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University of California Berkeley
Regional Oral History Office University of California
The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California
California Water Resources Oral History Series
Daniel P. Beard
PASSAGE OF THE CENTRAL VALLEY PROJECT IMPROVEMENT ACT, 1991-1992:
THE ROLE OF GEORGE MILLER
Interview Conducted by
Copyright 1996 by The Regents of the University of California
Dan Beard (with a beard) , Rick Agnew [Minority Staff
Director, House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee] and
Charlene Dougherty inspecting hurricane damage in Puerto
Since 1954 the Regional Oral History Office has been interviewing leading
participants in or well-placed witnesses to major events in the development of
Northern California, the West, and the Nation. Oral history is a method of
collecting historical information through tape-recorded interviews between a
narrator with firsthand knowledge of historically significant events and a well-
informed interviewer, with the goal of preserving substantive additions to the
historical record. The tape recording is transcribed, lightly edited for
continuity and clarity, and reviewed by the interviewee. The corrected
manuscript is indexed, bound with photographs and illustrative materials, and
placed in The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, and in
other research collections for scholarly use. Because it is primary material,
oral history is not intended to present the final, verified, or complete
narrative of events. It is a spoken account, offered by the interviewee in
response to questioning, and as such it is reflective, partisan, deeply involved,
All uses of this manuscript are covered by a legal agreement
between The Regents of the University of California and Daniel P.
Beard dated August 30, 1995. The manuscript is thereby made
available for research purposes. All literary rights in the
manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to The
Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley. No part
of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written
permission of the Director of The Bancroft Library of the University
of California, Berkeley.
Requests for permission to quote for publication should be
addressed to the Regional Oral History Office, 486 Library,
University of California, Berkeley 94720, and should include
identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated
use of the passages, and identification of the user. The legal
agreement with Daniel P. Beard requires that he be notified of the
request and allowed thirty days in which to respond.
It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:
Daniel P. Beard, "Passage of the Central
Valley Project Improvement Act, 1991-1992:
The Role of George Miller," an oral
history conducted in 1995 by Malca Chall,
Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft
Library, University of California,
BEARD, Daniel P. (b. 1943) Staff Director, House Committee on
Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1991-1992: The Role
of George Miller. 1996, iii, 67 pp.
Early interest in natural resource policy issues; association with
Congressman George Miller, 1985-1993: Miller's position on Central Valley
Project reform legislation, staff activities toward passage of the CVPIA
and the Omnibus Water Act; agricultural interests and congressmen from the
Central Valley; water marketing; Miller-Bradley bills and opposing Seymour
bill; discusses Senator John Seymour, Senator Bill Bradley, President Jimmy
Carter; Somach-Graff negotiations; Bureau of Reclamation commissioner,
1993-1995, restructuring the bureau.
Interviewed 1995 by Malca Chall for the California Water Resources Series.
Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of
TABLE OF CONTENTS- -Daniel P. Beard
INTERVIEW HISTORY iv
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION vi
I RESUME OF CAREER ROUTE FROM COLLEGE GRADUATION TO THE BUREAU OF
RECLAMATION, 1965 TO 1995 1
Developing Interest and Work in Natural Resource Policy Issues 2
Various Positions In and Out of the Federal Government, 1974-1985 3
Long-time Association with Congressman George Miller, 1985-1993 4
II GEORGE MILLER: HIS DRIVING INTEREST IN WATER POLICY ISSUES 5
The San Francisco-San Joaquin Delta and Reclamation Reform 5
Different Relationships with Constituents and Central
Valley Farmers 6
Staffs of Water and Power Subcommittees in the House and Senate 8
President Jimmy Carter's Early Positions on Western Water and
III THE EMERGENCE OF THE CENTRAL VALLEY PROJECT IMPROVEMENT ACT AS A
MAJOR ISSUE IN CONGRESS, 1990-1991 12
The Genesis of the CVPIA: The Need for Mitigation of Impacts on
Fish and Wildlife in the Central Valley, 1988 12
Drafting the California Fish and Wildlife Protection Act of 1990:
A Difficult Task 14
Senator Bill Bradley and Staff Director Tom Jensen Take an
Interest in the California Central Valley Issues 16
Unexpected Changes in the House and Senate Affect the Momentum
of the CVPIA 18
George Miller Develops a Coalition to Push for CVP Reform 20
George Miller's Discomfort with Water Marketing 21
Introduction of John Seymour's Bill S.2016 Changes the Politics
of CVP Reform Legislation 23
IV HOUSE AND SENATE COMPROMISES, NEGOTIATIONS, AND MANEUVERS MARK
FINAL PASSAGE OF THE CVPIA: THE OMNIBUS WATER ACT 27
The Senate Passes the Seymour Bill 27
George Miller Accepts the Concept of Water Transfers: The
Significance of the Metropolitan Water District 28
Motivation for Attaching the CVPIA to the Omnibus Water Bill 29
George Miller's Compromise with Central Valley Congressmen 31
The Somach-Graff Negotiation 33
Compromise: The Foundation of a Democratic System 34
Factions Within the Agriculture Community 35
The Conference Committee Struggles with the Omnibus Bill 36
Final Negotiations on the CVPIA 38
The Omnibus Bill Moves Through the House and Senate 43
Analyzing Aspects of the CVPIA and Its Implementation 44
COMMISSIONER OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, 1993-1995 48
The Bureau of Reclamation: A Personal Challenge 49
Restructuring the Bureau to Meet the Changes in its Purpose 49
The $100,000 Ford Foundation-Harvard University Grant 53
Answering Some Charges 54
The Connection Between Subsidies and the Uses of Water 56
The CVPIA: Possible Changes by the Republican-Controlled
Total Revision of the CVPIA Unlikely 60
Dan Beard's Future Career Plans 62
TAPE GUIDE 65
The Water Resources Center of the University of California, in 1965,
established a History of California Water Resources Development Oral
History Series, to be carried out by the oral history offices at the Los
Angeles and Berkeley campuses. The basic purpose of the program was "to
document historical developments in California's water resources by means
of tape recorded interviews with men who have played a prominent role in
this field." The concern of those who drafted the program was that while
the published material on California water resources described
engineering and economic aspects of specific water projects, little dealt
with concepts, evolution of plans, and relationships between and among
the various interested federal, state, and local agencies.
To bridge this information gap, the Water Resources Center, during
the past quarter century under the successive direction of Professors
Arthur F. Pillsbury, J. Herbert Snyder, and Henry Vaux, Jr., has provided
funding in full or in part for interviews with men who have been
observers and participants in significant aspects of water resources
development. Early advisors to the project on the Berkeley campus were
Professors J. W. Johnson and David K. Todd. Gerald Giefer, librarian of
the Water Resources Center Archives, Berkeley, has maintained an
important advisory role in the project.
Interviewees in the Berkeley series have been pioneers in western
water irrigation, in the planning and development of the Central Valley
and California State Water Projects, in the administration of the
Department of Water Resources, and in the pioneering work of the field of
sanitary engineering. Some have been active in the formation of the San
Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission; others have
developed seminal theories on soil erosion and soil science. But in all
cases, these men have been deeply concerned with water resources in
Their oral histories provide unique background into the history of
water resources development and are valuable assets to students
interested in understanding the past and in developing theories for
future use of this essential, controversial, and threatened commodity-
Henry J. Vaux, Jr., Director
Water Resources Center
University of California, Riverside
The following Regional Oral History Office interviews of have been funded in
whole or in part by The Water Resources Center, University of California.
Banks, Harvey (b. 1910)
California Water Project. 1955-1961. 1967 82 pp.
Beard, Daniel P. (b. 1943)
Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1991-1992: The Role
of George Miller. 1996, 67 pp.
Gianelli, William R. (b. 1919)
The California State Department of Water Resources. 1967-1973.
1985, 86 pp.
Gillespie, Chester G. (1884-1971)
Origins and Early Years of the Bureau of Sanitary Engineering.
1971, 39 pp.
Graff, Thomas J.(b. 1944) and David R. Yardas (b. 1956)
The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1991-1992;
Environmental Defense Fund Perspective. 1996, 136 pp.
Harding, Sidney T. (1883-1969)
A Life in Western Water Development. 1967, 524 pp.
Jenny, Hans (1899-1992)
Soil Scientist, Teacher, and Scholar. 1989, 364 pp.
Langelier, Wilfred F. (1886-1981)
Teaching, Research, and Consultation in Water Purification and Sewage
Treatment. University of California at Berkeley. 1916-1955.
