March 11th, 2011

Renegar Praises Water Lawsuit Dismissal

Renegar Praises Water Lawsuit Dismissal
OKLAHOMA C IT Y (July 19, 2010) – In response to the recent ruling by a federal judge to dismiss the Tarrant Regional Water District's lawsuit to acquire water from Oklahoma , Representative Brian Renegar , D-McAlester, made the following statement:
“I am very encouraged by the federal judge’s action which protects Oklahoma ’s water. Twice now in the last year this case has been dismissed, yet nonetheless further challenges are in the works. We are witnessing numerous attacks to raid our state’s water supply, and we must do all we can to protect this precious natural resource.  
I am proud of the state legislature who last year appropriated funds to allow the hiring of Charles DuMars, who is a water lawyer with lengthy experience in protecting New Mexico ’s water from El Paso . He has done an excellent job assisting the Oklahoma Water Resources Board in its fight against Texas . I also want to add a special thanks to Representative Dale Dewitt for his leadership as Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, as he was instrumental in encouraging the legislature to appropriate funds for Mr. DuMars employment.  
Last year I approached Rep. Dewitt with language from the New Mexico water law that was originally drafted by Mr. DuMars, and we along with many concerned legislators worked to create what became House Bill 1483, which gives preference to in-state water users and requires legislative approval before water can move across state lines. 
Without the concentrated effort by the legislature and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board the federal judge's decision would not have come to fruition!  
We must remain vigilant and protect our water-rich state. Benjamin Franklin put it best when he said, “when the well is dry, we know the worth of water.” Although the Tarrant lawsuit will now go back to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, I am confident in our legal team and legislators who will pull out all stops to ensure Oklahoma ’s well remains plentiful.”