“No great project was every proposed in the interest of the great unorganized public that groups of wealth seeking special privilege do not oppose it with a desire to divert the benefits for their personal gain.”
Burdett Moody, the Boulder Dam Association, 1923.
The Boulder, now Hoover, Dam faced intense opposition by private utility companies and the Chandler family that owned the Los Angeles Times and also large landholdings in Mexico that relied on Colorado River water. The utilities had been at war with advocates of public power for decades. Proposals to build the dam included the sale of publicly generated hydroelectric power to pay for it.
Today, the Hoover Dam generates, on average, about 4 billion kilowatt-hours of publicly generated hydroelectric power each year for use in Nevada, Arizona, and California - enough to serve 1.3 million people.