business…A large group of Egyptian protesters, opposing the Muslim Brotherhood, gathered in front of the Washington Post Thursday, temporarily shutting down the main lobby.
With Army soldier Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years in prison Thursday for leaking 700,000 classified military and diplomatic documents over seven months in 2010, Grumpy Editor finds it strange that not one newsperson asked how a 22-year-old private first class (with one stripe on sleeves), could be placed in the sensitive position of intelligence analyst. Manning last week announced he replaced his first name with Chelsea and intends to live as a female…Walt Disney Co. plans to lay off about 175 people in its Disney/ABC Television Group…A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds 79 percent of adults believe most Americans watch too much television…Easy-to-take Vin Scully, 85, who returns to the Los Angeles Dodgers broadcast booth in 2014 for his 65th season with the team, terms the long-term relationship “a love affair that continues”…Former House speaker and Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich will be one of the hosts on CNN’s revived half-hour political debate show, Crossfire, which restarts on Sept. 16.
While most media have become silent on IRS and Benghazi scandals, on Thursday they jumped to write or air material on the 40-year-old Watergate event based on additional Richard Nixon tapes.