EPIC Plan to Shut Down the NSA: Shut Down the Water
The Tenth Amendment Center has an epic plan to shut down the NSA–shut off the water. The new NSA data center in Utah will require 1.7 million gallons of water a day to keep the computers cooled off. If there is no water, the computers cannot stay in operation.
The simple solution? If there is no water to the facility, being built in Bluffdale, Utah it can’t operate.
The city of Bluffdale, Utah has a water contract with the NSA. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the city agreed to sell water to the NSA well under market value. The $1.95 per gallon charge is well below the state average of $2.09 a gallon.
Further, the 10-year contract that took effect Sept. 30, 2011, specifies that Bluffdale can’t increase the rates on the Utah Data Center without also hiking rates on all Tier 2 water consumers.
Bluffdale city manager Mark Reid has said that the city could, in theory, turn the water off to the NSA. However, in doing so it would have to shut down water to the whole city. This isn’t because of the infrastructure, but because of the contract. In other words, Reid is in it for the NSA, not for the people.
The people of the state have a powerful interest in circumventing the diversion of water to the NSA. Utah is the nation’s second-driest state with 13 inches of average annual precipitation, and is practically a desert. Why the federal government would build a facility that requires that much water in the second driest state in the United States is beyond logic, but it is. Over 80% of Utah’s water is used for agriculture.
Further, the NSA has a habit of maxing out state resources. In In 2006, NSA HQ maxed out capacity of the Baltimore area power grid.
Given a choice between water and power for crops and local businesses or for an NSA facility, who would get the water? Do people think the farmers and other business would win on this one, or the NSA?
Activist have crafted a law for Utah and other states that would prevent a state from participating in providing resources to federal agencies that violate the 4th Amendment. The law would have to be introduced into state legislatures, and obviously the focus here is on the Utah State legislature.
There is no legal requirement for a state to cooperate with the federal government. As the Tenth Amendment Center states,
This is based on the undisputed legal doctrine of “anti-commandeering.” The federal government has no power to require states to help the feds carry out federal acts or programs in any way.
The Supreme Court affirmed this in these cases: 1842 Prigg, 1997 Printz, 2002 New York, and 2012 Sebelius.
James Madison, writing in Federalist #46, said that states had “powerful means” to oppose either unconstitutional or “unpopular” federal programs. Included was a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union.”
The group also has a Youtube video that gives a quick overview. The facility in Maryland is maxed out. Stopping the Utah facility may only postpone the construction of another facility. However, this will give legislators time to act on legislation.