Senator McCaskill tries to stop another study of the use of the Missouri River. But she loses to a formidable opponent.
North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan wants to put 25-million dollars into the federal budget for a new study of the river, the latest shot in the long-running fight between upstream and downstream river states.
Senator McCaskill says a "very large study" was completed in 2004 at a cost of 35-million dollars. She said it took 15 years to complete and it started numerous lawsuits. She says there has not been time for many of the recommendations to be put into effect.
But Dorgan, who claims upstream states have never reaped the benefits of having big reservoirs, says the 2004 Master Manual still operates the river for barge navigation–when there is hardly any barge commerce left. He says the people who did the 2004 study "ought to have their head examined."
Dorgan is the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water. He controlled the bill in the Senate during this week’s debate.