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Power LinesPhoenix and the Making of the Modern Southwest$
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Andrew Needham

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691139067

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691139067.001.0001

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The Living River

The Living River

Chapter:
(p.185) Chapter 6 The Living River
Source:
Power Lines
Author(s):

Andrew Needham

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691139067.003.0007

This chapter addresses how The New York Times challenged the long-held claims of Arizona officials that their state was entitled to a portion of the Colorado River by rights, a claim recently upheld by the Supreme Court. The paper also argued that Arizona's attempt to realize those claims endangered the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon itself. Transforming the flowing energy of water into flowing electricity, the Times suggested, was not in the national interest. Such critiques of Arizona's growth emerged in the wake of the Interior Department's development of the Pacific Southwest Water Plan, a plan designed in 1963 to realize Arizona's Colorado River claims. The critiques emerged from several different conservationist groups, but most powerfully from the Sierra Club, which was gradually changing the description of its politics from “conservation” to “environmentalism” and assuming a far more public voice in disputes over the proper use of public lands.

Keywords:   New York Times, Colorado River, Grand Canyon, flowing water, flowing electricity, Pacific Southwest Water Plan, conservationist groups, Sierra Club, environmentalism, public lands

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