Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Lawmaker to chair water subcommittee
McClintock could head KBRA hearings
by Ty Beaver, Herald and News 12/31/10
A vocal opponent of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement is now the chairman of a congressional subcommittee that could have hearings on the landmark agreement if it comes before federal lawmakers in the next session.
California Republican Congressman Tom McClintock’s office declined to comment on whether the House Subcommittee on Water and Power would conduct hearings on the KBRA.
An opponent of the document said he viewed McClintock ’s appointment as a positive. One of the KBRA’s supporters acknowledged the congressman’s position could pose a challenge, but it’s one supporters are prepared to face.
“I don’t think it’s all bad,” said Greg Addington, executive director of Klamath Water Users Association. “We have farmers in the Klamath (Reclamation) Project who are his constituents. That’s good.”
McClintock served as the ranking Republican on the subcommittee in the previous congressional session. The subcommittee is involved in all aspects of shaping federal policies for water and power management, including having jurisdiction over the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. That federal agency is in charge of the Project.
“The Water and Power Subcommittee can shape policy that is of critical importance…” McClintock said in a press release. “By returning to time-tested priorities of water storage, flood protection and hydroelectric generation we can strengthen our economy, create conditions for permanent and productive jobs and protect the environment. Restoring these policies will be a major focus of the subcommittee.”
McClintock has spoken in the past of his opposition to the KBRA, specifically to its advocacy for removal of four privately-owned hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River.
Tom Mallams, an irrigator off the Project who also is a vocal opponent of the KBRA, said McClintock’s appointment could benefit opponents who want to see changes made to the KBRA before its implemented.
“There’s a lot of problems with it,” Mallams said.
Addington said supporters of the KBRA expected there to be hurdles in getting federal legislation and funding to implement the agreement and McClintock’s appointment wasn’t surprising given his past role within the subcommittee.
Page Updated: Saturday January 01, 2011 03:55 AM Pacific
Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2010, All Rights Reserved