ICYMI: Simpson Takes Every Opportunity to Protect Idaho Water

Posted on 04/01/14 in Uncategorized, No Comments

Washington, D.C – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson hosted leaders of the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) in two hearings before the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee to discuss Fiscal Year 2015 budget issues.  Simpson, who chairs the subcommittee, oversees the budgets for the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation.

Testifying for the Army Corps of Engineers was Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy and Chief of Engineers Lieutenant General Thomas Bostick.  Acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley testified for the Bureau of Reclamation.

Regarding the navigable waters rule, Simpson said, “It is stunning to me that the Administration claims this proposed rule is supported by science, but that’s hard to believe when you look at the sequence of events.” After the hearing, Simpson said, “The Obama Administration clearly wants to use its regulatory agenda to control every drop of water in the country. This is completely unacceptable and an infringement on state rights.”

In the Bureau of Reclamation hearing, Simpson talked about maintaining aging water infrastructure with flat budgets, future year planning, and BOR’s work with the Corps to study the possibility of increasing water storage at the Ririe Reservoir in Bonneville County, Idaho. “It would seem we—the executive branch and legislative branch together—have some tough decisions to make,” said Simpson.  “Either we reevaluate the number and breadth of actions we promise to deliver or, if these really are strong national priorities compared to national priorities in other policy areas, we figure out a way to better reflect that in Reclamation’s budget.”

In the Army Corps hearing, Simpson also expressed concern that the Administration has not been following congressional direction in implementing the civil works program.