1982, 81 pp.
Leedom, Sam R. (1896-1971)
California Water Development. 1930-1955. 1967, 83 pp.
Leopold, Luna B. (b. 1915)
Hydrology, Geomorphology, and Environmental Policy; U.S. Geological Survey.
1950-1072. and UC Berkeley. 1972-1987. 1993, 309 pp.
Lowdermilk, Walter Clay (1888-1974)
Soil, Forest, and Water Conservation and Reclamation in China, Israel.
Africa, and The United States. 1969, 704 pp. (Two volumes)
McGaughey, Percy H. (1904-1975)
The Sanitary Engineering Research Laboratory: Administration. Research,
and Consultation. 1950-1972. 1974, 259 pp.
Nelson, Barry (b. 1959)
The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1991-1992;
Executive Director, Save San Francisco Bay Assocation. 1994, 88 pp.
Peltier, Jason (b. 1955)
The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1991-1992:
Manager, Central Valley Project Water Association. 1994, 84 pp.
Robie, Ronald B. (b. 1937)
The California State Department of Water Resources. 1975-1983.
1989, 97 pp.
The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, 1964-1973.
Interviews with Joseph E. Bodovitz, Melvin Lane, and E. Clement Shute.
1986, 98 pp.
For other California water-related interviews see California Water Resources
Daniel Beard served as staff director for Congressman George Miller
for eight years, 1985-1993. During those years, George Miller chaired the
subcommittee on Water and Power of the House Interior and Insular Affairs
Committee, and then the full committee- -now known as the Committee on
Dan Beard fit well into Miller's staff, having specialized in natural
resource issues both in college and his later working career. He became
deeply involved in Miller's long-held interests related to the San
Francisco-San Joaquin Delta and the Central Valley Project: opposition to
the Peripheral Canal, fish and wildlife restoration, drainage, contracts,
and subsidies. According to Beard, Miller's stand on these issues, while
they may have endeared him to constituents along the Delta, aroused the
enduring hostility of the Central Valley agricultural community. Thus,
George Miller's long-time efforts to reform the Central Valley Project
usually were unsuccessful because Central Valley congressmen opposed him,
western Senators sided with their powerful California allies, and other
Senators showed no interest in the subject.
In this fourth volume on the passage of the Central Valley Project
Improvement Act, Daniel Beard highlights the significant role of
Congressman George Miller in the two-year struggle to reform the Central
Valley Project. In 1991 Miller and Senator Bill Bradley (D-New Jersey)
each introduced Central Valley reform bills aimed at restoring fish and
wildlife, and providing water to achieve these aims. Although
significantly differing in details, gradually some of the substantive
features merged enough so that in the supporting environmental community
they became known as the Miller-Bradley bills. The agriculture community
supported Senator John Seymour's (R-California) reform effort.
Two years of hard work ensued on both sides of the aisle, within the
halls of Congress, among lobbyists, environmentalists, and growers. In his
oral history Daniel Beard directs attention to Miller's personality, his
abilities as a congressman, his long-held commitment toward Central Valley
Project reform, and his antagonistic relationships with valley farmers. He
explains Miller's decision to attach his reform agenda to an omnibus water
bill providing projects long desired by twelve powerful western Senators,
which, in the end, prompted them to abandon Senator Seymour and their
California agricultural allies, and assure President Bush's signature.
Beard's examination of the hard work and the bit of luck that went into the
final almost undreamed of success of the passage of the CVPIA offers the
reader one more link in the story of the passage of the Central Valley
Project Improvement Act.
This important three-hour interview on the passage of the CVPIA took
place around the dining room table in my home on the afternoon of August
30, 1995. In mid-June I had read in the local paper that Dan Beard planned
to resign his position as commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. Soon
thereafter, I invited him to participate in the ongoing oral history series
on the CVPIA, even suggesting that I would be willing to meet him in
Washington if that were necessary. A few days before his planned arrival
in California on a final tour as commissioner, he called to say that he
would be available for an interview. We hastily arranged a time and place.
Until his arrival for the interview, Mr. Beard was not aware of the
scope of the CVPIA project, and since some time had passed, he felt
unprepared to discuss details of the CVPIA. He obviously recalled more
than he thought he would. As this interview makes clear, he was prepared
to provide the background on George Miller, the Miller bills, the
negotiations between Miller and Bradley, the conference committee, and the
final results information which only someone at the center of the action
We are grateful to Dan Beard for taking time from his full schedule
to discuss his role in the passage of the CVPIA, and additional time to
review and emend the transcript. This he did in record time, making only
minor revisions to spelling and to clarify some sentences. The interview
touches briefly on his two and one-half years as commissioner of the Bureau
Again we thank the Centers for Water and Wildland Resources and its
director Don Erman for making possible this interview and the series on the
Central Valley Project Improvement Act.
Regional Oral History Office
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Regional Oral History Office University of California
Room A86 The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 94720
(Please write clearly. Use black ink.)
Your full name Daniel p erry Beard
Date of birth A P ril 14 ' 1943 Birthplace Bellingham, Washington
Father's full name Stannard Templin Beard
Occupation Pr ^ter Birthplace Bellingham, Washington
Mother's full name ** Mlce Dllle y Beard
Occupation Housewife Birthplace Northfield, Minnesota
Your spouse Dana Caro1 Brynildsen
Occupation Student Birthplace Bellingham, Washington
Your children Allison Esther Beard (Bom: 1-25-72); Nicholas Grant Beard (6-30-74)
Peter Stannard Beard (7-25-85)
Where did you grow up? Bellingham, Washington
Present community Colunfcia, Maryland
Education B ' A - Western Washington University, 1965; M.A. University of Washington,
1970; PhD University of Washington, 1973.
Occupation( s) Federal employee, 1970-1995; Private consultant, 1995-date
Areas of expertise Natural ^sources policy affairs
Other interests or activities
Organizations in which you are active
I RESUME OF CAREER ROUTE FROM COLLEGE GRADUATION TO THE BUREAU OF
RECLAMATION, 1965 TO 1995
[Interview: August 30, 1995] II 1
Chall: Before we get started on the CVPIA, I wanted to find out what was
the route by which you got into government service. I notice that
you have had twenty- two years of government service, and I don't
know how many years of that have been with George Miller.
Beard: Well, I was a graduate student at the University of Washington. My
background is that I was born and raised- -maybe I should start with
who I am?
Beard: My name is Daniel Perry Beard, and I am presently the commissioner
of the Bureau of Reclamation. I was born and raised in Bellingham,
Washington, and I graduated from Western Washington University and
went to work for the city of Seattle. I didn't enjoy it at all,
and went back to graduate school at the University of Washington in
1966. I received my M.A. degree from the Department of Geography
there , I was interested in natural resource conservation
issues, and there were a number of professors there who had done a
lot of work on water resource matters over the years, particularly
the Columbia and Snake Rivers. It had always been a major topic of
I then entered the Ph.D. program, again in the geography
department, finished all of my course work, took my preliminary
examinations. Then my advisor didn't receive tenure, so he left
and went to the University of California at Santa Cruz. His name
was Richard A. Cooley. So I was kind of left like a floundering
'This symbol (II) indicates that a tape or a segment of a tape has begun
or ended. A guide to the tapes follows the transcript.
fish, and decided at that point that I was really interested in
natural resource policy issues, and I wanted to learn how public
policy decisions were made.
Developing Interest and Work in Natural Resource Policy Issues
Beard: I had taken a seminar on natural resource policy issues, and a man
by the name of Bill Van Ness, who was the general counsel for the
Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee and worked for
Senator Henry Jackson, came and spoke. One of Bill's
accomplishments was that he was the person on the committee who
wrote the National Environmental Policy Act, among other pieces of
legislation. I was really quite fascinated and taken with federal
legislative process, so I thought that would be a good thing to do.
In the summer of 1970, I literally wrote letters to everyone
I could think of, including John Erlichman, who at the time was in
the White House. Fortunately, he didn't respond, but a man by the
name of Wally Bowman, who was at the Natural Resources Division of
the Legislative Reference Service at the Library of Congress, was a
very good friend of my advisor Dick Cooley, and he called, did a
phone interview, and hired me on the phone.
So my wife and I packed our belongings and moved to
Washington, D.C. in September of 1970, and I went to work for the
Legislative Reference Service, which in about a month's time had
its name changed to the Congressional Research Service. I worked
for the Environmental Policy Division. I worked on natural
resource policy issues of all kinds, doing research work for
congressmen and senators.
