McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State news

February 15, 2013

House Dems frustrated with bill stripping water conservation measures

McALESTER — In the midst of a historic drought, several House Democrats said a House Committee overturned the will of the people Thursday after passing House Bill 1562 through committee.

Authored by Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-Moore, HB 1562 strips language from the Water for 2060 Act, which was signed into law just a year ago and recommends water usage levels and conservation measures for the next half century.

Although HB 1562 does not repeal all of the Water for 2060 Act, it does remove the linchpin of the bill, which is standards for control of water usage through conservation.

Most states, such as Texas and Nevada, have similar water usage plans using similar time spans.

House Democrats voiced frustration with HB 1562, which they argue nullifies an important framework that preserves Oklahoma’s natural resources.

“If back in the 50s, President Eisenhower had not had the foresight for developing the interstate system, we would all still be driving on pig trails,” said District 18 stet Rep. Brian Renegar, D-McAlester.

“The Water for 2060 Act was known as the ‘Speaker’s Conservation Bill,’ when it passed under Speaker Kris Steele.

“That should tell you how important this was.

“It was the only recommendation from the most recent Comprehensive Water Plan, a plan formulated with robust input from the public, that made it into law.

“And now, HB 1562 renders that plan, and the people’s will, meaningless and threatens the water that the people of Oklahoma can use for generations to come.”

Wesselhoft voted in favor of earlier measures that led to the eventual creation of the Water for 2060 Act.

The votes Wesselhoft approved included a measure passed in special session in 2006, HB 1121, which appropriated over $6 million towards the Comprehensive Water Plan.

Wesselhoft reversed course, saying that it was “not responsible” to set policy for 50 years in the future.

“A failure to plan is a plan for failure,” said Rep. Curtis McDaniel, D-Smithville. “Every business has a long-term business plan. It is irresponsible for Oklahoma not to plan for our future.”

“We have to be good stewards,” said Rep. Mike Shelton, D-Oklahoma City.

“We have to set goals. It makes no sense to say what most other states are doing with their water and how they’re planning for their future is irresponsible, when just a few years ago, the legislature had no problem with this same conservation plan.”

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State news
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Two women barely avoid being hit by train Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.