Write the House Committee on Energy & Environment your thoughts on these bills. Address your email to “Chair Helm and Members of the House Committee on Energy & Environment”
State Senator Dennis Linthicum and State Representative E. Werner Reschke have issued newsletters and press releases against three water bills which impose punitive-like fees and penalties on irrigators in Oregon.
House Bills 2705, 2706 and 2707 are nothing more than a money and power grab for the Oregon Water Resources Department. OWRD’s claim is that they do not have enough money or man-power to properly study ground water use in Oregon. However, my guess is that the Department continues to receive more money year over year. Just because OWRD has structured their department in such a way that requires more and more money each year without providing additional services is not the tax payer’s fault.
Moreover, water users should not be disproportionately punished for information that might benefit everyone in the State. If everyone is going to receive a benefit then everyone should also pay for the labor and equipment involved in providing that benefit. These mandates and taxes (they call them “fees” and “penalties”) are not fair to rural Oregonians.
Be sure to learn more and then take action. The more people we have write the House Committee, the less likely these bills will make it out of Committee during this legislative session. This is still a citizen's government, which means we, as citizens, must stay actively involved.