March 25, 2014
Today, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power held an oversight hearing examining the spending priorities outlined in the President’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget request for the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs), and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Water program.
The hearing highlighted the importance of charting a roadmap to abundance by calling for the restoration of federal policies that aimed at increasing water and power supplies, and ending recurrent catastrophic drought. The hearing also reiterated the continued need for reliable, emissions-free, and relatively low cost hydropower for the millions of consumers that receive electricity generated at federal dams and reservoirs.
“Despite our continued efforts to bring Reclamation back to its core mission of supplying abundant and reliable water and power supplies, the 2015 budget request appears to be a wish list of programs designed to reduce human consumption, ration shrinking supplies, and resign ourselves to accepting frequent and catastrophic droughts. I doubt anyone here needs a reminder that this is an issue in California that we have dealt with exhaustively, but the reality is, long term solutions can only be found by expanding supply through multi-purpose facilities.” said Subcommittee on Water and Power Chairman Tom McClintock (CA-04).
The Obama Administration proposes policies that continue to facilitate man-made water shortages. This leads to high unemployment; increased water, energy, and food prices; and unnecessary taxpayer spending. Environmental litigation, costly mandates, and other factors have caused Reclamation to stray from its traditional focus of building multi-purpose projects and delivering traditional water and power supplies.
“Water storage has been and is the key to prosperity for the West. There is an appetite for more. Local, state and federal partners have formed the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project Working Group in my district to increase water supplies for farmers, fish and municipalities in the region. This includes the much-needed expansion of water storage to overcome future droughts,” said House Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04).
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