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Statement on CWCB Vote on Flaming Gorge Study Funding

For Immediate Release: September 14, 2011

Media Contacts:
Peter Roessmann, Western Resource Advocates: (720) 763-3721, peter@westernresources.org
Gary Wockner, Save the Colorado: (970) 218-8310, gary@savethecolorado.newmedia1.net
Elise Jones, Colorado Environmental Coalition, (303) 405-6704, elise@ourcolorado.org

Statement on CWCB Vote on Flaming Gorge Study Funding

At its Wednesday, September 14, 2011 meeting, the Colorado Water Conservation Board passed a diluted proposal to fund an exploratory study for the Flaming Gorge Pipeline. The original proposal was for $240,000 and multi-year meetings; the final proposal approved by the board funds just over $72,000 with only a few months of meetings. The watered-down proposal passed despite opposition from thousands of members of the public, a large coalition of environmental groups, taxpayer representatives, and West Slope businesses. Board members expressed many concerns, only some of which were addressed in the watered-down version.

Our organizations continue to have numerous concerns about the project even in a scaled back form. While smaller, the proposal would still spend thousands of dollars in state funds to investigate a controversial and environmentally damaging project which thousands of Colorado citizens believe should not be funded at all. This week members of the State Legislature Joint Budget Committee expressed their concerns over the project notably that this process seems to duplicate existing efforts of the Interbasin Compact Committee.

Ultimately, a Flaming Gorge pipeline project entails enormous costs and infeasibility. We will continue to work with the CWCB, project proponents, water utilities and other stakeholders to further the important and difficult dialog around meeting Colorado’s future water needs, in ways that — unlike the Flaming Gorge Pipeline — are cost-effective, feasible, and do-able in a short time frame.

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