CA GOP cheers federal support for new water bills

 

Central California residents, long hoping for federal water reform, have begun to see some movement from Washington. 

Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., has rolled out language designed to “build on last year’s legislation that was loved by farmers and loathed by environmentalists,” as McClatchy reported. “The bill scales back an ambitious San Joaquin River restoration program, speeds completion of California dam feasibility studies and locks in certain water deliveries to Sacramento Valley irrigation districts, among other things. Parts of the bill would not have been accepted by the Obama administration, but the Trump team is different.”

“Valadao put the ball back in play on the first day of the new Congress, the start of his third term representing a district that spans Kings County and portions of Fresno, Kern and Tulare counties,” the wire added. “Thirteen House co-sponsors joined him on a 125-page bill dubbed the Gaining Responsibility on Water Act.”

“With that leadership including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, relatively expeditious House action could happen even in the face of resistance from Northern California lawmakers. The Senate, as always, will be much trickier, with California’s freshman Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris still building her staff and formulating the role she wants to play.”

Rain pain

Soaked from a surprisingly intense rainy season, the state’s attitude toward water has had to shift accordingly after years spent struggling with severe drought. Years of inattention to problems associated with a surge of rain, rather than a deficit, have led to costly embarrassments. “California faces an estimated $50 billion price tag for roads, dams and other infrastructure threatened by floods such as the one that severely damaged Oroville Dam last month,” the Associated Press reported

“Damage to California’s highways is estimated at nearly $600 million. More than 14,000 people in San Jose were forced to evacuate last month and floods shut down a portion of a major freeway. In the Yosemite Valley, only one of three main routes into the national park’s major attraction is open because of damage or fear the roads could give out from cracks and seeping water, rangers said. On central California’s rain-soaked coast, a bridge in Big Sur has crumbled beyond repair, blocking passage on the north-south Highway 1 through the tourist destination for up to a year.”

But for farmers and Southern Californians, who need sometimes wasted Northern California rain to alleviate their still relatively parched conditions, insult has been added to infrastructure injury: “While the northern half of the state is looking good, its central and southern portions — harder hit by the drought — are still struggling,” CropLife noted. “At presstime on the Central Coast, one key reservoir was 80 percent full — at the height of the drought it had fallen to 30 percent; another has reached 28 percent of capacity, up from a low of 6 percent.” 

More bipartisanship

Although California’s GOP delegation to Congress has been able to better position itself as more responsive to thirsty Golden Staters than Sacramento Democrats, they haven’t been alone in crafting new legislation. At least one bipartisan effort has come together. “On Friday, Northern California Representatives Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., and John Garamendi, D-Calif., announced the introduction of H.R. 1269, which will accelerate the federal review of Sites Reservoir and better position the project for funding under Proposition 1, the voter-approved California water bond designed to make the state’s water systems more resilient,” Lake County News observed. “The bill also authorizes the federal government to participate in construction of the project should it be found feasible.”

At the end of his term in office, outgoing president Barack Obama signed landmark water legislation supported by California Republicans in the House and by Sen. Feinstein but vociferously opposed by retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer. “In a nod to criticism by California Sen. Barbara Boxer and other Democrats, Obama said in a statement that ‘I interpret and understand’ the new law to ‘require continued application and implementation of the Endangered Species Act,'” as KQED recalled. That bill rerouted more water from the Delta and the San Francisco Bay into the state’s interior and south. 

7 comments

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  1. Standing Fast
    Standing Fast 9 March, 2017, 16:52

    It would be a step in the right direction if people could differentiate between a real problem and a political ideology.

    The natural world exists independently from environmentalists and jack-booted Climate Change fanatics. While I have long (since I was about eleven, that would be 1962) been a conservative conservation-minded environmentalist (Teddy Roosevelt was my hero), I have ALWAYS opposed leftist methods for solving the problems of the world.

    Because of this, I think it is too bad that the water problems mentioned in this article are not really being dealt with as they should. There really is a Middle Way where everyone would have a portion of the water that is available, and nobody would suffer like they have been. The real winner would be the natural world, which we destroy at our peril.

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  2. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 9 March, 2017, 22:04

    All this plans to remove dams is all part of the radicals WILDLANDS PROJECT by certian persons like Dave Foreman of Earthfirst as well as UNESCO and several other factors and that the fact Hitler was a big supporter of enviromentalism and a wildlands enthusists as well

    Reply this comment
  3. Ghettoman
    Ghettoman 10 March, 2017, 14:23

    Why is the idiot Brown insisting on a stupid train that benefits no one and costs more than a plane fare? This huge amount of money should be used to obtain more water holding capability in this state than wasting it on a boondoggle. I hope Trump stops the fed money for this idiotic program that is a vast waste of money and time. Our problem is not one of transportation but of a lack of water. Purely simple. This drought has been with us for years yet Brown has done nothing to alleviate it. The amount of water going out into the Pacific from these last storms has been estimated at up to 40% of the needed water for the state for this year. Hello? Why cant these idiots plan for the future and build more water holding reservoirs and expand the ones we have now (along with making them safe) and keep the water in our state for our needs? Obviously the Brown regime is not really interested in our water needs but just getting us stoned and giving our money to illegals. Welcome to the third world order.

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  4. Standing Fast
    Standing Fast 10 March, 2017, 18:53

    Superwing: A long time ago, I told somebody that Beethoven was my favorite composer. He said, “Wasn’t he a Nazi?” I said, “I don’t see how, he died long before Hitler was born.” He said, “Well, they liked his music.” I said, “That doesn’t make Beethoven a Nazi.” Don’t confuse causes with effects.

    Ghettoman: I think you have hit the nail on the head regarding Brown and the Third World Order. More or less, at least. Now, if California secedes, which do you think is more likely to happen: it becomes an independent Libertarian republic; it becomes an independent Progressive republic; it becomes a satellite state of an evil megalomaniac’s dream of world conquest; it becomes part of Mexico again; or other.

    Reply this comment
  5. Bud
    Bud 13 March, 2017, 10:16

    Isn’t this a form of federal welfare addiction for Ca.?
    All literate english language speaking citizens should invest 20 minutes of their lives in watching this video,copy and paste into your address bar and enter;
    https://youtu.be/EEnLy-HNBLU

    Reply this comment
  6. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 13 March, 2017, 13:23

    They need to start releasing a few cougars,bears and wolves into some urban areas or big cities so the ignorant flatlanders can get a look at real wildlife and not the hollywood kind

    Reply this comment
  7. Weatherguesser
    Weatherguesser 20 March, 2017, 16:04

    What I see is massive Government malfeasance at all levels. Back in 2014 we, the voters of California, voted for a massive $7.13 Billion bond issue for water infrastructure improvements. It is increasingly apparent that NONE of that has been spent as intended. Oroville Dam is the tip of the iceberg — wait until the spring melt after this year’s record snow accumulation, when they’ll be releasing massive amounts of water to avoid overtopping more dams. Some of the dams will be facing the same problems as Oroville, and the levee system in the Sacramento Delta will probably fail again. Meanwhile, trillions of gallons of water are running down the rivers into the ocean, rather than being stored for use by CA farmers. And the money that was supposed to fix the situation is nowhere to be found — probably diverted into Moonbeam’s Train to Nowhere or into the hands of various cronies of powerful members of the Legislature. Our government is killing our state!

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