About halfway through my term of service there, sometime in
1971, I decided that I really wanted to be a lawyer. I was going
to go to law school at night, to which my wife responded, "I've
already been through three years of graduate school, and we (you
know, the proverbial we) are not going to law school!" So I
started working on my Ph.D., and finished eventually.
I left the Library and went to Dartmouth in September of 1972
to teach in the geography department and environmental studies
program. While I was there, I finished my dissertation at the
University of Washington, took my exams, and got my degree in the
spring of 1973. But while I was at Dartmouth, I really decided
about halfway through the year that this was the stupidest thing I
had ever done, and that I hated it. I didn't like the college, I
didn't like the students, I didn't like the faculty--
Chall: You didn't like teaching?
Beard: I liked the teaching, but I felt really very out of touch. It's a
really insular world. It just wasn't for me. And so I called my
former boss at the Library of Congress and I got my old job back.
So in June of 1973, I went back to the Library of Congress.
Various Positions In and Out of the Federal Government. 1974-1985
Beard: I stayed there until after the 1974 elections, and after that
election, a congressman by the name of Sidney R. Yates became the
chairman of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, and he
hired me to go to work for him in January of 1975. I worked there
for two years as a special assistant to him. And then some friends
of mine were working on President Carter's transition. I went down
and volunteered and did work there, and eventually was hired to
work in the Carter White House. I was a domestic policy assistant
to the president, and worked for Stuart Eisenstat. I worked again
on natural resource issues.
I was there about four or five months, and it was extremely
hard on my family, just very hard on my family, so I left and got
an appointment as deputy assistant secretary for land and water
resources in the Department of the Interior. I served there with
Secretary [Cecil] Andrus, until the election of 1980.
In January of 1981, I, along with a lot of other people, lost
my job in the Reagan sweep. I then did some fundraising work for
the George Washington University. I left GW and became executive
director of the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation.
Then I was self-employed as a lobbyist for about a year, and
then in 1982, I became the administrative assistant, which is the
chief of staff, for Senator Max Baucus from Montana. I was there
about two years , and then again became a lobbyist . I worked for a
lobbying firm, Chambers and Associates, in Washington for about a
In June of 1984, in the Texas primary, a man by the name of
Abraham Kazen, who was a congressman from Texas, and had been
chairman of the Water and Power Subcommittee of the House Interior
Committee, lost in the primary. That meant that George Miller from
California was the next person in line, and he was a friend of
mine. I had met George and his administrative assistant, John
Lawrence, when I had worked in the Carter White House with
Long-time Association with Congressman George Miller, 1985-1993
Beard: They called me up and said that George might become the chairman of
the Water and Power Subcommittee, and would I like to go to work
for him, and I decided that I would. So in February of 1985, I
became the staff director for the Subcommittee for Water and Power
of the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee. I served in
that capacity for six years. We changed the name of the
subcommittee two years later. With Chairman Morris Udall's
resignation in 1990, George became the chairman of the full
committee, and I was named staff director. The name of the
committee was changed in 1992 to the House Natural Resources
I worked for George as the staff director for the
subcommittee and then ultimately as staff director for the full
committee from February of 1985 until April of 1993, when I
resigned and was appointed commissioner of the Bureau of
Reclamation, which is the job that I currently holdso there it
II GEORGE MILLER: HIS DRIVING INTEREST IN WATER POLICY ISSUES
Chall: That's good, so we have your background now. Was Miller's staff
divided according to subject matter so that you were director for
water and power? Or was that all water and power for that
Beard: Yes, at the time that I was appointed, George really had three
overriding interests. He was interested in children, and at the
time became the chairman of the Select Committee on Children, Youth
and Families. He was very interested in children's issues. He was
also doing a lot of work on El Salvador at the time.
The San Francisco-San Joaquin Delta and Reclamation Reform
Beard: But the one issue that he wanted to pay attention to more than any
other was water resources. And the reason is in his district,
Contra Costa County, there is only one issue that unifies the
county, and that is the issue of water quality. Most Contra
Costans get their water from the Contra Costa Water District, and
the quality of the water is not very good. The reason it is not
very good is because salt water has intruded, and the reason salt
water has intruded is because so much water is being pulled out of
the Delta and shipped south for subsidized agriculture, for water
development south of the Delta.
Most Contra Costans have figured out that there is a
relationship between what they get out of the tap and what's going
on in the valley. They're not sure what it is, but they know that
it's bad, and it's bad for them and it's bad for fisheries and
everything else. So he used to say to me, "I can be as crazy as I
want to on all of these other issues, but as long as I pay
attention and fight hard for Delta water quality, my constituents
will reelect me, because it's the only--." I literally did see
people walk up to him and say, "You know something, Miller, you're
crazy and you're a left-wing kook, but you know what? I like what
you do on water, and I'm going to vote for you." He had that
sentiment repeated to him a number of times.
So when I became the staff director of the subcommittee- -we
had only three people: myself, a man named Steve Lanich, and a
woman by the name of Lori Sonken. George basically said to me,
"Look, the thing I'm more interested in than anything else is I
want to prevent the Peripheral Canal, and I want to continue to
fight to make sure that drainage issues are solved in the Central
Valley, and that we work diligently to try to eliminate federal
subsidies from irrigated agriculture." Those were the issues,
frankly, that got him elected and continued to get him elected.
George was the first chairman of that subcommittee who was
what you would call an "anti-pork-barrel politician." He was not
supportive of big water development, in fact he was opposed to most
of it, and so he took over this subcommittee. It was sort of an
unusual thing--"reformer comes to the field." So we started to do
a number of things. We selected a water project in North Dakota
called the Garrison Project, and worked hard on it to try to re
formulate it so that it was more environmentally sensitive, took
into account environmental factors and issues in a more sensitive
manner. We tried to reduce the cost to the federal taxpayers, and
make the project recipients pay more, and a number of other things
in what you might call a reformist agenda.
We worked on that, as well as many other issues, for quite a
few years, for the entire eight years that I was there.
Okay, well, we'll just go into some of those things. I know that
he was very much concerned with reclamation reform, that is, the
size of land subsidies in California, at least in the 160 and 960-
acre limits. That seemed to be one of his major interests, was it
not? And the Delta?
Different Relationships with Constituents and Central Valley
Chall: In doing that, while he may have kept his good relationships with
Contra Costa constituents, what was going on with the Central
Valley growers who were not his constituents? Wasn't he making
enemies of them?
Beard: Oh, they hated him. They still hate him, and they don't like me.
Frankly, I worked for George, and I agreed with him. I was an
adult, I took this job because I agreed with George and what he was
trying to do. I was a very strong advocate, as was he, and George
made a lot of political enemies as a result. People in the Central
Valley absolutely cringe at the mention of his name; it makes their
skin crawl, and it makes their skin crawl, I think, primarily,
because George understands the system better than any congressman
I've ever known. He really understands how the system works, and
he knows, or did know, how to tweak the system, and to make things
very uncomfortable for those who are benefitting from the system.
And he was very opinionated, and didn't hesitate to speak out on
issues and was not interested in their side of the issue.
Now, you've got to remember with George that you have to go
back to the fundamental reason why he even paid attention to this
issue, and the reason that he did is because he knew-- He was an
elected representative from Contra Costa County, and he was there
to represent the views of his constituents on an issue that 95
percent of his constituents agreed upon. The vote on the state
initiative that was held in 1982 on whether to build a Peripheral
Canal--95 percent of Contra Costans voted against it. Now, if you
find an issue where 95 percent of your constituents are on one
side, then you better be on that side or you won't be elected from
that district, and George didn't hesitate on that issue. He fought
passionately on that sideas a reformer in the water field.
Chall: Against the Peripheral Canal?
Beard: Against the Peripheral Canal, against irrigated agriculture,
against the valley growers, against people that you would classify
as "pork-barrel" politicians. He didn't care.
In the end, you see, the harder he fought and the more he
made people mad, the better off he was, because his constituents
were even more proud of him, because the more outrageous he got and
the more frustrated people got at him and lashed out at him, the
better he looked to his constituents. So it was sort of a self-
fulfilling prophecy. George's basic nature is that he loves a good
tussle, he loves a good fight. So that's what made it for him, at
least, a crusade- -which is really what we did for the eight years
that I was therea strong crusade and fight on water issues.
Chall: We'll take up some of that. Now, we'll get into his relationships
with Tony Coelho and Vic Fazio and the others as we go along,
though Coelho left in time. Were they difficult because they were
valley representatives? I know what happened later on with Fazio,
[Richard] Lehman, and the rest of them.
