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BOULDER CANYON PROJECT ADJUSTMENT ACT

TUESDAY, MAY 28, 1940

UNITED STATES SENATE,
COMMITTEE ON IRRIGATION AND RECLAMATION,

Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:30 a. m., in room 101, Senate Office Building, Senator Morris Sheppard (chairman) presiding

Present: Senators Sheppard (chairman), Pittman, Ashurst, McCarran, O'Mahoney, Chavez, Thomas, and Johnson.

Also present: Senators Hayden and King.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.

Senator Hayden, this is a hearing on your bill, S. 4039, a bill introduced by yourself and a number of other Senators. I will ask you to take charge of the hearing and call your witnesses.

Senator HAYDEN. Mr. Chairman, I suggest for the record that the text of the bill be included in the hearing.

The CHAIRMAN. Please set out the bill in the hearing at this point, and the report-or is there a report as yet?

Senator HAYDEN. No. I may explain, Mr. Chairman, that the bill as introduced is an exact duplicate of a bill which has been favorably reported to the House of Representatives.

The CHAIRMAN. Suppose we use that report!

Senator McCARRAN. Senator, my understanding is it has not yet been reported to the House.

Senator HAYDEN. You may put it this way: That it has been ordered reported favorably to the House. I think your suggestion is good. When the House report is filed it may be included in this record.

The CHAIRMAN. Very well. Mr. Clerk, will you see that the House report is included in the hearings at this point, when the report is made over there?

(S. 4039 and the report of the House Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation are as follows:)

[S. 4039, 76th Cong., 3d sess.)

A BILL Authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to promulgate and to put into effect

charges for electrical energy generated at Boulder Dam, providing for the application of revenues from said project, authorizing the operation of the Boulder Power Plant by the United States directly or through agents, and for other purposes

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized and directed to, and he shall, promulgate charges, or the basis of computation thereof, for electrical energy generated at Boulder Dam during the period beginning June 1, 1937, and ending May 31, 1987, computed to be sufficient,

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together with other net revenues from the project, to accomplish the following purposes :

(a) To meet the cost of operation and maintenance, and to provide for replacements, of the project during the period beginning June 1, 1937, and ending May 31, 1987;

(b) To repay to the Treasury, with interest, the advances to the Colorado River Dam Fund for the project made prior to June 1, 1937, within fifty years from that date (excluding advances allocated to flood control by section 2 (b) of the Project Act, which shall be repayable as provided in section 7 hereof), and such portion of such advances made on and after June 1, 1937, as (on the basis of repayment thereof within such fifty-year period or periods as the Secretary may determine) will be repayable prior to June 1, 1981 ;

(c) To provide $600,000 for each of the years and for the purposes specified in section 2 (c) hereof; and

(d) To provide $500,000 for each of the years and for the purposes specified in section 2 (d) hereof.

Such charges may be made subject to revisions and adjustments at such times, to such extent, and in such manner as by the terms of their promulgation the Secretary shall prescribe.

SEC. 2. All receipts from the project shall be paid into the Colorado River Dam Fund and shall be available for :

(a) Annual appropriation for the operation, maintenance, and replacements of the project, including emergency replacements necessary to insure continuous operations;

(b) Repayment to the Treasury, with interest (after making provision for the payments and transfers provided in subdivisions (c) and (d) hereof), of advances to the Colorado River Dam Fund for the construction of the project (excluding the amount allocated to flood control by section 2 (b) of the Project Act), and any readvances made to said fund under section 5 hereof; and

(c) Payment subject to the provisions of section 3 hereof, in commutation of the payments now provided for the States of Arizona and Nevada in section 4 (b) of the Project Act, each of said States of the sum of $300,000 for each year of operation, beginning with the year of operation ending May 31, 1938, and continuing annually thereafter until and including the year of operation ending May 31, 1987, and such payments for any year of operation which shall have expired at the time when this subdivision (c) shall become effective shall be due immediately, and be paid, without interest, as expeditiously as administration of this Act will permit, and each such payment for subsequent years of operation shall be made on or before July 31, following the close of the year of operation for which it is made. All such payments shall be made from revenues hereafter received in the Colorado River Dam Fund.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this subsection, in the event that there are levied and collected by or under authority of Arizona or Nevada or by any lawful taxing political subdivision thereof, taxes upon

