A story from Sunday’s Aspen Times caught our eye as illustrative of the way Sen. Cory Gardner does business–as interpreted by local officials on the Western Slope discussing a possible new reservoir on the White River east of Rangely:
Three variations of a potential dam that could someday sit astride the main stem of the White River between Meeker and Rangely have been examined by the Rio Blanco Water Conservancy District in Rangely…
[Engineer Steve] Jamieson said the district started studying the maximum size of the potential reservoirs after Sen. Cory Gardner asked during a site visit, “How big can you make this reservoir?”
During his presentation Jamieson repeatedly referred to Sen. Gardner, using phrases such as “this is the maximum Cory Gardner reservoir.”
“The maximum Cory Gardner reservoir.” As the Times reports, there are three different proposals to build a dam of varying height on the White River, which would result in progressively larger capacity reservoirs to replace the existing Kenney Reservoir which is gradually losing its storage capacity to sedimentation. Obviously, the higher the dam you build, the more it will cost.
Which brings us to the next logical question:
A roundtable member asked, “Did the senator promise the money for this?” [Pols emphasis]
The basin roundtables operate under the auspices of the Colorado Water Conservation Board and review grants for water projects.
“No, he did not, unfortunately,” said Brad McCloud of EIS Solutions, a public affairs consulting firm retained by the district. “We asked.”
The irony of a representative of EIS Solutions, one of the state’s busiest Republican political consultant groups, delivering the bad news that Cory Gardner has nothing to offer to actually help build the “maximum Cory Gardner reservoir” was not lost on us! Of course, it’s not our purpose to make a judgment on the objective merits of building a large new reservoir in western Colorado–we know our readers will not be unanimous on this question. The point is that if Cory Gardner wants to leave some kind of Wayne Aspinall-style legacy of water storage projects across the landscape of Colorado, he needs to have the pork-barrel juice to back it up. And it would seem that Gardner does not.
Perhaps the “maximum Cory Gardner reservoir” is a tub just big enough to drown the government in?