Beard: Well, George's relationship with Tony Coelho was a very interesting
one. Tony and George really liked one another personally; they
were very close. Tony was a politician that was consumed with
ambition- -he was going to succeed, and he was an extremely talented
politician. He had a very strong desire to succeed, to move
forward in leadership ranks. He really wanted to be Speaker of the
House of Representatives. And he represented his constituents, and
his constituents were opposed to everything that George was for in
water resources and vice versa.
And surprisingly, people used to make a big deal of the fact
that Tony and George used to argue publicly, but privately they
were the closest of friends. I mean, they really liked each other
very much, and respected each other as politicians and people who
fought for what they believed in. But publicly, Tony had to oppose
George, and he did on a regular basis, but George always supported
Tony in his efforts to be appointed head of the campaign committee,
and then majority whip, and other positions. So they had a very
good relationship, frankly, and got along well, although on water
they were just poles apart.
Staffs of Water and Power Subcommittees in the House and Senate
Chall: By the time we're getting into the 1990-1991 era for the CVPIA
[Central Valley Project Improvement Act], was the staff bigger? I
have the names of Charlene Dougherty, Steve Lanich, John Lawrence,
and Dan Beard. Was that it?
Beard: Well, what happened in 1985, we had just the three of us. And then
after the 1986 electionthat would be 1987--we hired the three
additional people for the subcommittee. One was the fellow by the
name of Jeff Petrich, and Jeff worked on Alaska issues. The
subcommittee was given jurisdiction over Alaska public lands
issues. Sharon Kirby, was our clerk and secretary, and then the
last person we hired was Charlene Dougherty. She had worked as a
lobbyist for the Tennessee Valley Authority, she'd worked for the
Department of Energy, and her assignment previous to coming to the
subcommittee was with the National Audubon Society as one of their
representatives on Capitol Hill.
I hired her to be a generalist, somebody who could work on a
variety of issues and do some backstop work on water issues. Steve
Lanich handled the major responsibility for water. I generally did
water resource matters in California. Steve did the water resource
stuff outside of California, and then Charlene helped out from time
to time because she was pretty knowledgeable about it. So that was
sort of the staff complement on the House of Representatives side.
On the Senate side, between 1985 and 1986, it was under the
control of the Republicans, and the staff director for the
Subcommittee on Water and Power over there was a fellow by the name
of Russell Brown. And then when they switched and the Democrats
took over in 1987, Russ Brown also stayed, he stayed until 1988.
After the 1988 election, when Senator Bradley became the chairman
in 1989, he hired a fellow by the name of Tom Jensen.
President Jimmy Carter's Early Positions on Western Water and
Chall: I want to go back just a moment. Jimmy Carter came in, in terms of
western agriculture, saying, I guess, "No more building;" also, "No
subsidies." He took a very strong, very immediate stand, didn't
he, on water, and didn't get very far if any place. What happened?
Beard: Well, I think that President Carter was just about a decade ahead
of his time. President Carter had a number of interesting
characteristics, one of which was that he was absolutely one of the
smartest people I've ever met. He was a voracious reader, a real
intellect. When you talked to him, he didn't take any notes, he'd
just listen, and it was obvious that he was consuming everything
you said to him and internalizing it.
During the transition, a number of environmentalists became
interested in the idea of sending to the president a series of
water projects that the funding could be eliminated for. President
Carter had been involved with the Richard Russell Dam [Corps of
Army Engineers] in Georgia, on the Georgia-South Carolina line. He
was really very interested in that controversy, so he took the
Environmental Impact Statement and read it .
Well, it was one of those things where the recreation
benefits required a boat every two feet filled with five fishermen
fishing 366 days a year to get the kind of recreation benefits that
they were proposing for this dam. Well, he read it and said that
it was an outrage, that it couldn't possibly work and didn't make
any sense. So that sort of shaped his-- The debate over the
Richard Russell Dam shaped his personality or his approach towards
water issues from the beginning.
When he came into office, there was a tradition in the Office
of Management and Budget and the Council on Environmental Quality
for preparing each year a list of water projects which the staff
felt that funding ought to be reduced for. They had done this in
President Nixon's time, and President Nixon got it and said, "Gee,
this is very interesting, thank you very much; now we'll not do
anything with it." President Ford did the same thing. And so when
that concept came forward to President Carter, he said, "I like
this idea, let's do it."
Well, that sort of set everybody off, and there were big
meetings in the White House in February of 1977. There was one
sort of big meeting that had Secretary [Cecil] Andrus and Bert
Lance from the Office of Management and Budget and all of these
other people. Vice President [Walter] Mondale was there. The vote
was twelve not to do it and one to do it, and it was President
Carter who voted to go ahead. And what he did was he just sent a
message to the Congress saying that in his budget, he was going to
eliminate funding for a number of water projects.
Well, that just set off a huge explosion, and big meetings,
and big controversy, and as President Carter later noted in his
books, that he made a mistake, he didn't see it all the way through
to the end and stick to his guns. He ultimately compromised. A
couple of projects fell on the wayside, though most of them
survived, though it took them a long time to get the funding back.
The president was right. We were investing large amounts of
money in projects of very dubious merit. They were not returning
sufficient revenues to the treasury and it was a complete waste of
money. Now that's just one person's view, but that was certainly
his view as well, but that didn't address the politics of the
issue. It really clouded his relationship with the Congress,
really injured his relationship with the Congress for the rest of
his term. That was one of the key factors that lead the Congress
to really begin to turn against President Carter. So water in that
sense was very important.
Chall: I see. That's because of the solid water and agriculture united
front all over the United States. That would include Georgia even,
Beard: Yes, oh yes, clearly.
Chall: All right. Well, that was an important bit of history that we
needed to uncover.
Beard: Well, it's interesting history to me, because I don't think anyone
has ever written a history about the water project fights of the
1970s--President Carter and what it really meant and the
significance of it. It's sort of an unwritten chapter and it's
good history, it's very interesting history.
Chall: It may have started some other thinking along the way.
III THE EMERGENCE OF THE CENTRAL VALLEY PROJECT IMPROVEMENT ACT AS
A MAJOR ISSUE IN CONGRESS, 1990-1991
Chall: Now, getting into the Central Valley Project Improvement Act,
Miller had a group of fish and wildlife protection act bills in
1989, 1990, and 1991, which I think the environmentalists generally
call "fish bills." I guess everybody calls them fish bills. The
general idea was to protect and enhance fish and wildlife. What
concerns there were with contract renewals and conservation were
fairly minimal I guess. At the same time, was it Miller's hope
that he was not going to aggravate too much the agricultural
Chall: About at that same time, Senator Bradley was coming in with his own
bills, which were different. They had more to do with water
transfers, up-front water, and other things of this kind. What was
the attitude, or the concern, of the Miller forces when Bradley
moved into this field? Was this expected or accepted? Was it
The Genesis of the CVPIA; The Need for Mitigation of Impacts on
Fish and Wildlife in the Central Valley. 1988
Beard: Well, I think you are mixing too many things here. Let me go back
because the one thing that's never really been written is the
history of how the CVPIA really got started.
The CVPIA, from George's perspective, was an idea that got
started in a shower, if you will. It was an idea that I had in a
shower. George was great; you could come to him with an idea and
say, "Here's this idea, what do you think?" And he'd say, "That's
a terrible idea," or, "It's a great idea, try to run with it." I
think that it wasI'm going to get confused as to--.
Chall: The bills?
Beard: Well, the predecessor to the bill introduced in 1990. The first
bill--I can't remember the number of the first bill that we
introduced, and the date, but it was called the California Fish and
Wildlife Protection Act of 1990. I've forgotten when we introduced
it. I think it was in 1990, obviously.
[Chall searches in folder for the bill]
Chall: There was H.R. 4700. That was called the California Fish and
Wildlife Protection Act of 1990.
Beard: Yes, that was it.
Chall: That was introduced on May 1, 1990.
Beard: In 1988, I became very interested in this idea. I was in the
shower, and this idea kind of struck me. And the idea was the
following: that whenever the federal government built a water
project, one of the fundamental concepts that was embodied in the
construction of the project was the concept of mitigation. In
other words, if a water project had an impact on migratory water
fowl, or fisheries, or some other fish and wildlife values, the
water project was required to mitigate the impacts of the project
on fish and wildlife. And that's the case in every single water
project that I know of, except for the Central Valley Project.