(i) the project as herein defined ;

(ii) the electrical energy generated at Boulder Dam by means of facilities, machinery, or equipment both owned and operated by the United States, or owned by the United States and operated under contract with the United States;

(iii) the privilege of generating or transforming such electrical energy or of use of such facilities, machinery, or equipment or of falling water for such generation or transforming; or

(iv) the transmission or control of such electrical energy so generated or transformed (as distinguished from the transmission lines and other physical properties used for such transmission or control) or the use of such transmission lines or other physical properties for such transmission

or control, payments made hereunder to the State by or under the authority of which such taxes are collected shall be reduced by an amount equivalent to such taxes. Nothing herein shall in anywise impair the right of either the State of Arizona or the State of Nevada, or any lawful taxing political subdivision of either of them, to collect nondiscriminatory taxes upon that portion of the transmission lines and all other physical properties, situated within such State and such political subdivision, respectively, and belonging to any of the lessees and/or allottees under the Project Act and/or under this Act, and nothing herein shall exempt or be construed so as to exempt any such property from nondiscrmina

tory taxation, all in the manner provided by the constitution and laws of such State. Sums, if any, received by each State under the provisions of the Project Act shall be deducted from the first payment or payments to said State authorized by this Act. Payments under this section 2 (c) shall be deemed contractual obligations of the United States, subject to the provisions of section 3 of this Act.

(d) Transfer, subject to the provisions of section 3 hereof, from the Colorado River Dam Fund to a special fund in the Treasury, hereby established and designated the "Colorado River Development Fund”, of the sum of $500,000 for the year of operation ending May 31, 1938, and the like sum of $500,000 for each year of operation thereafter, until and including the year of operation ending May 31, 1987. The transfer of the said sum of $500,000 for each year of operation shall be made on or before July 31 next following the close of the year of operation for which it is made: Provided, That any such transfer for any year of operation which shall have ended at the time this section 2 (d) shall become effective, shall be made, without interest, from revenues received in the Colorado River Dam Fund, as expeditiously as administration of this Act will permit, and without readvances from the general funds of the *Treasury. Receipts of the Colorado River Development Fund for the years of operation ending in 1938, 1939, and 1940 (or in the event of reduced receipts during any of said years, due to adjustments under section 3 hereof, then the first receipts of said fund up to $1,500,000), are authorized to be appropriated only for the continuation and extension, under the direction of the Secretary, of studies and investigations by the Bureau of Reclamation for the formulation of a comprehensive plan for the utilization of waters of the Colorado River system for irrigation, electrical power, and other purposes, in the States of the upper division and the States of the lower division, including studies of quantity and quality of water and all other relevant factors. The next such receipts up to and including the receipts for the year of operation ending in 1955 are authorized to be appropriated only for the investigation and construction of projects for such utilization in and equitably distributed among the four States of the upper division. Such receipts for the years of operation ending in 1956 to 1987, inclusive, are authorized to be appropriated for the investigation and construction of projects for such utilization in and equitably distributed among the States of the upper division and the States of the lower division. The terms “Colorado River System”, “States of the upper division”, and "States of the lower division" as so used shall have the respective meanings defined in the Colorado River compact mentioned in the Project Act. Such projects shall be only such as are found by the Secretary to be physically feasible, economically justified, and consistent with such formulation of a comprehensive plan. Nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to prevent the authorization and construction of any such projects prior to the completion of said plan of comprehensive development; nor shall this Act be construed as affecting the right of any State to proceed independently of this Act or its provisions with the investigation or construction of any project or projects. Transfers under his section 2 (d) shall be deemed contractual obligations of the United States, subject to the provisions of section 3 of this Act.

