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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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And don't think in telling you this, in response to your question, that I am in any sense saying that I'm responsible for the defeat of the Echo Park Dam proposal because of course I'm not: but I may have done a little bit to help to turn public opinion away from support of that dam.


Was Paul Douglas involved in that at all? Senator Paul Douglas?


I don't think Paul Douglas was -- I don't recall Paul Douglas as being involved in the Echo Park Dam controversy particularly, but Paul Douglas was almost a mentor of mine, and I only really got to know him because of this whole fight against the wasteful, the extremely wasteful use of federal funds in building unnecessary and actually environmentally harmful dams throughout the -- west of the Mississippi. And I mentioned the Bureau of Reclamation before. Between the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers, which I also mentioned before, those two federal agencies were -- especially the Army Corps of Engineers, I think -- were guilty of promoting some of the biggest boondoggles in the whole West of the United States. The Corps of Engineers was doing it everywhere; the Bureau of Reclamation, for its irrigation dams, was only doing it in the West. Paul Douglas was the key intellectual -- and as senator, political -- opponent of this whole pernicious system of gigantic and wasteful dam-construction in the West.

Now, before I go further, I don't want to go down in history as having said that all the work of the Corps of Engineers and all the work of the Bureau of Reclamation was useless or was a boondoggle. Of course not. Of course not. Of course, they did some extremely useful work and really very important and vital work. But I am saying that in a number of specific instances, these huge dams that were promoted, either by the Army Corps of Engineers, which was responsible for what were called rivers and harbor projects, and by the Bureau of Reclamation

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