The long awaited compact commission report to the governor concerning the Flathead water compact was released yesterday. Yawn.
In his veto of Senate Bill 265 earlier this year, Governor Bullock asked the commission to “address” the problems with the compact and to provide a report to the Water Policy Interim Committee. Senator Jackson’s bill was intended to allow for continued negotiations on the CSKT water compact after public concerns over a multitude of issues with the document surfaced during the legislative session. The compact bill was killed in committee and SB265 passed both houses of the Montana legislature. In his veto of the bill, Governor Bullock said:
With this letter I am directing the Commission, working with DNRC, the CSKT, the Flathead Joint Board of Control, the United States, and other interested parties to prepare a comprehensive report addressing the questions raised about the compact during the 2013 legislative session.
To most of us, the terminology to ADDRESS THE QUESTIONS RAISED meant that the commission was instructed to act in good faith to consider the problems with the compact and to find SOLUTIONS to the satisfaction of the interested parties. Too bad the compact commission chose instead to double down on the same old sorry talking points and threats of litigation. They simply cannot help themselves, they believe their compact is a magnificent creation. We beg to differ.
None of the actions of the compact commission, or the report itself comes as a surprise. Their activities following the legislative session have spoken loudly of their intent to use state resources and taxpayer dollars in an effort to force this bad agreement, a forever document on the people of Montana. It is too bad for them however that the dirty details of this compact are out, and they cannot be put back into the neat little box the commission and other negotiating parties tried to build for it.
Take a look at the report and let us know what you think.
Here’s the link: WATER COMPACT DOCUMENT