U.S. Representative Tom McClintock (CA-04 Granite Bay) the ranking member of the House Water and Power Subcommittee today called for a Congressional field hearing on California’s water crisis.
The full text of the letter to House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall and House Water and Power Subcommittee Chairwoman Grace Napolitano requesting the hearing is attached.
Text of letter requesting hearing:
October 26, 2009
Chairman Nick Rahall
House Natural Resources Committee
Chairwoman Grace Napolitano
House Water and Power Subcommittee
I write to respectfully request that the House Water and Power Subcommittee hold a field hearing in California to resolve the water crisis impacting the San Joaquin Valley, all of California, and our nationwide food supply. This letter follows two attached earlier requests from our colleagues that have been met with silence.
The Natural Resources Committee has held just one oversight hearing this year on California-specific water issues. That hearing precluded testimony from non-governmental witnesses, which is why many of our colleagues asked for a field hearing which could have included testimony from impacted farming operations, small businesses, individuals and environmental groups. Further, the only recent opportunity to hold a hearing on the matter is being supplanted with a hearing on water data management.
Meanwhile, this government’s decision to divert hundreds of billions of gallons of water has led to massive unemployment for tens of thousands of families, fallowing on an unprecedented scale, and imported food supplies from China to what used to be the breadbasket of America. The situation remains unacceptable and has many wondering if Congress has abdicated its responsibility while communities face economic extinction.
The time to act was quite a few months ago, but Congress can still seize the opportunity in time for next year’s planting season. A hearing should include diversified testimony and the goal should be immediate solutions to bring the unemployed back to work by delivering water once again to the fields. It is simply wrong to waste any more time on stifling meaningful action to bring 40,000 people back to work. I stand ready to work with you on this vitally important effort. I look forward to your response.