Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on California water negotiations:
“I understand that late Thursday night a drought bill was proposed as an addition to the omnibus. I am told it was proposed in my name, which I did not approve. This is regrettable, not only because I believe we remain close to an agreement on a broader bill, but also because it stands in opposition to my desire to do a bill in an open and public manner.
“House and Senate Democrats and Republicans have worked for months on new bill language that would address the differences between bills in both chambers. We have made significant progress toward a compromise bill that would include both long-term investments and short-term operations language to take advantage of El Nino, all in a manner consistent with environmental laws and biological opinions. But significant issues remain.
“California water is among the most difficult challenges I have worked on. These issues are complicated, highly technical and affect every person in a state of 38 million. I understand the urgency to pass a bill. We can’t let that foil good policy. In addition, it is important to vet the compromise language with Governor Brown’s administration, federal agencies, water districts, environmental groups and numerous other stakeholders, following regular order.
“At the end of the day, this is about doing the right thing for California. Many communities have gone without running water for months. The state has experienced one of its worst fire seasons in decades. Hundreds of thousands of acres of farm land have been fallowed. We can’t afford to let this effort fail.”