Friday, June 29, 2007

House to investigate Klamath salmon kill-off

Here's good news:
The chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee said today his panel will hold a hearing into the role Vice President Dick Cheney may have played in the 2002 die-off of about 70,000 salmon near the California-Oregon border.

Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., said the Democratic-led committee has been examining what he called the Bush administration's "penchant to favor politics over science in the implementation of the Endangered Species Act."

In light of allegations made about Cheney's role in developing a 10-year water plan for the Klamath River that courts later called arbitrary and in violation of the Endangered Species Act, a hearing is worthwhile, Rahall said. He and other Democrats charged that Cheney's action resulted in the largest adult salmon kill in the history of the West. [...]

West Coast Democrats called for the hearing Wednesday after the Washington Post reported that Cheney may have played a key role in the 2002 salmon die-off.

"The ramifications of that salmon kill are still being felt today as returns to the Klamath River are so low that commercial, sport and tribal fishing seasons have been curtailed for the past three years," 36 House Democrats said in a letter to Rahall calling for the hearing.

The article includes my favorite observation about this business to date:
"It certainly appears this administration will stop at nothing to achieve political gain from natural resources disasters," Rahall said.

Amen to that.

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