The Central Valley Project was the only project that I knew
of where there was never any effort made from the initial
construction all the way up until 1954, when the first fish and
wildlife restoration bill, a law, was passed, and it only dealt
with one unit of the Central Valley Project. So the Central Valley
Project as a whole, which is the largest water project in
reclamation, neverthere was no concept of mitigating the impacts
of the project on fish and wildlife resources.
So this was 1988, and I was thinking that what we ought to do
is to authorize the secretary to proceed to take actions to
mitigate the impact of the Central Valley Project on fish and
wildlife resources in the Central Valley. And, if not have the
secretary of the interior do it, we could maybe create or require
the formulation of a regional body like the Pacific Northwest Power
Planning Council, which has done some work on fisheries restoration
in the Columbia River. But have somebody responsible for
addressing the impact of the project on fisheries resources and
then on migratory water fowl.
And that was the general concept, the justification being
that every other project had to do this, why should the Central
Valley Project not have to do it?
Drafting the California Fish and Wildlife Protection Act of 1990:
A Difficult Task
Beard: So I went to George with this idea. This was 1988; I think it was
in the fall of 1988. George said, "This is a great idea, and I
think we ought to do something with it." So I turned to Charlene
Dougherty and said, "We really ought to do something about this,
and I want you to work on this . " She decided that she would go to
California and meet with representatives from the National Audubon
Society, the Environmental Defense Fund, the NRDC [National
Resources Defense Council], and some others, and see what kind of
ideas they had about this project.
There was a meeting around Christmas of 1988, some time in
December, in which Charlene laid out a general plan: we want to do
a bill that tries to restore fish and wildlife values, we want to
authorize some money for restoration, we want to see if we can get
some water reserved, and some other general concepts. We didn't
quite know what it was going to be.
The response we got was really pretty enthusiastic. People
were very positive, and we started to work on it. This was just at
the time that the new Bush administration was coming into office.
It became very obvious that it was a hell of a problem. It was a
really difficult problem to write a bill on this subject because
there was simply no template, there was no place to jump off.
Charlene struggled with it for several months, and then we
got into the middle of a bunch of stuff with the new Bush
administration and we really couldn't do anything on it. It kind
of languished, and we never did anything really until about
September of 1989.
Again, at the point we decided to go out to-- Charlene went
out to California, and had another meeting with the environmental
groups, and said, "We're still working on this bill." Their
response was again very positive, but somewhat cynical you know--
"Look, you came here a year ago and said you were going to do this,
and you didn't do anything, so why should we help you again?" That
was sort of Tom Graff's response, and Tom was somewhat cynical at
But Charlene said, "This is a difficult thing to write. No
one has ever done this before; we don't know quite how to approach
the problem. We've struggled with all of the typical problems that
you have. What should we be doing? What is the guiding principle
here? What are the objectives we are trying to achieve? How much
do we want to restore fish and wildlife populations? Do we really
want to do fish populations?" Because there are all kinds of fish
populations and all kinds of different types of fish, and it gets
very complicated very quickly.
But anyway, she really persisted at it, and we worked hard,
and we struggled a lot during the Christmas interregnum in 1989.
We really worked hard on getting a draft, going through it, laying
out a statement of purposes, trying to find the elements that we
could put into it by creating some fishery task forces and then
working on trying to figure out a way to get the secretary to
implement what's called the North American Plan for Waterfowl
Restoration, and a number of other general kinds of things. That
is the bill that was introduced in May of 1990, the California Fish
and Wildlife Protection Act of 1990.
It was the result of our efforts, and as you can see from the
bill, the bill contained a number of things. One of which was that
we had a commission established to look at restoration. We looked
at the problem of restoration and concluded that it was just so
damn difficult, we don't know how to do it. So we did what we
usually do in those kinds of things, we created a commission to
have them look at it .
But the seeds were there, and this bill really provided--
This was the beginning. All of the various elements are there. We
had responsibilities for the secretary, responsibilities for this
commission, we implemented the North American Migratory Waterfowl
restoration plan, we did some general efforts on water
conservation, and we just had--it was kind of a mish-mash of
things. But it represented a sincere and honest intent on our part
to try to make the first effort at sort of restoring fish and
wildlife resources in the Central Valley Project.
Chall: And that's the one that sort of got itself attached somehow to
[Doug] Bosco's bill, H.R. 3613.
Beard: Well, we had a bill, H.R. 4700, that was introduced that had a lot
of co-sponsors. And then Bosco had a bill, and he was in a tough
sort of political race. George wanted to move his bill and he
decided to attach his bill to the Bosco bill. At this point,
Congressman Lehman and othersthey didn't have a sense of what
this meant for their constituents. They were opposed to it because
George was for it, but they didn't quite know what was involved.
We had some hearings, we had hearings on the bill, and it was
obvious that most people didn't quite understand it, so we reported
the bill out of subcommittee, but it really didn't go any further
than that .
Senator Bill Bradley and Staff Director Tom Jensen Take an Interest
in the California Central Valley Issues
Beard: Now, it was about this point that Tom Jensen, who worked with
Senator Bradley, saw the bill and really liked it. He became very
interested in the bill, very interested, and said essentially that
he wanted to put together a bill for Senator Bradley on the Central
Valley Project and fish and wildlife issues.
Now, Tom had an interesting background. Tom had been a
lawyer with the U.S. -Canada Salmon Commission--! 've forgotten the
name of it--in Vancouver, British Columbia. So he had a background
on salmon issues, and had got his law degree at Lewis and Clark in
Portland. He really was very interested in this issue, and had a
background that was really quite different. He decided to approach
the issue in somewhat different manner and ultimately wrote and
introduced a bill, Bradley 's bill, in the Senate.
Now for us, for Congressman Miller, this was a great,
absolutely terrific, development. One of the problems that we had
been having since 1985 was that every time we had a reform measure
on water, we couldn't get anyone in the Senate to pay attention to
it; nobody in the Senate would pay attention to it. Nobody cared
in the Senate. You can't get anything done in the Congress unless
you have a coalition and unless you have committed people who are
working in both the House and the Senate.
The reason is that there are 535 members of Congress-- 100
senators and 435 members of the House. And there are about 25,000
registered lobbyists in Washington, D.C. Well, it doesn't take a
genius to figure out that with only 535 people and 25,000 people
plus their constituents all clamoring to get some of their time and
energy and effort, it is really very difficult. Unless you have
somebody who is willing to carve out some time and say, "I am going
to work on this issue," you can't get anything done. So you have
to find somebody who is willing to make that sacrifice.
Senator Bradley, oddly enough, was. He became interested in
the issue, and he decided that he wanted to take on this issue and
try to address it. Now, I never really understood why. And I
still don't to this day. I think there is in his personality
makeup, somewhat of a pixie, you know, someone who delights in
needling people, and Senator Bradley, I think, enjoyed the repartee
of arguing with people about these things. There were political
reasons: people used to say he wants a good working relationship
with the environmentalists, and he may run for president, and all
of these kind of things. But in the end, I really think that it
was just the sheer delighthe was fascinated by the subject and
fascinated by the hardball nature of the water politics in
California, and fascinated by being on the other side from all of
these very heavy hitters, and he kind of liked the controversy and
So we, George Miller, introduced H.R. 4700, held hearings,
moved it forward a little bit in that Congress, but it never really
went anywhere. Senator Bradley, I think, introduced a bill at the
very end of the Congress [S.2658]. I could be wrong on that, but
it didn't really go anywhere, and it then was left for the next
Congress in 1991 that Mr. Miller began to move the bill.
Beard: At this point, at the end of the Congress, all of the bills
disappear, and you have to start all over again, so the bill was
reintroduced as H.R. 1306. [March 6, 1991] We made substantial
improvements in the bill from the previous Congress, and the
changes really reflected some discussions. They weren't
negotiations, they were discussions between ourselves and Senator
Bradley 's staffTom Jensen. We went over and said, "Well, look,
here's our bill, and here's what you're interested in doing." We
decided to pick and choose some things from their bill to try to
make it a better bill, something that was kind of unique for
Chall: That you thought could go through the Congress, the House at least?
Beard: Well, through the House at least. I think even at this point, none
of us, none of the people connected with George, ever thought in
our wildest dreams that the thing would ever become law. I
honestly believe that. George used to say, "This is going to be
really hard to do. I don't think we can ever do it." Bush was
president; we had to get the presidential signature. We had
somebody in the Senate, but you never really knew how much time
Senator Bradley was willing to put into it. It was difficult in
the House, because you working with two committees, and you had the
opposition from the growers, and there were all of these factors
coming up .
