Friday, June 22, 2007

Oregon Oasis Bill Passed in State House: Update -- Governor Threatens Veto

The Oregonian reports that
"Governor Ted Kulongoski threatened Friday to veto a bill that would allow eastern Oregon to draw more water from the Columbia River. "Kulongoski's note to Senate President Peter Courtney -- one of only a few veto threats issued session -- called House Bill 3525 'a gross violation' of an obligation to Oregon's neighboring states to not reduce river flows. "Withdrawing the water, he said, could 'trigger lawsuits under the federal endangered species act' and overturn 'over 15 years of protection of listed salmon and steelhead stocks' in the river." Politics Updates
"The Oregon House Thursday night approved a high priority measure for rural eastern Oregon that would allow the diversion of an additional 500,000 acre feet of water from the Columbia River during the summer irrigation season. Known as the Oregon Oasis Project, the measure, House Bill 3525, would bypass a rule adopted by the state in the 1990s that limits new diversions of Columbia water between April and September to ensure adequate water levels for endangered salmon and other fish."