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Balance of politics shifts on agriculture 

Walden, Herger should be motivated to follow lead of Hastings, McClintock 


Guest writer Tom Mallams for Herald and News 1/9/11 


     The political climate in Washington, D.C., is looking much brighter with the improved positive results of the November elections. The balance of power in Congress now has a noticeable conservative leadership in the natural resources arena. This has the promise of benefiting the agricultural community.

   U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings from Central Washington will chair the full Congressional Committee on Natural Resources. U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock from Northern California has been selected to chair the Sub-Committee on Water and Power.

   Both congressmen have been vocal opponents against the liberal, ill-conceived agendas within the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, and the Klamath dam removal agreement — the Klamath Hydro Settlement Agreement (KHSA).  

   These documents, if implemented, will affect water rights laws throughout Oregon.

   Oregon U.S. Rep. Greg Walden and California’s U.S. Rep. Wally Herger should be motivated to follow the conservative leadership of Hastings and McClintock, especially concerning the natural resource issues of the KBRA and KHSA.

   A powerful, united force

   A united conservative block of Northwest congressman would certainly be a powerful, influential force in Washington, D.C., not only in defeating the KBRA and KHSA, but influencing other issues relevant to the survival of irrigated agriculture in our Basin.

   Other issues would include completing the Oregon adjudication process, actually implementing meaningful deep water storage, not just studying it and allowing others to deem it unfeasible. The liberal agendas attempting to de-water agriculture ground throughout our entire nation has to be stopped.

   Do the citizens of the Klamath River Basin desire a balanced solution to the many water issues? Absolutely! Are they willing to sacrifice four existing hydroelectric producing dams on the Klamath River, give control of the water in the Klamath Basin to the federal government and giving 92,000 acres of forest land to a sovereign nation within our nation? Absolutely not. The recent elections within the Klamath River Basin prove this beyond any doubt.

   The financial bonanza, included in the KBRA and KHSA for billionaire Warren Buffett and his PacifiCorp, are already being paid for by the ratepayers and, ultimately, the taxpayers as well.

   The list of rate increases being sought after by PacifiCorp seems like a Christmas shopping spree. Only difference is that this list will go on forever.

   Never-ending increases

   This never-ending list of power rate increases sought after by Buffett and his PacifiCorp is being granted one after another by the Public Utility Commission, which serves our governor at his “discretion.”

   These rate increases are sought after to pay for, among other items, destroying some dams, while relicensing others.

   This sounds much like California’s former Governor Schwarzenegger’s attempted massive water bond, which included funding for destroying existing Klamath River dams and building other dams in other parts of the state.  

   Will the national political climate now take on the semblance of common sense, accountability and the will of the people?

   I have high hopes and expectations for the more balanced local, state and federal powers that are now taking office. I pray we are not heading for disappointment once again by those who will not take a stand against out-of-control big government and liberal agendas.  



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