Unexpected Changes in the House and Senate Affect the Momentum of
Beard: But a number of things at the end of 1990 began to change the
politics of the issue. First and foremost from Mr. Miller's
perspective was that Moe Udall became basically incapacitated, and
in 1990 really was in terrible shape. He was not showing up at
hearings, and his mind was wandering, and physically he was very
disabled because of Parkinson's disease. And so the last year, in
1990, George was really running most of the hearings and performing
a lot of the duties of Mr. Udall. Then the caucus re-elected Udall
chairman in December of 1990, and then three days later he fell
down the stairs and went to the hospital and virtually was
incapacitated at that point.
George was then made the acting chairman of the committee,
and I was made the staff director for the committee. So suddenly,
George was the chairman of the whole committee, and that was a
Another thing that was very important to the overall politics
was that in 1990, the people from the Central Utah Project had
negotiated out with the environmentalists a bill to complete the
Central Utah Project and to move it forward. So we put their bill,
as well as some other bills together, in one package, and on it
were some changes in the Reclamation Reform Act dealing with the
960-acre limitation. Those were in there because we were
responding to regulations that were put out by the Reagan
administration in 1987.
That package went over to the Senate, and everybody was in
agreement that the package ought to be passed except Senator Pete
Chall: That was H.R. 2567, I think.
Chall: That was the first Omnibus bill, as you call it.
Beard: Yes, and Pete Wilson adamantly opposed it; he was running for
governor at the time. He just said, "No, I'm not going to agree to
move this bill forward unless you take out the reclamation reform
stuff," which the growers in the valley wanted. Mr. Miller said,
"Well, I want them in there." And so, it was kind of a standoff,
and the bill died.
The Central Utah people were furious. The bill contained
legislation for other western interestsreally minor stuff, we're
talking really little things in this bill. Anyway, these interests
were furious. The western senators were furious, because they
wanted their little bit of pork, is what it amounted to. We had
started this little bill in 1987. We didn't get it done in one
Congress; we came back in the next Congress and got it all the way
through and Senator Wilson queered the deal.
So what it meant was that there was a tremendous amount of
momentum behind this sort of little Omnibus bill that we had, and
some real frustration. Well, Pete Wilson won the election [to
become governor of California]. Suddenly he was gone, and
everybody seemed to be very happy. Now, at that point, everybody
said, "Now George, you're not going to link your California Fish
and Wildlife Bill with this Omnibus bill, are you?" To which
George said privately, "Why not? I mean, this is what I really
want . "
We really made an assessment at that point that the
Reclamation Reform Act amendments that we were trying to push
didn't make a lot of sense. We were fighting a fight that was a
fight that was really a decade old. In 1982, we had passed the
Reclamation Reform Act, and that legislation really came out of a
lawsuit filed in 1974 by the National Land for People. So here we
were in 1991, arguing about something that was essentially almost a
twenty-year-old problem. George just said, "Look, I've had it. We
don't need to keep fighting this issue forever. I would rather us
put the California Fish and Wildlife Bill on this Omnibus bill and
fight for that. Because that's the future."
We said, "Okay," and began to move that bill, H.R. 1306,
separately, but we also had this little Omnibus bill too, and held
hearings. I think we even moved the Omnibus bill without the
California stuff in it.
George was now the chairman of the committee, and as chairman
you have a lot of leverage with peoplebills don't move in
Congress without the approval of the chairman of the committee, and
so people were willing to defer to George. They knew there was
this disagreement with the valley farmers --members representing the
valley farming interests, and they didn't like the idea of being in
the middle of this controversy between Miller and Coelho, but all
of a sudden Coelho left.
Coelho was a brilliant tactition, and he had a significant
power base as the minority whip. He basically worked with the
leadership. Tony was the person who made it almost impossible for
us to move legislation. We couldn't get it through the Rules
Committee, we couldn't get it through the leadership if Tony was
really adamantly opposed. Well, suddenly, Pete Wilson has been
elected and goes off to California as governor, Tony Coelho
resigns, George Miller becomes the chairman, and Bill Bradley is
now interested, and has his own bill in the Senate. So suddenly,
the prospects just--the whole political landscape changed
George Miller Develops a Coalition to Push for CVP Reform
Beard: That's the point where we really did something that was very
unique. George became convinced, rightly so, that we were never
going to move this legislation unless we had a coalition behind it.
And the coalition would never get organized behind it unless he
took the responsibility for putting together the development of
that coalition. The way George's office worked was that George's
closest advisor and long-time friend was his administrative
assistant John Lawrence; John really handled the politics in
George's office. I was responsible for the water legislation and
the staffing of the issues.
Well, George, John and I then began a series of trips to
California, where we met with business interests. We went to Los
Angeles, San Diego, and met with Mike Madigan, who was with the San
Diego County Water Authority and was a close advisor to Pete
Wilson, and with other business leaders, and really talked. This
was something that George had never really done much of because he
never really had any ambitions to run statewide. It was sort of
difficult for him, but he really did a great job. He met with
business leaders, and essentially said to them, "Look, this
legislation, something like this is very important to the future of
California," and people agreed.
What we did as a result of those tripswe made trips to the
Bay Area, Los Angeles, and San Diego, and made visits to editorial
boardswe really began to develop a cadre of people who were
buying into the concept of this legislation. Senator Bradley went
out and visited a number of the same people and essentially said
the same thing.
Then the environmentalists began to see that there was a
possibility of this thing moving, so they actually became engaged
and formed the Share the Water coalition as a sort of umbrella
group, but then all of the other groups individually passed
resolutions and did things in support of it. Then they began to do
a bunch of editorial board meetings and other sort of public
relations activities that really moved things forward.
And so I really think that it was a confluence of a lot of
really different things, a lot of different things came together, a
lot of different pieces of the puzzle began to fit for a lot of
different factors. It wasn't just sort of one factor or one
person. It really takes a lot to put a bill like this together.
There are a lot of different things that have to happen.
I don't know if that helps explain something.
George Miller's Discomfort with Water Marketing
Chall: Oh yes, very much. In the bills that Senator Bradley was
interested in that Tom Jensen nominally was writing, with some
background from David Yardas and Tom Graff, they were interested in
water marketing and water transfers. I think they felt that Miller
was not comfortable with water transfers at all, so there was this
difference of opinion between you for a long, long time.
At one point, back on September 6th, 1990--this goes back to
H.R. 1316, which was what came out of H.R. 4700--David Yardas and
Karen Garrison from the National Resources Defense Council wrote a
joint letter outlining their difference of opinion with H.R. 1316
with respect primarily to water marketing and also to contract
Chall: I know that from time to time you apparently talked to them about
it, but what was your general reaction to this? Were you, the
staff, and George Miller uncomfortable with the idea of transfers?
Beard: Well, I sort of have two answers. One is we were uncomfortable,
Mr. Miller was uncomfortable. Mr. Miller really felt very
uncomfortable about water marketing, and part of it is the Owens
Valley experience. He just simply said, "Look, what's worse?
Having subsidized agriculture wasting water, that's bad, but," he
said, "having field after field filled with ticky-tacky
subdivisions is bad as well." He was Just really uncomfortable
with the concept. He really was worried about the third party
impact of transfers. That was sort of one level. In my
discussions with him, I never really got the sense that George was
adamant on it, but he is a thoughtful person, and he kept thinking,
"Look, this just doesn't equate with me, I've got problems with it.
I don't really understand it, and I don't think we ought to be
moving forward on something that I'm not entirely sure about."
That was one level. The other level was, the other factor,
was that Congressman Lehman, Congressman Coelho, and then
Congressman [Gary] Condit that followed him, and Congressman
[Charles] Pashayan, who was a Republican from Fresno, who was
followed by Congressman [Cal] Dooley--the valley congressmen were
constantly talking to George saying, "George, you can't do this."
George was under a tremendous amount of pressure from the valley
congressman on a regular basis, who were saying to him, "Look,
George, there is only one issue in my district, and it's you, and
it's you and this bill, and I'm going to be defeated if you don't
back off of this bill."
George said, "I believe in this bill, and my constituents
believe in this bill." Because we did a lot of organizing in the
district to make damn sure that people knew what he was doing, and
it goes back again to why he was even interested in the subject
area. He said, "I understand your concerns about water transfers
and water marketing, and I've got those same concerns, but I want
to move the bill forward." So that's where we were. It never
really appeared in our bill, primarily because George was opposed,
or uncomfortable--! don't think that opposed is the right wordbut
very uncomfortable, and he was being hit pretty hard. Members of
the delegation were banging on him pretty hard.
