Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oregon State Senator Considers Selling Columbia Water to California

The East Oregonian reports that state Senator David Nelson made the suggestion while addressing the Rotary Club in Pendleton. Quoting the paper:
Nelson said he tends to look at Oregon's natural resources in trying to figure out how to pay for state programs. He said 90 percent of Oregon timber is off limits for harvesting, in explaining why he considers selling "surplus" Columbia River water.

In discussion with members of the audience, Nelson acknowledged more questions than answers on his idea. He said he knew of no precedents for such a sale of water. He mentioned that Oregon's ownership of the Columbia River extends to halfway across the channel. Among ways of getting water from the Columbia to the Southwest: a pipeline and/or rail cars.