News Worth Noting, DC edition: House Committee passes HR2898 – Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015; Huffman introduces crowd-sourced drought legislation; CA Senators introduce Lake Tahoe Restoration Act; House Committee passes wildfire legislation
Committee Passes Legislation to Alleviate Drought Impacts in California and the West: Today, the Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 2898, the Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015 with a bipartisan vote of 23-12. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) commented upon the Committee vote: “Californians and Westerners are victims of baneful man-made environmental laws which are intensifying their suffering from the drought. They need our help. H.R. 2898, the Western Water and American Food Security Act, comes to their aid by fixing the broken regulatory system and bringing water infrastructure into the 21st century. H.R. 2898 rightfully puts people and their livelihoods above extremist ideology and outdated, cumbersome water regulations and laws. I applaud Rep. Valadao (R-CA) for his leadership on H.R. 2898 and eagerly anticipate the U.S. House of Representatives passing the legislation as soon as possible,” Chairman Bishop said. “Droughts are nature’s fault; water shortages are our fault,” said Rep. McClintock (R-CA). “For a generation, we have failed to build the facilities needed to store water from wet years to have it in dry ones and radical environmental laws have squandered the water we did store. Our water shortage is caused by a shortage of sensible water policy. This bill begins fixing that.” … ” Read more from the House Committee on Natural Resources here: Committee Passes Legislation to Alleviate Drought Impacts in California and the West
Rep. Huffman opposes divisive, cynical House Republican water bill: “Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), Ranking Democrat on the Water, Power, and Oceans Subcommittee today led the effort to oppose a divisive, flawed, and cynical House Republican water bill that does not create new water and would do nothing to alleviate the effects of California’s record drought. Huffman offered a series of amendments to protect salmon fishing jobs, to protect tribal jobs, to protect water deliveries on the Trinity River and Humboldt county and downstream interests, and to support the San Joaquin River restoration settlement, which ended years of litigation, and was supported by farmers, the Bush administration, the state of California, and a coalition of environmental, fishing, and downstream interests. “This bill is a warmed-over redux of the same divisive, partisan legislation that has gotten us nowhere for years,” Huffman said. “Let’s stop the political theater and get serious about solving problems and responding to the Western drought.” … ” Continue reading from Rep. Huffman here: Rep. Huffman opposes divisive, cynical House Republican water bill
After Unprecedented Public Input, Rep. Jared Huffman Introduces Final “Crowdsourced” Drought Response Legislation: “Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) , who serves as the Ranking Democrat on the Water, Power, and Oceans Subcommittee, today introduced comprehensive legislation to respond to the worst drought in California state history. Last month, Huffman unveiled the draft legislation to the public and asked Californians to share comments and ideas to incorporate in the bill. The bill Huffman introduced in the House today, the Drought Relief and Resilience Act, reflects the feedback of nearly 1,000 Californians from San Diego to Crescent City, Fresno to San Francisco, as well as farmers, environmentalists, fishermen, urban and rural Californians, and water managers throughout the country. The legislation includes a range of short- and long-term solutions to stretch water supplies and build new clean water infrastructure, creating jobs without undermining environmental protections, preempting state laws, or redirecting impacts from one drought-stricken area to another. As a result of this significant public outreach, the Drought Relief and Resilience Act now includes significant technical changes and improvements throughout. The bill also features an entirely new section that will help homeowners weather the drought and reduce their water bills by providing a $2,000 tax credit for the purchase and installation of water-capture and harvesting systems. … ” Read more from Rep. Huffman here: After Unprecedented Public Input, Rep. Jared Huffman Introduces Final “Crowdsourced” Drought Response Legislation
California, Nevada senators introduce Lake Tahoe Restoration Act: “Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today joined Senators Dean Heller (R-Nev.) Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in introducing the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act of 2015. The bipartisan legislation was crafted to protect the Lake Tahoe region by improving water clarity, reducing wildfire threat, jumpstarting innovative transportation and infrastructure projects and combating invasive species. “Lake Tahoe is an awe-inspiring natural wonder, and I can think of no other place that is as worthy, or in as much need, of our protection,” Senator Feinstein said. “My fondest memories from childhood are bicycling around the lake, exploring the backcountry by horse and taking in the views at Emerald Bay. Since then I’ve seen pollution and sedimentation reduce its famous water clarity, the threat of wildfires grow and invasive species wreak havoc.” … ” Continue reading at Senator Feinstein’s website here: California, Nevada senators introduce Lake Tahoe Restoration Act
House passes bipartisan legislation to address catastrophic wildfire; end fire borrowing: “Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2647, the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 with bipartisan support by a vote of 262-167. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR), the chief sponsor of the legislation, supported by 175 forestry, labor, wildlife and water groups, issued the following statements upon final passage. “The verdict is in. The draconian environmental policies and litigation assaults of the past thirty years have failed our forests. Horrific wildfires are running rampant in our National Forest System. H.R. 2647 gives the Forest Service the resources it needs to suppress these devastating wildfires and gives them the tools they need to prevent fires before they start,” stated Chairman Bishop. “I am proud of Rep. Westerman and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their advancement of H.R. 2647, a bill which makes enormous progress toward restoring the health of our treasured national forests.” … “ Read more from the House Natural Resources Committee here: House passes bipartisan legislation to address catastrophic wildfire; end fire borrowing
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About News Worth Noting: News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations. News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms. If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.