Washington, D.C. – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, today released a statement on how the House Republican continuing resolution could compound California’s water problems.
The continuing resolution, which would fund the government through fiscal year 2011, would defund three key initiatives in California:
- The bill would defund the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, an agreement negotiated by the Bush Administration that implements a court-ordered settlement that ended 18 years of litigation.
- The bill would cut funding from the Central Valley Project Restoration Fund, which is used to improve water quality and restore habitat for fish and waterfowl.
- The bill would defund implementation of the Biological Opinions on the Delta Smelt and salmon, leading to uncertainty and possible litigation.
Following is Senator Feinstein’s statement:
“House Republicans seem to think there are simple solutions to California’s water problems. That just isn’t the case. Their idea to defund the San Joaquin River settlement, approved after 18 years of litigation, would likely send California back to the courtroom.
“The language on biological opinions is even worse. House Republicans would leave intact legal requirements to protect endangered species, while at the same time defunding the federal government’s ability to comply with that law.
“Water pumped out of the Delta is shared by federal and state water users. The bill’s language would prohibit federal users from limiting their share, so state users—including Southern California farmers and cities—could be forced to give up a significant portion of their water supply to compensate.
These are complex problems, and they require nuanced solutions. These broad-brush strokes do nothing to help us.”