Sec. 3. If, by reason of any act of God, or of the public enemy, or any major -catastrophe, or any other unforeseen and unavoidable cause, the revenues, for any year of operation, after making provision for costs of operation, maintenance, and the amount to be set aside for said year for replacements, should be insufficient to make the payments to the States of Arizona and Nevada and the transfers to he Colorado River Development Fund herein provided for, such payments and transfers shall be proportionately reduced, as the Secretary may find to be necessary by reason thereof.

SEC. 4. (a) Upon the taking effect of this Act, pursuant to section 10 hereof, the charges, or the basis of computation thereof, promulgated hereunder, shall be applicable as from June 1, 1937, and adjustments of accounts by reason thereof, including charges by and against the United States, shall be made so that the United States and all parties that have contraced for energy, or for the privilege of generating energy, at the project, shall be placed in the same position, as nearly as may be, as determined by the Secretary, that they would have occupied had such charges, or the basis of computation thereof, and the method of operation which may be provided for under section 9 hereof, been effective on June 1, 1937: Provided, That such adjustments with contractors shall not be made in cash, but shall be made by means of credits extended over such period as the Secretary may determine.

(b) In the event payments to the States of Arizona and Nevada, or either of them, under section 2 (c) hereof, shall be reduced by reason of the collection cf taxes mentioned in said section, adjustments shall be made, from time to time, with each allottee which shall have paid any such taxes, by credits or otherwise, for that proportion of the amount of such reductions which the amount of the payments of such taxes by such allotee bears to he toal amount of such taxes collected.

SEC. 5. If at any time there shall be insufficient sums in the Colorado River Dam Fund to meet the cost of replacements, however necessitated, in addition to meeting the other requirements of this Act, or of regulations authorized hereby and promulgated by the Secretary, the Secretary of the Treasury, upon request of the Secretary of the Interior, shall readvance to the said fund, in amounts not exceeding, in the aggregate, moneys repaid to the Treasury pursuant to Section 2 (b) hereof, the amount required for replacements, however necessitated, in excess of the amount currently available therefor in said Colorado River Dam Fund. There is hereby authorized to be appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, such sums, not exceeding said aggregate amount, as may be necessary to permit the Secretary of the Treasury to make such readvances. All such readvances shall bear interest.

SEC. 6. Whenever by the terms of the Project Act or this Act payment of interest is provided for, and whenever interest shall enter into any computation thereunder, such interest shall be computed at the rate of 3 per centum per annum, compounded annually.

SEC. 7. The first $25,000,000 of advances made to the Colorado River Dam Fund for the project shall be deemed to be the sum allocated to flood control by section 2 (b) of the Project Act and repayment thereof shall be deferred without interest until June 1, 1987, after which time such advances so allocated to flood control shall be repayable to the Treasury as the Congress shall determine.

SEC. 8. The Secretary is hereby authorized from time to time to promulgate such regulations and enter into such contracts as he may find necessary or appropriate for carrying out the purposes of this Act and the Project Act, as modified hereby, and, by mutual consent, to terminate or modify any such contract: Provided, however, That no allotment of energy to any allottee made by any rule or regulation heretofore promulgated shall be modified or changed without the consent of such allottee.

SEC. 9. The Secretary is hereby authorized to negotiate for and enter into a contract for the termination of the existing lease of the Boulder Power Plant made pursuant to the Project Act, and in the event of such termination the operation and maintenance, and the making of replacements, however necessitated, of the Boulder Power Plant by the United States, directly or through such agent or agents as the Secretary may designate, is hereby authorized. The powers, duties, and rights of such asent or agents shall be provided by contract, wbich may include provision that questions relating to the interpretation or performance thereof may be determined, to the extent provided therein, by arbitration or court proceedings. The Secretary in consideration of such termination of such existing lease is authorized to agree (a) that the lessees therein named shall be designated as the agents of the United States for the operation of said power plant; (b) that (except by mutual consent or in accordance with such provisions for termination for default as may be specified therein) such agency contract shall not be revocable or terminable; and (c) that suits or proceedings to restrain the termination of any such agency contract, otherwise than as therein provided, or for other appropriate equitable relief or remedies, may be maintained against the Secretary. Suits or other court proceedings pursuant to the foregoing provisions may be maintained in, and jurisdiction to hear and determine such suits or proceedings and to grant such relief or remedies is hereby conferred upon, the District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia, with the like right of appeal or review as in other like suits or proceedings in said court. The Secretary is hereby authorized to act for the United States in such arbitration proceedings.

