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Mr. HAVENNER. I think he probably said that. Mr. SEGAR. Mr. Chairman, I would like to be excused to go to the House.
Mr. Voornis. Mr. Chairman, may I ask the privilege of inserting with my remarks a short statement here that includes some facts about financial matters connected with public power and Boulder Dam?
Mr. DONDERO. It is your own statement ?
The CHAIRMAN. Well, that will be all right for you to include that in your statement.
Mr. VOORHIS. Thank you.
STATEMENT SUBMITTED BY MR. VOORHIS
Under contracts made as the result of the Swing-Johnson Boulder Dam Act the power contractees, the principal one being the Bureau of Power and Light of Los Angeles, pay 1.63 mills per kilowatt-hour for falling-water energy.
Under the provisions of this act and the present construction thereof by the Bureau of Reclamation the 1.631-mill charge per kilowatt hour will do the following:
1. Amortize the investment by 1975.
4. Pay Arizona and Nevada 1834 percent each of the net income after deducting amortization, interest, and expenses from the gross income. This payment is in lieu of local taxes.
5. Pay off the entire $25,000,000 of flood-control expenditures.
6. Provide a separate fund for the benefit of the Upper Basin States, which in the 50 years following the amortization period would reach an estimated total of around $60,000,000, or about 50 percent of the entire first cost of dam and power project.
All of this is accomplished under a falling-water charge of 1.63 mills per kilowatt-hour.
To convert the falling-water energy into electrical energy requires generators, electrical equipment, and operating expenses. This the Bureau of Power and Light does at a cost of about 0.62 mill per kilowatt-hour. The total over all delivered cost at Boulder is then about 2.25 mills per kilowatt-hour.
This bureau at is own expense has constructed two 287,000-volt transmission lines each about 270 miles long at a cost of $23,000,000. All the costs and charges on these two lines run about 1.5 mills per kilowatt-hour.
The delivered cost of current at Los Angeles is therefore about 3.75 mills per kilowatt-hour under present application of law.
A competitive steam plant burning gas under the boilers can be constructed about 25 percent less in first cost than a coal-burning plant on account of the expensive coal-handling apparatus. Furthermore, the gas fuel is extraordinarily cheap compared with coal. A fair estimate of the best results of a gas steam plant with gas wells near the boilers is about the same as present delivered Boulder current. But gas wells deplete in a comparatively short time, so utilizing Boulder current is both an economic and conservation measure.
To produce the current with a modern high-pressure plant connected to a distribution network would cost under estimates of private power agencies and the New York Power Authority the following in mills per kilowatt-hour:
The prorate power estimate is a gross understatement as was pointed out in detail in the report recently sent your committee by President Roosevelt. It is obvious that Boulder Dam current even when delivered 270 miles from the dam is far cheaper than any coal-producing steam plant could be expected to be.
Just recently the Bonneville financing plan was announced as 342-percent interest and 40-year amortization. Under similar charges Boulder current could be reduced to perhaps 3.4 mills.
Thus by this power development at Boulder Dam we have accomplished the purposes of flood control, irrigation, and water conservation and have sharply reduced electric rates to southwestern consumers, all at no cost to the Government. Without the power development there would have been a very great cost sustained.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, are there any further questions? If not, Mr. Voorhis, we thank you very much, sir, for your statement.
Mr. Voorhis. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. It is now nearly 20 minutes after 11, and I think that we will have to adjourn until 10:30 o'clock tomorrow morning.
(Thereupon, at 11:20 a. m., the committee adjowned to meet the following day, Friday, December 10, 1937, at 10:30 a. m.)
REGIONAL CONSERVATION AND DEVELOMENT OF
THE NATIONAL RESOURCES
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 10, 1937
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C. The committee met, pursuant to adjournment, at 10:30 a. m., in the committee room, New House Office Building, Hon. Joseph J. Mansfield (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please come to order.
STATEMENT OF HON. GEORGE D. AIKEN, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE
The CHAIRMAN. Governor, we have so few members present, would
you rather wait a few minutes or go on now? Governor AIKEN. That is just as you wish, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. The House meets in 15 minutes and I expect we had better proceed.
Governor AIKEN. I will file this with you anyway.
Governor AIKEN. Mr. Chairman, I am appearing for Vermont on H. R. 7365, and witli your permission I will read this short brief.
Mr. BEITER. Did you say Vermont; is that a Territory or a possession of the United States. [Laughter.]
Governor AIKEN. Vermont is the remains of the United States. Mr. BEITER. What? Governor AIKEN. Vermont is the Union. The CHAIRMAN. I think the Republican Party ought to be proud of Vermont and Maine.
Governor AIKEN. I think that the whole country envies Vermont a little.
