Members of Utah's congressional delegation were angry and bitter Thursday over the non-results of an Upper Colorado Basin water and power summit meeting held in Salt Lake City a day earlier.
A spokesman for Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, said the failure of public power officials to agree to the Utah proposals for financing the Central Utah Project effectively killed a CUP bill for this session of Congress.Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, whose bonding proposal was shot down at the meeting, told the Deseret News he was "mad as heck" over public power's attitude.
He said the Colorado River Electric Distribution Association "are the villains - the CREDA people refused to do what the law requires."
Owens commended Garn for "playing well in our behalf" in the Senate by threatening to hold hostage a raft of Arizona and Upper Basin state bills, but he conceded that the other states could block a CUP bill in the short time remaining in the 100th Congress.
Rep. Howard Nielson, R-Utah, said he thought the delegation could get Rep. Morris K. Udall, D-Ariz., to move a CUP bill out of his House Interior Committee next Wednesday, and let the Utahns try to re-write it on the House floor.
A Udall aide, however, said that his boss would continue to insist that there be basin-wide consensus on a bill before he would bring it up in his committee.
Owens, Garn and the other Utahns are to meet here next week to try to salvage a temporary, one-year cost ceiling increase for CUP. But there was no agreement Thursday on what that should include.
They must decide whether to ask for $45 million, which would allow contracting for two Diamond Fork tunnels, or $127 million which would allow work to also start on the scheduled Wasatch aqueduct and the Loafer Mountain Tunnel on the irrigation portion of the project.
Regional Reclamation Director Clifford Barrett said CUP would need at least the $127 million increase in its authorization to continue work through the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, 1989.
Senate Democratic Leader Robert Byrd, D-West Va., suggested that a lame-duck session might be necessary after the election, in order to deal with the just-vetoed Defense appropriations bill. Such a session would give the Utah delegation a few more days to work some kind of CUP bill through Congress.