Republicans send letter expressing ‘grave concerns’ over reconsideration of water policy
- August 9, 2022
Charles Whisnand, Porterville Recorder
On Monday, Republican members of Congress continued their fight when it comes to the biological opinions that help determine water deliveries from the federal Central Valley Project and State Water Project, sending a letter to Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland expressing their “grave concerns” over the process to reconsider those biological opinions.
The California Republican Congressional delegation said the reconsultation process of 2019 biological opinions developed by the Trump administration will decrease the amount of water delivered to the San Joaquin Valley. In February, 2020, then-U.S. Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt and President Trump came to Bakersfield to sign a Presidential Memorandum for the 2019 biological opinions that would lead to more water being diverted to the Central Valley.
But last October President Joe Biden’s administration took action to reconsider those biological opinions, placing on hold the Trump policy.
The Republican delegation claims their could be potential ethics violations by Department of Interior officials when it comes to the reconsideration process. They said they’ve requested documents to determine if outside groups and individuals have placed under political influence on the department in an effort to cancel the biological opinions.