Trump Wants to Cut Red Tape, Hasten Water Projects in West - NECN
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Trump Wants to Cut Red Tape, Hasten Water Projects in West

The arid West relies on federally funded water projects to irrigate crops and supply cities

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Trump Wants to Cut Red Tape, Hasten Water Projects in West
    AP
    President Donald Trump speaks during a ceremony to sign a "Presidential Memorandum Promoting the Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West," Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, in Scottsdale, Ariz.

    President Donald Trump on Friday ordered the government to speed up environmental reviews and streamline regulations that he says are hindering work on major water projects in California and other Western states.

    Trump signed a memorandum aimed at helping the Central Valley Project and the California State Water Project in California, the Klamath Irrigation Project in Oregon and California and the Columbia River Basin system in the Pacific Northwest.

    "We will resolve the issues blocking the completion of the Central Valley project," Trump said in Arizona during a swing through Western states. "I hope you enjoy the water that you're going to have."

    The Central Valley Project is a federally managed water storage and delivery system that primarily benefits agricultural users in California's rich farming country in the center of the state.

    'Late Night’: Checking in on Minority Voter Suppression

    [NATL] 'Late Night’: Checking in on Minority Voter Suppression

    Seth Meyers takes a break from breaking news to check in on the instances of voter suppression during the midterm elections that have been plaguing minority communities across the country.

    (Published 2 hours ago)

    The State Water Project serves agricultural and urban water users, including Los Angeles and much of sprawling Southern California.

    The announcement is a boost for endangered Republican lawmakers in California's Central Valley facing tough challenges from Democrats looking to take control of the U.S. House.

    But it is likely to inflame an ongoing battle in California over divvying up water between cities, farms and environmental needs like the protection of fish.

    CIA: Saudi Crown Prince Ordered Journalist's Murder

    [NATL] CIA: Saudi Crown Prince Ordered Journalist's Murder

    Calling Saudi Arabia a "great ally," President Donald Trump declined to stand behind the CIA's claim that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, was responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018)

    Farming interests have long pushed to raise Shasta Dam, which holds back California's largest reservoir as part of the Central Valley Project, by more than 18 feet (5.5 meters). The project is opposed by environmentalists who say it would harm threatened fish species and by the Winnemem Wintu tribe, which says it would flood sacred sites.

    Several other dams are proposed including Sites Reservoir near Sacramento and Temperance Flat Dam north of Fresno.

    "This order stems from ignorance and election year pandering to wealthy Central Valley agribusiness interests," said John Buse, legal director with the Center for Biological Diversity.

    Ivanka Trump Used Personal Email for Government Work: Report

    [NATL] Ivanka Trump Used Personal Email for White House Work: Report

    Emails uncovered by a liberal watchdog group found that first daughter Ivanka Trump, a presidential adviser, used a personal email account to send hundreds of emails to White House aides, cabinet members and assistants during her transition into government.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018)

    Buse said Trump does not understand complex water issues and ignores the need to protect the environment as well as farming and cities.

    "Trump's view that water is wasted if not used by agriculture or urban users is just idiotic," he said.

    Among other things, Trump's memorandum orders separate federal agencies to consolidate their environmental reviews of California water projects and the Klamath Irrigation Project.

    Judge Blocks Trump's Migrant Non-Port of Entry Asylum Ban

    [NATL] Judge Blocks Trump's Migrant Non-Port of Entry Asylum Ban

    An order from a federal judge overnight barred the Trump administration from blocking asylum requests from migrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. This happens as a caravan criticized by President Donald Trump arrived in Tijuana, Mexico, across the border from San Diego. 

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018)

    "From our standpoint, it's really encouraging and we feel like we're being listened to," said Dan Keppen, executive director of the Family Farm Alliance in Klamath, Oregon.

    Trump also set a 2020 deadline to finish an environmental review underway in the Columbia River Basin.

    The president has long promised to boost water deliveries to California farmers, who have struggled to get by with less during years of drought.

    'Late Night’: A Closer Look at Trump’s Lie About Raking in Finland

    [NATL] 'Late Night’: A Closer Look at Trump’s Lie About Raking in Finland

    Seth Meyers takes a closer look at President Donald Trump making up another weird thing about a foreign country while attacking a retired admiral for not getting Osama bin Laden sooner.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018)

    "Today's action might be the most significant action taken by a president on Western water issues in my lifetime," said Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. He said Trump is making good on his promise to take a "more coordinated and thoughtful approach" to managing water while eliminating what he called unneeded burdens.

    The memorandum also called for better use of technology in forecasting water supplies and hydropower production, and for exploring desalinization and water recycling.