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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:18 pm 
Just in from the Gila Conservation Coalition:
"Today the Department of Interior signed off on the NM Unit Agreement. The action moves the Gila River diversion into the next phase of environmental and financial feasibility assessment.

Read DOI's Press Release Here and Q's and A's.

Significant gains were made through the supplemental terms that will increase accountability and hopefully lead to a robust environmental analysis of the proposed diversion. Some of the important gains include financial feasibility and accountability requirements, making it clear that designs must be up to federal standards, clarifying that less money may be available than previously understood, and that the full range of environmental compliance is necessary, including assessments under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the National Historic Preservation Act.

If the environmental compliance process is honest it's highly unlikely that a diversion would be built due to huge costs, technical infeasibility, and damage to the river and the seven endangered species that depend on it. Finally, the supplemental terms make it clear that the Secretary of Interior does not have to choose an alternative that harms the environment even if the state of NM and the NM CAP Entity wants her to.

"People from all over the country have made their voices heard. They don't want a Gila River diversion project that we can't afford, that won't efficiently meet our water needs, and will damage New Mexico's last free-flowing river," said Allyson Siwik, Executive Director of the Gila Conservation Coalition.

"The Gila River diversion process has been riddled with secrecy, bad judgment, and waste. The eyes of the nation are looking on Secretary Sally Jewell to ensure an honest and rigorous environmental review and to ultimately do the right thing - protect the Gila River forever," said Todd Schulke, cofounder of the Center for Biological Diversity."

 Author: bdlb
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 7:10 am 
Re defense procurement and other money squandering: David Willman of the Los Angeles Times: "... the Obama administration and Congress poured more than $230 million into design and engineering work on [the Precision Tracking Space System, supposed to detect missile launches & track warheads in flight] in 2009. Four years later, the government quietly killed the program before a single satellite was launched. The Missile Defense Agency said PTSS fell victim to budget constraints. In fact, the program was spiked after outside experts determined that the entire concept was hopelessly flawed and the claims made by its advocates were erroneous. It was the latest in a string of expensive failures for the missile agency.... 'It’s an example of what can go wrong in defense procurement: Huge amounts of money just pissed away on things that should never have advanced beyond a study,' said David K. Barton, a physicist and radar engineer who served on a National Academy of Sciences panel that reviewed U.S. missile-defense programs, including PTSS."

 Author: crow
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:22 am 
Point taken bdlb, a few million $$ has already been waisted on this wild scheme. We can only hope that these people will see the light before the rest of the available money that should have gone to conservation and restoration is gone; but sometimes I feel that that was the whole point. I was reminded recently that the Billion $$ price tag is only to get the water out of the river and into a holding pond and no further. The next possible block to the plan is the environmental assessment as long as the environmental laws are not gutted as the neo-cons propose.

 Author: Bruce
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 4:43 pm 
Computer programmers knew missile defense was hopeless back in the 80s. Shooting down ICBMs was an almost impossible programming task, but designing defense against missile defense was relatively easy. The whole idea was proposed by President Ronald Reagan with no idea whether it was feasible. This kind of thing happens when government policy is proposed or blocked by anti-science (and anti-economics) officials. But I guess we won't have to worry about the Gila River diversion if we're roasted, frozen, or flooded by climate change first.


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