I saw this bill (HR 4) in the House pre-files before the session began, and even printed it out and laid it upon the desk of a co-worker here in
Georgia’s Secret Outpost Chattanooga. We’re trying to take back our water…again…like we’ve tried for the past 200+ years. Anyway, Saporta Report has a write up about it, but I figured I would give my $.02 worth on the bill and the over-arching issue.
For those just joining us, the federal statutory border between Georgia and Tennessee is supposed to lay along the 35th parallel. Due to whatever reason, drunkenness, Indian warriors scaring the bejeezus out of surveyors, horrible math, aliens, the border is actually short by about a mile south of the 35th. If it were land, it probably would not matter all that much, but from what I understand, the *intent* of the statutory border is supposed to allow Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia to share the Tennessee River. Supposedly, both states are supposed to recognize the border. My understanding is that Georgia never recognized the incorrect border.
Some of my co-workers complain that Atlanta is driving the push to get the border changed to “stick a straw in the Tennessee River”. I recall talking to a geography professor a few years ago at Dalton State about this. He said that the Tennessee River has a much, much larger output/flow/whatever than the Chattahoochee River does, so even if Georgia pipes the Tennessee River down through Chattanooga Valley, Chattanooga and the other cities and communities down stream of the river would probably be unaffected. Granted, I don’t have case studies, numbers, or anything like that, but just go with me here.
HR 4 would expand just a small section of the Georgia-Tennessee border in Dade County (run north by about a mile, run east by about a mile and a half, and run back south) to capture part of the Tennessee River. It may be a little easier for Tennessee’s General Assembly and Governor to swallow rather than dealing having to cede more of “their” territory to Georgia. Tennessee would be able to keep the land originally part of Georgia in exchange of allowing Georgia to have access to the Tennessee River. Win-win, right?
If we end up getting the rights to tap the Tennessee, how are we going to use it? Is Dade going to be the sole benefactor, or will it piped through northwest Georgia, through Atlanta, and end up in south Georgia? Something that a friend of mine pointed out: where are they going to put this pipeline? It would be a fairly large pipeline that would have to run through parts of Dade and Walker County. Of that path, I would suspect that it would come down through Dade County and cross Lookout Mountain and run through Walker County…maybe in the Chattanooga Valley area (my neck of the woods). That’s my speculation, and I suspect that it would be a tough sell for those of us that live in that part of the state.
Again, I haven’t seen any plans, and I may be putting the cart before the horse, but it certainly is something to think about if this piece of legislation winds up on Governor Nathan Deal’s desk (which is likely, I’m sure) and is something that the state of Tennessee is willing to cede (my optimism fades at that point) to our fair state and then has to get approved by Congress no doubt (there’s a Charlie Foxtrot).
In the mean time, perhaps the northwest Georgia delegation should start gauging the temperature of the citizens of Dade and Walker Counties (and counties south, no doubt) on how they feel about a pipe running from the Tennessee through their back yards.
While we wait, we’ll start building up our invasion force.