Tuesday, January 8, 2013

All eyes in Klamath Basin are on Congress

The irrigation districts, tribes and other parties that voted to extend the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement are hoping Congress will at least debate the issue this year, their representatives said.

Greg Addington, executive director of the Klamath Water Users Association, said he hopes hearings will be held so that people with differing views can air them in public.

“Congress hasn't debated the issue,” he said. “We want to see that happen. We want parties who are proponents and opponents to be on record and talk about their concern … We don't know what's going to happen, if they're going to pass legislation or do anything, but I know nothing is going to happen if it just dies.”

Addington and others are placing some of their hopes with Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who will chair the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Wyden has already been talking with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., about Klamath issues and reaching out to committee chairs in the House, spokesman Keith Chu said.

“He's gratified that all of the stakeholders were willing to recommit to those principles while understanding the political challenges we continue to face,” Chu said.

However, Chu was noncommittal when asked whether Wyden planned to hold hearings or shepherd new legislation through the Senate.

For my complete overview of how the Klamath signatories view their projects chances of moving forward in the coming year, check CapitalPress.com soon.

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