Your busy congressional reps

H.R. 1837 may reappear in an omnibus energy/land use bill being introduced by Senator Orin Hatch (R-Utah).  The omnibus bill will include several bills that have passed the House over the last year but have stalled in the Senate due to Democratic opposition.

Also in Washington D.C., the Senate appropriations committee is set to approve a funding bill that would include money for the Interior Department to prepare plans to boost water deliveries and storage in the Central Valley.  The plans might include streamlined environmental reviews.  This will do some of what H.R. 1837 has tried to do with water exports, but without tinkering with the San Joaquin River restoration plan, irrigation contracts, or existing environmental laws.

Word has it that one of the ways Interior could try to boost water deliveries is by changing forest management practices to increase runoff.  This means clearcutting to reduce water retention in the trees and soil and is only a short term gain in terms of water supply.  It also means the runoff will be laden with sediment.

When will Congress learn that you cannot fix one regions’ problems by destroying another?

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