WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley released the following statement in advance of a meeting tomorrow on Klamath water legislation. Sens. Wyden and Merkley sought this meeting to discuss what it would take to see action in the House before the end of the year. At the beginning of this Congress, Wyden and Merkley reintroduced legislation that passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee with bipartisan support last year. Congressman Walden stated in October he was planning to introduce companion legislation in the House.
“Time is of the essence to ensure long-term water certainty for the Klamath Basin. An extraordinary coalition of farmers, ranchers, tribes, and advocates has come together in this region to set aside longstanding divisions and work toward a better future. Even more impressively, they have stuck together through repeated water shortages when they could have easily broken apart and fought each other for limited water resources instead,” Wyden and Merkley said.
“We’ve been working for years to realize the vision and validate the extraordinary efforts of the stakeholders, but this groundbreaking work is at risk if Congress does not act before the end of the year when the agreements expire. We sought this meeting to discuss how together the House and Senate can get this critical legislation completed this year, and we look forward to hearing the House members’ views about how we can get it done.”
The meeting includes members who represent the Klamath Basin including the Oregon Senators, Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) and Jared Huffman (D-CA), and key House leaders including Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Federal Lands Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA).