News Line – November 21, 2014
Read the latest news about issues affecting agriculture and farm water in California.
No Coalition Responses Today
From: Michael Doyle, McClatchy DC
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California on Thursday pulled the plug on secret, high-stakes negotiations over a water bill for her drought-plagued state, saying she and fellow lawmakers will try again next year.
Feinstein’s unexpected move ends, for now, what had become an increasingly contentious fight over ambitious drought-fighting legislation whose details few people have seen.
From: Kevin Freking, Associated Press
Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Thursday that congressional efforts to provide drought relief to Central Valley farmers and communities are dead for the year. She vowed to try again in 2015, but the outcome could be even less certain because Republicans will control both houses of Congress after they retook the Senate in this month’s midterm elections.
“Although we have made progress, it has become clear that we will be unable to present an agreed-upon proposal before Congress adjourns this year,” Feinstein said in a statement.
From: Kitty Felde, KPCC
After months of secret negotiations and without a single public hearing, a bill that would have built dams and reservoirs in California – and rolled back environmental laws – has been shelved. At least for now.
California’s record drought prompted both the House and Senate to pass their own version of water bills. The House version – cosponsored by the entire CA GOP delegation – would roll back environmental protections and rewrite water contracts.
From: Allison Floyd, Growing Georgia
A drought in California could lead farmers in the Southeast to consider new crops, a Georgia horticulturalist says.”Some of the larger vegetable growers in Georgia, particularly eastern Georgia, are being asked by their buyers to diversify,” said Tim Coolong, a vegetable specialist with the Extension Service. “The primary driver is concerns over water in California.”
From: Cary Blake, Western Farm Press
All California farmers and water districts want for Christmas this year is a slow, rainy winter – with perhaps a timely rain tucked in the stocking hanging from the fireplace.While the winter rain scenario will be determined in the weeks and months ahead, three California agricultural water leaders have plenty to say about the California drought, and how the lack of moisture from the sky and regulator intervention on the environment have placed farmers in financially perilous situations.