Education and Outreach / Voters Guide to Water Issues / US House of Representatives Race

U.S. House of Representatives Race - Candidate Responses

LAUREN BOEBERT, REPUBLICAN
U.S. House of Representatives - District 3 Candidate

1. Colorado State Water Plan and Basin Implementation Plans have increased awareness and questions about Colorado’s long-range water supply. What proactive approaches are you considering to ensure the future of clean, safe water supply in the Roaring Fork Watershed and/or your area of influence? 

The permitting and construction of new reservoirs can be up to a 20-year long process, if not more. Cost and time matters, and taking care of our environment matters, too. Enlargement of existing reservoirs is the quickest, least expensive and most environmentally sensitive manner to secure more water storage. If we’re able to move forward this way, it’s important the water be utilized within the state allocation process and not be tied up by the feds.

If the Colorado state legislature ever decides to fund any water project, the congressional delegation has a long history of coming together and helping with federal permitting, and federal matching funds where appropriate on federal projects. I’ll always be supportive of the need for Colorado to store water, and will help CD3 achieve that goal whenever there is an opportunity to do so. But I’m a firm no if it includes trans-mountain diversions to the Front Range. I’m here to help CD3 preserve our water rights and speak up for what we need in D.C. We can never allow the voice of rural Colorado to be drowned out by those who think we don’t matter or who believe our rights and our kids’ rights to future water don’t count.

 

2. Water, recreation and agriculture have shown to be integral parts of the economy and values of Coloradans. How will you address the sustainability of these three integral elements of western Colorado’s character in the Roaring Fork Watershed and/ or your area of influence? 

In a prolonged drought situation, the burden of curtailment can’t fall solely on the Western Slope’s agricultural users. And we can’t simply use the priority system or municipal condemnation authority to meet downstream requirements. I’m 100% committed to fighting this out with Denver and Boulder and making sure they don’t push all the work and all the costs onto us.

Often overlooked are the oil and gas severance taxes that were dedicated to water conservation and environmental projects that support Colorado’s water. These taxes have been struggling in large part because the amount of pressure there is to reduce Colorado’s oil and gas production.  There’s often a failure to recognize the direct connection between those declines in severance taxes and how that can negatively affect Colorado water projects. And I can’t emphasize enough how important the local voice and local support of water projects will continue to be in Colorado.  I plan to amplify that local voice in Washington.

 

 

DIANE MITSCH BUSH, DEMOCRAT
U.S. House of Representatives - District 3 Candidate

 

1. Colorado State Water Plan and Basin Implementation Plans have increased awareness and questions about Colorado’s long-range water supply. What proactive approaches are you considering to ensure the future of clean, safe water supply in the Roaring Fork Watershed and/or your area of influence?

I have long worked on Western Slope water issues at the county and basin level, then as State Representative for two headwaters counties, Eagle and Routt.  I served for 5 years on the Colorado Joint House-Senate Water committee where we helped develop Colorado’s Water Plan. As Vice Chair of the State House Agriculture-Natural Resources Committee, I brought people together on water and public lands issues.

We have been in a climate induced drought, so we need a congresswoman who understands the impacts of climate change and the 1922 Colorado River Compact, including both potential calls on water rights and on hydro power.

If elected, I will start by getting to know Congress members from the other Upper and Lower Basin States so we can work cooperatively and find common ground. Water should be a bipartisan issue. In the State House, I worked with Democrats and Republicans for science-based solutions to our water scarcity issues.  I hope to serve on the House Natural Resources Committee and work collaboratively with all partners.

Most of our water comes from public lands. I will fight to protect them from uses that would damage our water supply and wildlife habitat. I will work to tackle climate change now to protect and heal our water sheds, habitat, and water supply.

Water is life, and CD 3 provides water and hydropower to millions of people in the West. We have to prioritize water conservation and efficiency in this climate-induced drought on our public lands.

 

2. Water, recreation and agriculture have shown to be integral parts of the economy and values of Coloradans. How will you address the sustainability of these three integral elements of western Colorado’s character in the Roaring Fork Watershed and/ or your area of influence? 

By restoring science-based environmental protections, keeping public lands whole and intact, and tackling climate change now. From the methane rule to NEPA, this administration and my extreme opponent see environmental protections as “burdensome regulations.” They do not understand that it’s the environment and the economy, not the environment or the economy.

Our public lands are our heart and soul, and now during the pandemic they’re respite for even more people. Moreover, they are a major economic driver for outdoor recreation and for family ranching and major source of water and wildlife habitat. More than 500,000 jobs in Colorado rely on public lands. I will preserve public lands for water, wildlife habitat, and for the jobs and businesses that rely on them.

My opponent doesn’t understand the values of public lands for recreation, agriculture and our economy nor does she recognize the interconnectedness of environment, water, recreation, and agriculture. She prioritizes one use above all others: oil/gas and mineral extraction. I will protect our public lands and stand up for collaborative agreements like the Thompson divide agreement.

Boebert calls CORE Act “a land grab by Denver liberals.” In fact, people and businesses in seven Western Slope counties worked for a decade in stakeholder groups to develop the consensus that became CORE Act. Ranchers, conservationists, small business owners, hunters, anglers and all kinds of outdoor recreationists, local and county officials all did the hard work of collaboration. I will honor and stand up for them.

 

 

 

After several attempts to contact candidates via email and Facebook over a two week period, we did not receive comments from the following candidates for U.S. Representative:  Charlie Winn (District 2), Joe Neguse (District 2) and Christopher Hawkins Critter Milton (District 3) 

After extensive research, no contact information was found for the following candidates for U.S. Representative: Thom Atkinson (District 2) and John Ryan Keil (District 3)

Contact Us

Roaring Fork Conservancy

PHONE: (970) 927-1290
EMAIL: info@roaringfork.org

MAILING ADDRESS:
PO Box 3349
Basalt, CO 81621

PHYSICAL ADDRESS:
22800 Two Rivers Road
Basalt, CO 81621

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