Trump backs water tasks in U.S. West as election nears By EconomySquare
By Timothy Gardner and Jeff Mason
WASHINGTON/SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Friday threw his assist behind rushing up water tasks for agriculture and hydropower within the arid U.S. West, a transfer aimed to assist construct assist for Republicans in tight congressional races in subsequent month’s midterm elections.
Trump signed a presidential memorandum that directs Inside Secretary Ryan Zinke and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to “reduce regulatory burdens” and expedite environmental critiques for tasks within the West that present water for farmers and energy era.
Water wars have divided the West for many years. The provides have been fought over by cities, which are typically largely populated by Democrats, and agricultural pursuits, which are likely to lean Republican. As well as, Trump’s push for water tasks is aimed to win over voters within the area who oppose his crackdown on immigrants.
“For decades burdensome federal regulations have made it extremely difficult and expensive to build and maintain federal water projects,” Trump mentioned on the signing of the memo. “Some of the best farmland in the world, by the way, can’t be used because they don’t have water, but they actually have a lot of water.”
California fishermen have been anticipated to oppose any rest of guidelines that shield populations of salmon and different fish.
Alongside Trump on the Scottsdale memo signing have been Republican U.S. representatives from California Jeff Denham, Devin Nunes and Kevin McCarthy, the Home majority chief. The memo permits the lawmakers to inform voters they pushed Trump to assist water infrastructure.
It directs Zinke to submit assessments on wildlife at California’s Central Valley Challenge and the California State Water Challenge by Jan. 21, 2019.
David Bernhardt, the 49-year-old deputy secretary of the U.S. Inside Division, and a former lobbyist for water pursuits within the West, advised reporters in a teleconference that Trump’s directive “might be the most significant action taken by a president on western water issues in my lifetime.”
The directive “eliminates unneeded burdens while improving coordination and communication of very complex water storage and delivery systems,” Bernhardt mentioned.
“This is all about getting the agencies to act as efficiently and as effectively as possible,” a senior administration official on the decision mentioned, talking on the situation of anonymity.
Requested whether or not there was a relationship between Trump’s signing of the memorandum and the Nov. 6 elections wherein Republicans try to take care of majorities in each the Home of Representatives and the Senate, Bernhardt mentioned, “I’m certainly not the one who sets timing.”
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