There's another problem with water transfers, too, that I
have struggled with. I have always been a believer in one of the
fundamental policy precepts of reclamation law, and that is that we
defer to state law wherever possible. In California, at least,
California, compared to the other western states, is a fairly
progressive legal state. So I've always said to people in the
Senate who opposed us on things, they would make this accusation
that you're trying to federalize this thing, and I'd say, "No, just
let state law prevail," because California has a very progressive
law in this area. And they would say, "Ah, well, we can't do
that." So they always had this duplicitous position in my view.
But anyway, I always felt that water marketing and water
transfers ought to be a subject of state law, not a federal law,
that if the state of California wanted to allow this to happen, we
ought to defer to the state and let the state do it. Now there are
problems with that, because people who are getting water from the
federal project were getting federal subsidies, so I was sort of
uncomfortable with it too. As the chief staff person, and with
George sort of uneasy about it--I wasn't there constantly saying to
him, "No, no George change your mind." I basically agreed with
him. So we kept those provisions out of the bills that he
Chall: I just wanted to understand your reason.
Beard: David and Karen and Tom are absolutely right. George did not agree
with their position, did not agree that water transfers and water
marketing was the answer, and didn't put it in his bill. And they
were not happy about it.
Chall: In the meantime, however, some of this was in the Senate bill
S.484--transition to water marketing, a certain amount of up-front
water and all of the rest of it. But you could not get that
Bradley bill through the Senate.
Introduction of John Seymour's Bill S.2016 Changes the Politics of
CVP Reform Legislation
Beard: Well, our difficulty in the House was that George introduced this
bill [H.R. 1306], and the argument against George was that this was
not needed, that this was one person's view on how to solve the
problems of the Central Valley Project.
Chall: What person?
Beard: George Miller. In the House of Representatives, his critics said,
continually, and his critics out in the field said, "Listen, this
is George Miller's view of what ought to happen, but there's
nothing wrong, we don't need to change it, no bill's better than
some bill--" there was always that argument. So the onus was
always on us to come up with the rationale as to why the Congress
of the United States had to pass this bill. Frankly, it was a
terribly difficult uphill battle. And even when Bradley introduced
his bill, it then became "Bradley and Miller's view of the world,"
against present reality. "Why do we need to change things just
because two people think it ought to be changed?"
Chall: Even though, there were so many environmentalists by this time, and
the Business Roundtable and all of the others moving-
Beard: But it still was a powerful argument. It's you against the world.
The moment that I heard that Senator Seymour, and I think it was
Dooley at that point, were going to introduce their own bill [The
Central Valley Project Fish and Wildlife Act], I went to George,
and I said, "You've won." Because now it's not an argument of
whether there ought to be a bill, there's agreement that there
ought to be a bill. Now it's just a question of what should be in
the bill. And I said, "We win that fight every time, because
you're chairman of the committee, you appoint the conferees, your
staff is going to be the one writing the bill, so in the end you'll
win. You're going to win this argument in the end because now the
argument is a different argument. It used to be we want a bill;
why do you need a bill? But now, they have a bill and we have a
bill, so everybody agrees we ought to have a bill. Now it's just a
question of just what does it say?"
I was really surprised, I must tell you--not surprised; I
was shocked- -that our opponents decided to introduce their own
Chall: Did you know they were writing one?
Beard: Oh, yes. You heard the pitter-patter of their feet. They felt,
from their perspective, that they couldn't withstand the criticism
that we were constantly launching against themthat we needed a
bill, we needed a bill, we needed a bill. They were having
difficulty arguing with that. I think in retrospect, they realized
the mistake that they made.
Chall: That they should have stonewalled the whole thing?
Beard: Yes. They should have stonewalled it, because they had the support
of the administration, the administration was stonewalling; the
Bush administration didn't agree with it.
So it was really interesting to me when that decision was
made. I think there's an interesting story that ought to be told,
and maybe this is the appropriate point to tell itthat is, when
Senator Seymour was appointed. Senator Wilson was elected governor
and resigned and then appointed John Seymour to follow him. And
when that appointment was made, we had some momentary high hopes,
because Pete Wilson had approached water in a very simplistic
fashion. He just simply said in effect, "I'll go to Fresno, hold a
fundraiser, and do whatever they want me to do." That was our
perception of what he was doing.
He didn't give a damn about what the people in northern
California thought, he didn't give a damn about what the
environmentalists thought. Wilson really felt that the swing in
the state was in the valley. He would get votes in southern
California, and the swing was in the valley, and the way to get the
valley votes was to do what the water guys wanted. That's sort of
the simplistic view of it. And he raised a lot of money there too.
This was sort of his view.
Now, when Senator Seymour was appointed, we really felt-- Let
me back up. Senator Wilson's staff never spent a nanosecond
worrying about the merits of an issue, the merits of a water issue.
I mean they seemed to think that whatever the folks in Fresno said
ought to be their position, that generally was the position they
Chall: And do you think that carried over when he was governor as well?
Beard: Well, I think so, but then that's just my perception. But when
John Seymour was appointed, we really had high hopes. We thought
maybe he would be independent, maybe he'll look at it a little
About two or three weeks after he was appointed, George, who
flew home every week, who commutes every week to the Bay Area, was
on a plane, and as he boarded, he noticed that Senator Seymour was
there. So George went up to him and said, "Look, you don't know me
from Adam, and a lot of people have probably told you lots of
things about me, but let me tell you how you can be a winner on the
water issue by supporting this legislation. I would urge you to
think about addressing water issues, to be an independent voice,
and to really take a position that is really pro-southern
California by putting some reforms on people in the Central
George said that he talked to Seymour for a couple of hours
on this flight. I said, "Well what's the conclusion? You talked
to this guy for two hours, what's the answer?" He said, "I didn't
make any headway. He looked at me, and I knew the look in his
eyes, which was 'I just got this job, I have absolutely no idea who
you are, what you're talking about, and not only that, I don't
care." 1 It was sort of one of those things where, he was polite,
but simply thought George was some kind of a crazy man who sat down
next to him and started talking about some particular issue.
And from the very moment that Senator Seymour took office, he
took a very strong position in support of the Central Valley
Project farmers. And we always felt, Miller's staff always felt,
that he took that position based on advice he'd received from
Governor Wilson, "This is how you handle water, you do whatever the
folks in Fresno ask you to do."
I don't know, Rich [Richard] Golb might have a different view
on it, he was there, but it was always my view that was the case. 1
'Interview with David Golb in process.
But, anyway, when Senator Seymour and Congressman Dooley
decided to introduce a bill, I really felt that the fightthe most
difficult impediment in the way of getting a bill through was
really gone, that we now had a green light. Now it really just
became a question of how we would we do this. And that's hardit
was a hard fight from there on out. I think it was very difficult.
It was the most difficult bill I've ever worked on, primarily
because it was the largest because we had all of the various
sections of the bill.
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IV HOUSE AND SENATE COMPROMISES, NEGOTIATIONS, AND MANEUVERS MARK
FINAL PASSAGE OF THE CVPIA: THE OMNIBUS WATER ACT
The Senate Passes the Seymour Bill
Chall: What was the reaction of Miller and the staff when the Senate
committee [Energy and Natural Resources] and then the Senate
itself, passed Senate bill 2016 into H.R. 429, and you were left
with the Seymour bill? That was in April of 1992? You were now on
the hot seat, as it were.
Beard: Right. It was good news-bad news. The bad news was a really
terrible bill was now the Senate bill. The good news was that the
Senate had moved a bill. Our problem had been that we had used
every means that we could think of to try to jab Senator [Bennett]
Johnston to move a bill, and we couldn't get him to move, and
neither could Bradley. I never understood why Johnston never
wanted to move a CVP reform bill. But he would come to George and
ask for things, and George would say, no, and then Johnston would
wander off mumbling, and then his staff would get to me and say,
"Why doesn't George want to move this bill?" And I said, "Because
you won't move his bill." They never quite understood the
relationship and the commitment, and how strongly George began to
feel about this bill.
What had happened was that this started out, as I said, as an
idea in the shower, and we were going to fix up the fish and
wildlife. Well suddenly, this thing had mushroomed into the
biggest water bill that George had ever introduced. It was now
becoming sort of like a legacy. He saw the upside to it, more so
than any of us did at the time. He saw the upside of what was
happening. This thing was getting bigger and bigger, and more
important, and more people throughout the state were beginning to
see the importance of it, but you couldn't get anybody in the
Senate to pay attention.
