Saturday, May 1, 2010

McCarthy: it's time to turn on the Delta pumps to provide water for Kern County farmers

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) gives his weekly report from our nation's capital.
As your Congressman, I am always looking for ways to make it easier for Americans to communicate their ideas to their Representatives. When the House is voting and Representatives are in Washington, an additional way that could work is through Skype, but unfortunately, government is a step behind.  To change this, I recently asked the House leadership to consider allowing members to use Skype and other secure videoconferencing services to communicate with constituents.
  On Tuesday, I was pleased that Speaker Pelosi responded to my request, and announced that the House would begin evaluating the use of new communication tools like Skype.  At a time when many feel their voice is not being heard, Congress should encourage communication to ensure that the best ideas are brought forward.
  Legislatively, the debate continues in the Senate over the direction of financial regulations, and the President’s federal debt commission began its work.  Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke opened with a serious warning that our budget deficit is unsustainable and action is needed soon to avoid dangerous results.  Also two former Congressional Budget Office directors warned that we won’t be able to tax our way out of debt.  Real solutions will require tough choices and it involves addressing the soaring rate of spending.  The problem is spending." While there is no quick fix to our economic challenges, the business sector must also have stability and freedom from burdensome regulations to create private sector jobs.  My hope it that this debt commission is not used as a cover to raise taxes, but to deal with
Washington’s wasteful spending habits.

  One issue important to job creation locally is the need to turn the Delta pumps on.  The Kern County Water Agency and Assembly member Jean Fuller provided staggering statistics on the true cost of low water allocations to our farmers and businesses.  Each year the KCWA pays for 100% of the water supplies it receives from the State Water Project, but in recent years, we have not received our full allocation. We all know that regulations are restricting the flow of water to Kern County – but did you know that this year, the expected loss is 580,000 acre feet (and an acre foot is 326,000 gallons) – that’s 189 billion gallons of water.  And this year, Kern County will pay $51,900,000 for water they will not get from the State Water Project.  Since 2007, the cost to the county has been $134,000,000. It is not acceptable that our community pays for water it does not receive, resulting in hurting farms and fewer jobs.  We need to turn
on the pumps!

  "This weekend, I will be at Relay for Life and the last time I checked there were over 6,000 participants signed up.  Strong community support like this is what makes Bakersfield such a special place to live.  Also, I hope you can make it out for First Friday on May 7,  5:00p.m. at Metro Galleries to meet the winners of the 29th Annual
Congressional Art Competition for high school students.

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