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Utah Governor Critical of Pipeline Expense

Utah Governor Critical of Pipeline Expense
December 15
09:35 2015

Utah Governor Gary Herbert says given the current configuration of the Lake Powell pipeline project, the state will never be repaid for the funds it advances for construction, which will create “a permanent and sizable taxpayer subsidy.”

Herbert adds, “Out of respect to the taxpayer, more study is needed.”

The state law authorizing the pipeline calls for beneficiaries Kane and Washington counties to pay off at least 70 percent of the costs within 50 years of taking water from the project.

Maintenance expenses for the first 50 years are estimated to be as much as $3.2 billion, while economic benefits credited to jobs associated with the project and population growth because of the additional water may amount to $4.3 billion.

The preliminary licensing proposal for the project was released last week.  Its 1,300 pages do not address the cost of the project or who should be responsible for paying for it.

All three routing alternatives presented in the proposal envision a subterranean water intake system on the west side of Lake Powell, hydroelectric power generators and transmission lines to pump stations.

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