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U.S. Department of the Interior Debunks Feinstein's Claim Senate Bill Increases Pumping

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Washington, February 24, 2016 | Anna R. Vetter ((202) 815-1685) | comments
On Wednesday, February 24, 2016, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans held a hearing to review federal regulations exacerbating California’s drought crisis despite the fact that El Niño is providing significant precipitation in the region.
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WASHINGTON - On Wednesday, February 24, 2016, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans held a hearing to review federal regulations exacerbating California’s drought crisis despite the fact that El Niño is providing significant precipitation in the region.

The hearing focused on the continuing drought in California, its impacts on both a state and national scale, and Congressional action that could provide a solution while alleviating current suffering. One specific solution discussed was legislation introduced by U.S. Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-21), H.R. 2898, the Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015.

Members of the Subcommittee asked General Manager of the Westlands Water District, Mr. Tom Birmingham, what impact the Valadao Bill would have made on the current situation had it been enacted in 2015. Mr. Birmingham responded saying, “If that bill had been enacted, of the 500 thousand acre feet of water that was lost compared to the water rights decision 1641, we would have been able to capture at least 200 acre feet of that water.”

In contrast, when Members asked Mr. David Murillo, Regional Director of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, what operational changes would have been made in 2016 should Senator Feinstein’s drought legislation been enacted, Mr. Murillo stated, “It probably wouldn’t change our operations.” 
 

Watch the remarks by clicking on the button above. You can also watch the entire House Natural Resources Committee hearing here.

H.R. 2898, the Western Water and American Food Security Act was passed by the United States House of Representatives on Thursday, July 16, 2015 by a vote of 245 - 176. Despite bipartisan support in the House, California Senators Boxer and Feinstein refuse to consider the legislation in the Senate.

More information about the Western Water and American Food Security Act can be found here.

Congressman David G. Valadao represents the 21st Congressional District, which includes Kings County and portions of Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties.
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U.S. Congressman David G. Valadao

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