SEC. 10. This Act shall be effective immediately for the purpose of the promulgation of charges, or the basis of computation thereof, and the execution of contracts authorized by the terms of this Act, but neither such charges, nor the basis of computation thereof, nor any such contract, shall be effective unless and until this Act shall be effective for all purposes. This Act shall take effect for all purposes when, but not before, the Secretary shall have found that provision has been made for the termination of the existing lease of the Boulder Power Plant and for the operation thereof as authorized by section 9 hereof, and that allottees obligated under contracts in force on the date of enactment of this Act to pay for at least 90 per centum of the firm energy shall have entered into contracts (1) consenting to such operation, and (2) containing such other provisions as the Secretary may deem necessary or proper for carrying out the purposes of this Act. For purposes of this section such 90 per centum shall be computed as of the end of the absorption periods provided for in regulations heretofore promulgated by the Secretary and in effect at the time of the enactment of this Act.

If contracts in accordance with the requirements of this section shall not have been entered into prior to June 1, 1941, this Act shall cease to be operative and sball be of no further force or effect.

SEC. 11. Any contractor for energy from the project failing or refusing to execute a contract modifying its existing contract to conform to this Act shall continue to pay the rates and charges provided for in its existing contract, subject to such periodic readjustments as are therein provided, in all respects as if this Act had not been passed, and so far as necessary to support such existing contract all of the provisions of the Project Act shall remain in effect, anything in this Act inconsistent therewith notwithstanding.

SEC. 12. The following terms wherever used in this Act shall have the following respective meanings :

"Project Act” shall mean the Boulder Canyon Project Act;

"Project” shall mean the works authorized by the Project Act to be constructed and owned by the United States, exclusive of the main canal and appurtenances mentioned therein, now known as the All-American Canal;

“Secretary' shall mean the Secretary of the Interior of the United States;

"Firm energy” and “allottees” shall have the meaning assigned to such terms in regulations heretofore promulgated by the Secretary and in effect at the time of the enactment of this Act;

"Replacements" shall mean such replacements as may be necessary to keep the project in good operating condition during the period from June 1, 1937, to May 31, 1987, inclusive, but shall not include (except where used in conjunction with the word “emergency” or the words “however necessitated") replacements made necessary by any act of God, or of the public enemy, or by any major catastrophe; and

"Year of operation” shall mean the period from and including June 1 of any calendar year to and including May 31 of the following calendar year.

SEC. 13. The Secretary of the Interior shall, in January of each year, submit to the Congress a financial statement and a complete report of operations under this Act during the preceding year of operation as herein defined.

SEC. 14. Nothing herein shall be construed as interfering with such rights as the States now have either to the waters within their borders or to adopt such policies and enact such laws as they may deem necessary with respect to the appropriation, control, and use of waters within their borders, except as modified by the Colorado River compact or other interstate agreement. Neither the promulgation of charges, or the basis of charges, nor anything contained in this Act, or done thereunder, shall in anywise affect, limit, or prejudice any right of any State in or to the waters of the Colorado River system under the Colorado River compact. Sections 13 (b), 13 (c), and 13 (d) of the Project Act and all other provisions of said Project Act not inconsistent with the terms of this Act shall remain in full force and effect.

SEC. 15. This Act may be cited as "Boulder Canyon Project Adjustment Act.”

[H. Rept. No. 2328, 76th Cong., 3d sess.]

The Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 9877) authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to promulgate and to put into effect charges for electrical energy generated at Boulder Dam, providing for the application of revenues from said project, authorizing the operation of the Boulder Power Plant by the United States directly or through agents, and for other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with amendments and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

The amendments are are follows:
Page 15, after line 2, insert a new section as follows:

"SEC. 15. All laborers and mechanics employed in the construction, alteration, maintenance, operation, or repairs of any part of the project or immediately and directly connected therewith, shall be paid not less than the prevailing rate of

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