Democratic lawmakers called for an investigation Thursday into U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s involvement in a land deal with the chairman of an energy services company that does business with his agency.
The general manager of a small public agency under fire for delivering brown, smelly water to parts of Compton and Willowbrook has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately, the water district board’s attorney announced Thursday night.
Alan Mikkelsen likens the Klamath Basin water negotiations to climbing Mount Everest. “We’ve just left Base Camp and have a long way to go,” the veteran water negotiator for the Department of Interior told the Herald and News in a sit-down interview Wednesday morning.
The Colorado River―a critically important water supply for seven western states, including California―has been in drought for nearly two decades. We talked to Bonnie Colby, a professor of natural resource economics at the University of Arizona and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center research network, about conditions in the basin and next steps for improving shared management of the river.
UC San Diego scholar who influenced Pope Francis on climate change and a Salk Institute biologist who helps develop cancer drugs will each share the $1.3 million that comes with winning a Tang Prize, one of the newest and priciest awards in science. Veerabhadran Ramanathan of the university’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography was chosen for his decades of insights about how humans influence the world’s climate, sometimes in severe and deadly ways.
In one of those small world coincidences, I [John Fleck] was on a bike ride yesterday afternoon, wandering downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico, and bumped into (figuratively) [Metropolitan Water District of Southern California General Manager Jeffrey] Kightlinger. … Not so coincidental, really. Kightlinger and I converged with other Colorado River folks on Santa Fe for an Upper Colorado River Commission meeting this week.
California’s two Democratic senators have committed themselves to opposing a controversial House provision that would block judicial review of the state’s WaterFix tunnel project, reprising a familiar Capitol Hill plot. These California water narratives start bubbling up in the House, and then they often, although not always, dry out in the Senate.
Shel Horowitz, a profitability and marketing consultant for green and sustainable businesses, thinks that moving forward, more and more of us will be doing our own legwork when it comes to making well-informed purchasing decisions. … Then, we dig into the Sea Change Radio archives and speak with Maya Van Rossum to learn about her organization, the Delaware Riverkeepers, and her book, the Green Amendment.
Residents of Compton have complained about brown, smelly water coming out of their taps for more than a year. And when officials began talking about dissolving the troubled local water district, the area’s congresswoman scheduled a town hall meeting so community members could weigh in.
At a town hall Monday, Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán alleged that people were paid to pose as residents to speak out in support of an embattled water district, marking a strange twist in the ongoing controversy over discolored water pouring out of taps in Compton and Willowbrook.
Amy Haas, deputy director and general counsel of the Upper Colorado River Commission, will replace the retiring Don Ostler as the UCRC’s executive director July 1. Amy, formerly general counsel of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, has been with the commission since last year, and has a long history of working within the interstate Colorado River governance process, including playing a central role in the negotiation of the recently signed U.S.-Mexico agreement known as Minute 323.
The Trump administration is ringing in a new era at the Bureau of Reclamation, one that harkens back to earlier days of ambitious water-storage projects. The administration and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke are “very focused” on infrastructure, and Reclamation wants to partner with water users to bring new projects forward, Brenda Burman, Bureau of Reclamation commissioner, said during the Idaho Water Users Association water law conference on Tuesday.
Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, is expected on Friday to send President Trump a detailed legal proposal to dramatically scale back an Obama-era regulation on water pollution, according to a senior E.P.A. official familiar with the plan.
Senior staff members at the Environmental Protection Agency frequently felt pressured by Scott Pruitt, the administrator, to help in personal matters and obtain special favors for his family, according to interviews with four current and former E.P.A. officials who served as top political aides to Mr. Pruitt.
Even Scott Pruitt’s most loyal friends are starting to give up the fight. The perpetual ethics problems of the Environmental Protection Agency chief have moved some conservatives who were firmly in his camp to reconsider.
State election law enforcers recommend a $16,000 penalty against former Oakdale Irrigation District board member Al Bairos for violating campaign finance requirements and failing to cooperate with investigators.
Scott Pruitt’s top aide wanted to use special authority to hire a former Obama administration official to scrutinize climate science. The EPA administrator’s chief of staff, Ryan Jackson, suggested last year that Steven Koonin, a theoretical physicist and an Obama Energy Department appointee, could quickly get on EPA’s payroll.
The Bureau of Land Management continues to reshuffle its top leadership, replacing acting Deputy Director of Operations Mike Nedd with a senior Interior Department official who has never worked at BLM. Richard Cardinale, Interior’s director of the business operations division in the Office of the Chief Information Officer, has moved into BLM’s deputy director of operations position, according to multiple sources who asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to publicly discuss the moves.
In a May 10 column on Temperance Flat Reservoir, Bee columnist Marek Warszawski called out local lawmakers who supported the project and said we were in a “state of denial.” Let me be clear: I [Rep. Jim Costa] am not in denial. California’s water issues are complex and not easy to solve.