Kern congressmen demand documents from federal government on drought

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — As California grapples with a third year of drought, a new statewide survey shows water issues are a priority for residents. This comes as our congressmen in Kern speak out and demand more information from the Department of the Interior.

On Wednesday, Kern Congressmen Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) and David Valadao (R-Hanford) sent a letter to the Secretary of the Interior requesting documents related to his 2019 bio-advisory review. determined that the operations of the Central Valley Project and the California State Water Project did not put endangered species at risk.

Valadao noted that if the review ends in a reversal of the decision, it would be detrimental to our local economy and farmers in the valley.

It comes as a new survey by the Public Policy Institute found that 30% of Californians surveyed ranked drought and water as the most pressing environmental issues – ranking above wildfires and the climate change.

Our two members of Congress have been outspoken on this issue in the House in recent weeks. Just before the August recess, the House passed a wildfire and drought bill, which Valadao and McCarthy said didn’t go far enough.

“The majority has decided that they would rather play politics with the most critical resource in the valley,” Valadao said. “Apparently passing political messaging bills to tick a box is more important to my fellow Democrats than trying to save the livelihoods of thousands of Valley farmers who are trying to put food on the table of Americans across the country.”

Valadao proposed four amendments to the bill which were defeated, including extending the WIIN law to deal with water storage. McCarthy’s amendment to restore clean water to a community in Tulare County passed.

Betty K. Park