Opposition to the Flaming Gorge pipeline project grows in Utah, Wyoming and Northwestern Colorado

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From the Vernal Express (Mary Bernard):

…widespread resistance to the project continues from the tri-state area. That resistance prompted Uintah County officials to formalize their opposition in a resolution last year. Elsewhere, Daggett County, the Wyoming communities of Green River and Rock Springs, Sweetwater County, Wyo. and Moffatt County, Colo. joined Utah in formal opposition…

Wyoming’s Gov. Matt Mead opposes the project. “I generally oppose trans-basin diversion projects and in particular I believe Aaron Million’s project is not well thought out,” Mead wrote.

Criticism spans concern over the reduction in scant water resources as well as impact to existing habitats. The proposed project has little popularity west of the Rockies where variable snowfall and runoff make assured flows into the Flaming Gorge Reservoir somewhat unpredictable.

Stacy Tellinghuisen, Western Resource Advocates, energy and water analyst, calls Million’s latest effort blatantly misleading. “He’s now trying to re-classify his project as a power supply project,” Tellinghuisen said. “It’s a water supply project — not a power supply project because it’s going to consume more energy than it will produce.”[...]

Million proposes to pump water from western Wyoming’s natural gas region through a system of turbines and reservoirs along to generate electricity along the pipeline. “We’re planning on using natural gas turbines to maximize the hydro-power and minimize energy use, perhaps tying some wind,” Million said…

Colorado estimated the price of water under a voluntary agreement between cities and farmers for the temporary leasing of ag-water ranged from $300 to $500 per acre-foot per year. Tellinghuisen said a private consultant to the Western Resource Advocates gauged Million’s water as costing as much as $4,000 and acre-foot per year. “Realistically, I just don’t see this project relieving pressure on any of the basins in Colorado,” she said.

More Flaming Gorge Pipeline coverage here and here.

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