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Federal Court Eviscerates Obama Water Policy

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Washington, September 22, 2011 | Andrew House (202-225-2523) | comments

Today, Rep. Devin Nunes called on House leaders to use Congressional Oversight authority to investigate the abuses of the Department of Interior in light of a recent court ruling calling into question the integrity and leadership of the department.

“The House should open an immediate investigation into the actions of Secretary Salazar and others at Interior in relation to California water policy. The recent U.S. District Court Ruling, citing illegal actions and abuse of power on the part of Interior, must be addressed,” said Rep. Nunes.

Despite a bruising court ruling that eviscerated the scientific basis for the Obama Administration’s Delta policies, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar remains committed to reducing California’s water supply. In a recent speech before the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, the Secretary re-affirmed his agency’s vision for California, which is projected to dry up hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland in the San Joaquin Valley.

“As one of the masterminds of unprecedented water shortages in California, Salazar has helped transform his agency into one that threatens the water supplies of communities rather than one that offers them water security.  His remarks at the Commonwealth Club were dishonest and entirely political. They had no basis in reality and have sidelined the Secretary’s credibility, to the extent there was any left, in the House of Representatives,” said Rep. Nunes.

During his remarks at the Commonwealth Club, Salazar attempted to frame his actions as visionary and collaborative. The Secretary also associated his efforts to reduce California’s fresh water supply with those of the men and women who built California’s enormous state and federal water projects. In a letter transmitted to the Secretary today, Nunes noted that “under your leadership, the Department of Interior has systematically attacked the very infrastructure you praise.”

Congressman Nunes is the author of the San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act and has championed reforms needed to protect California’s water supply from zealots described by the U.S. District Court as “deceptive and unscientific.”
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