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Public Statements

Conservation and Economic Growth Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. CARDOZA. Mr. Chair, I rise today to offer my reserved support for the legislation before us today.

This bill, like so many others that we vote on, is far from perfect. I have reservations about the continued expansion of Administrative authority to waive laws that we enact here in Congress and I have reservations about continuing to expose some of the most wild and pristine areas of our country to development. However, I will support this bill because of its positive impacts for the people I was sent here to represent.

As many of you are aware, water is the lifeblood of the San Joaquin Valley, the most productive agricultural region in the world. Since I entered Congress, I have made it a priority to increase water supply reliability for both the San Joaquin Valley and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta. Title I of this bill helps to achieve that purpose.

It achieves this purpose in a very simple way, by allowing for the consideration of a 10-foot increase in the spillway of an existing dam. This raise in the spillway will allow for critical year water supply increases of 15,000 acre-feet and will generate an additional 10,000 Mega-Watt Hours per year of clean, renewable energy, all at no cost to the taxpayer. And importantly, the project still has to meet environmental standards. This is a common sense approach to solve a problem incrementally, and one that I liked so much that I carried the bill in previous Congresses.

I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to speak in support of this legislation.

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