H. R. 7365: The so-called regional planning features of this bill are confusing--or rather the bill itself sets up the confusion by including planning and development of public lands and resources with the planning and development of private lands and resources under the jurisdiction of a planning agency responsible solely to the Chief Executive.
If you will restrict the activities of the proposed regional planning agencies to planning and development of the public domain, navigable waters, and the natural resources to which the United States has title there could be no objection.
But, the agencies are not so restricted, their scope extends to lands, waters, and resources belonging to States and their inhabitants. It is to be noted that the agencies are in no way responsible to the States, and are permitted to decide for themselves how much they will cooperate with the States—also they are authorized to divulge to the States only so much of their plans as they themselves think advisable.
The outline of the regions will tend to break up State unity; the authorized future rearrangement of the country into still other districts, would further increase this process, and this seems to be one of the intents of the bill. The destruction of a balance of power between the States and the National Government is not a good thing for America.
In short, if these planning and conservation agencies are to be given authority over State and private property as well as over national property and resources—and the agencies have no representatives from individual States, and are not responsible to them in any way—we hold that this is planning and development imposed on us. We maintain that this is not for our good.
The control of industry possible under section 8 is extremely dangerous. If this bill becomes a law, and it is enforced uniformly throughout the country, it will mean permanent shut down of many industries.
Vermont further objects to this bill or any bill seeking to take from the States their constitutional authority and jurisdiction over, or ownership of their resources, for the reason that we are a self-supporting State, living strictly within our means, and on a nicely balanced budget. We depend largely on income from taxation of natural resources to help us do this.
We believe that further federalization of authority and ownership will result in an increased' breaking down of the self-reliance and initiative of our citizens. They want to feel that they are a part of their Government, that they have responsibility and are not merely subjects directed by, and dependent on it.
We stand strongly for prudent use of natural resources, but we believe that the greatest of all our resources must be the independence of the people and their loyalty to their community, their State, and their Government.
Now, Mr. Chairman, the New England States are working very closely in this matter on regional planning, flood control, and so on. There is here this morning General Wadhams, representing Connecticut; Miss Herlihy, the chairman of the Massachusetts State Planning Board. Possibly they might be heard before this committee.
The CHAIRMAN. We will be pleased to hear from them, but our time is very limited.
Governor Aiken. I suspect they will probably want to make a speech.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you prefer to have us hear General Wadhams?
Governor AIKEN. Connecticut and Vermont are in accord and General Wadhams may have something more specific to say, than just giving a general statement.
Mr. BEITER. Governor, would some of the objections you have to the bill be eliminated if the division of territory followed State lines rather than having the State of Vermont bisected such as it is?
Governor AIKEN. Well, probably not so long as it centralizes the authority over the resources of the State in the Federal administration, you might say.
Mr. BEITER. Then, another question, Governor: In the event the bill passes and the authority is created, if the State had a representative on the authority, would there be any serious objection?
Governor AIKEN. Well, we believe the States should control the authority, the regions themselves. We are, of course, very much in favor of the New England States controlling and developing New England resources, where such matters concern primarily the States where the project is already located.
Mr. BEITER. The bill as drafted divides the States into seven regions. Now, if they followed State lines and if each State had a representative on the authority and each one of the seven regions, that would divide up pretty evenly. Seven times seven are forty-nine and there are forty-eight States, and would there be any objection to it ?
Governor Aiken. That would depend on how the members of the authority were put in office. If they were to be appointed by the Federal administration we would have the same objection. If they were elected by the States concerned, then we would have a State compact, would we not, interstate compact ?
Mr. BEITER. You believe then that if a representative were appointed to the authority that he should be an elected official from the State that he represents?
Governor AIKEN. We believe that the States should say who the representatives should be.
Mr. DONDERO. Governor, I think what you are trying to say is this, that you object to the transfer of authority from the States to the Federal Government.
Governor AIKEN. Absolutely.
Mr. Bates. Governor, you also object to it on the basis of taking over State rights by the Federal Government, I believe.
Governor AIKEN. We do.
Mr. Bates. And that is precisely the situation as explained by the Governor of the State of Wyoming, who had also entered into compacts, that is, with some of those midwestern States.
Now, I am from Massachusetts, and I am keenly appreciative of the fact that the New England States have entered into flood-control compacts for the purpose of controlling that situation in New England. Those compacts have not yet been approved by Congress, and the reason they have not been approved is because this bill is hogtied in this committee.
The CHAIRMAN. The compact is limited to one river, is it not?
Mr. Bates. No; it is limited to the Connecticut and Merrimack; two separate rivers.
Governor AIKEN. Two separate compacts.
Governor AIKEN. Yes. Vermont is interested in the Connecticut only; although we are interested also in New England as a whole and in the United States as a whole, too.