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Revisiting the Hoover Dam: A great feat of engineering, but no panacea for modern ills

As to whether America could build the dam today, Michael Hiltzik, its modern historian, says in his book “Colossus” that it probably could not. It was hard enough back then to overcome the rivalries of the seven states involved, but at least nobody gave a fig for the down-river rights of the south-western Indians, let alone the Mexicans, or the creatures whose habitats were eradicated when the river was dammed. Today a rampart of federal legislation, such as the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act, would block the way.

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