The Grand Canyon Controversy : Lessons for Federal Cost-Benefit Practices.

by Alan Carlin

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A review and analysis of the economic controversy over the proposed Grand Canyon dams. Several federal evaluation practices not fully developed in previous analyses of Senate Document 97 are pointed out: use of the wording "most likely" to exclude lower cost alternatives from consideration; inclusion of taxes and higher interest rates in evaluating a private alternative; unreasonable assumptions with regard to transmission costs of alternatives; and inadequate interest used in computing cost when rates are relatively high. However, the real problem is more likely to be the political realities of the situation than ignorance of economic principles. 25 pp.

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