The Senate, by moving a bill, waswell, it was good news
that they moved a bill, but bad news that it was a terrible bill.
Now, there was a reason that Senator Johnston used this approach.
We had some legislation earlier on the Tongass Timber Reform bill,
and we'd actually gotten that bill through because we put a [Frank]
Murkowski-[Ted] Stevens bill in the Senate bill, got it through the
Senate, then went to conference, and then came out with a
compromise effort, and the Tongass legislation. That formula
intrigued Johnston quite a bit. So he always tried to duplicate
that later on. That was what he was doing in this case, he was
trying to duplicate the Tongass approach.
He [Johnston] kept assuring us, "I'm not going to move a bill
that you don't accept in conference. If you don't like the bill,
it won't come out of conference." We took him at his word, but
Bradley also said, "I'm going to make sure that its the right
bill," and so we at least got to conference, which was the
Chall: So now we're talking about the conference committee.
George Miller Accepts the Concept of Water Transfers; The
Significance of the Metropolitan Water District
Chall: But before we get there, before we get to the conference committee,
I think you were talking about the fact that Miller introduced H.R.
5099, a bill similar to the Johnston mark, as I understand it, in
May of 1992, which would be the House bill opposed to the [Seymour]
bill that had passed the Senate. David Yardas claimed that he
spent quite a bit of time with Steve Lanich and Liz Birnbaum
working out the substance of this. But then, when your own staff
worked on it, while it came out somewhat differently, it showed
that you had accepted some ideas of water transfers?
Chall: And how did this come about that you accepted some of these ideas?
Beard: Well, I think there were water transfer provisions in the Seymour
bill, as I recall. I could be wrong on that.
Chall: Yes, there were some not like the others.
Beard: No, not like the others. But it became pretty obvious to us that
in the politics of the issue, which is really the place where I
spent most of my time, the politics of the issue really demanded
that we include something on water transfers. Primarily, this was
because this was the only thing that Metropolitan Water District of
Southern California was really interested in. There is no other
reason why they should be interested in the bill. The Met is
fundamental in water politics in California. You've got to have
the Met on your side, and the Met was interested in the bill; they
saw it as the major advantage to them.
Most people in southern California, including the Met, saw
water transfers as a potential new source of water, and so in that
sense George, despite his unease about it, sort of said, "Well, I
guess I can go along with it in a limited fashion." Plus everybody
by this point had transfer provisions in their bill. Seymour did,
Bradley did- -they were there and we'd been talking about it enough
that we knew a little bit more about it now. And then it was
fundamental to the politics of the issue too.
I suppose I could go back and do this, but it would take me a
while to do it. I used to know it at one time. I don't know how
many times we passed this bill [House CVP reform bill] , and in how
many forms, in 1992, but we did so a large number of times. We
seemed to try to attach it to just about everything that we could
find. We were doing it because we were trying to find ways to get
this thing over to the Senate, get the Senate to move it, and then
get it back. All you have to do in the Congress is pass the same
version in both houses, but that sometimes is very very difficult.
We had reconciliation billswe had every kind of bill that you
could think of and we were always trying to add our provision to
something else, trying to find vehicles to get it through.
Motivation for Attaching the CVPIA to the Omnibus Water Bill
Beard: The thing that we really decided on in the end-- We really sort of
settled on this strategy of attaching our bill to this Western
Water Omnibus bill that was going through. The one that had failed
in 1990 because Senator Pete Wilson had failed to go along with one
of the provisions. We'd not really attached the Central Valley
Project bill to the that Omnibus bill until 1991 when George made
the decision to try to do that, and so we linked the two, and at
that point they never were really separated.
Our conclusion in the end was that the only way we were ever
going to get this thing through was to have it be part of an
The reason the Omnibus bill worked is that in the Senate
there were a lot of western Republicans, primarily, but a lot of
western senators who don't have a lot of interest in water reform.
Their states have done pretty well, and their farmers and
agricultural interests like the subsidies that they get, and
they're not interested in cutting off the gravy train.
And so every time we would throw out a reform effort, they'd
see it as a threat to their state and they'd kill it. We never
could get anything through the Senate. It was really difficult.
The only times that we did is when we used to push "free market
values" and stuff like that, and that never made any difference
either, so we never seemed to make any headway and it was very
But we watched what happened when the Omnibus bill was put
together, and it was really amazing. Some very, very minor bills,
frankly, as far as we were concerned--! mean the amount of money
and other things that were in there, it was really minorreally
seemed to energize these western senators. They wanted these bills
Chall: Wyoming and--
Beard: Wyoming was the best example. Senators Malcolm Wallop and Alan
Simpson desperately wanted their bill, and these bills were
practically not even necessary in many cases. But they wanted
these bills, and who were we to argue with them if they wanted it?
The more they wanted it, the better it was for us.
It became pretty apparent that this omnibus strategy was
going to develop and move forward and ultimately be successful
because they were getting what they wanted and we were going to get
what we wanted.
Chall: If you held off long enough?
Beard: If we held off long enough, and if we kept the pressure up enough.
Senator Seymour was really the only person in the way. Senator
[Alan] Cranston was coming to the end of his term, and was not
terribly interested and was sort of taking a walk here. He wasn't
interested in the issue, and his staff did a good Job of working
silently on our behalf, trying to help us whenever possible.
Senator Seymour, unfortunately, really kept putting- -dragging
this thing out, dragging it out and dragging it out, and wouldn't
compromise. The other western Republican senators became very
frustrated with Senator Seymour because they-- That's the reality
of being a legislator. You always work to compromise, to work
towards the middle. Senator Seymour was not showing any interest
at all compromising in any fashion on anything dealing with water.
Now I knew why, because the valley interests were adamantly
opposed, and so the western Republican senators began to put
pressure on him. They said, "Hey look, you've got to compromise at
some point." And that was largely due to the fact that we had
developed the strategy of putting together an Omnibus bill.
Chall: Holding it hostage, as they say.
George Miller's Compromise with Central Valley Congressmen
Chall: Let me back up then just a bit. You introduced 5099, which did
have some elements in it that were like the Johnston mark and
Bradley 's bill, which of course the environmental groups were
strongly for in general.
Miller then had discussions with some of the valley people
Dooley, Lehman, Fazio, probablyand came up with a compromise
which the environmentalists call "a compromise for a day." They
feel, the environmentalists feel, that the bill then had no money
in it, no water, and it left the decisions up to the secretary of
the Interior, who they felt they might not be able to trust. Of
course the agricultural interests also felt that they might not be
able to trust who might be the secretary at some point. But the
compromise really created quite a stir among people on both sides
of the issue.
What was the reason for that compromise? You probably have
explained that alreadyjust to get that bill out was probably one
of the main reasons .
Beard: Well, you know, the whole concept of a legislative body, at least
in our system, is that you negotiate with your adversaries and try
to reach a compromise that is acceptable to both parties. And
that's what that billthat version of the bill was all about. We
had our own version which we had introduced. They had their
version, and so far never the twain shall meet. We had been at
polar opposites here.
George directed us, he said, "Listen, we have an obligation
here to try to see if we can forge a compromise, a compromise which
we can live with, and which we can sell to the environmental
community and the people and everybody else." George felt that we
had to do that because the criticism that was being laid against
him by the valley members was that, "George, you're not being
reasonable. You won't sit down and negotiate with us." And so we
sat down and we negotiated, and that was really John Lawrence, and
myself, and Steve Lanich doing the staff work.
I think it is fair to say that the environmentalists did not
have the kind of impact on our versions of the bill that they had
in the Senate. I mean, Dave Yardas worked very closely with Tom,
but he did not work as closely with us, primarily because we had
more resources and we had a greater personal stake in it. And we
had some views that they [the environmentalists] didn't share.
But we did sit down, and we did negotiate. After the first
negotiation session we went back to George and said, "This just
isn't going to work, these guys aren't interested in negotiating
anything." Well, we started to negotiate and didn't go anywhere,
but we worked forward and sort of came up with this draft for a
day, and we took it out and we showed it to everybody and everybody
just sort of went thumbs down.
Chall: Both sides?
Beard: Both sides. At which point we went back into the room and said,
"This isn't doing either of us any good." And at that point, the
other side decided that--
Beard: --as Congressman Dooley and Congressman Condit said, "We simply
can't negotiate with you, because any bill is unacceptable to our
constituents." And we understood that; that's fair. So we were
then left in the sort of odd position of having complete freedom to
negotiate anything we wanted. There was nothing standing up
between us and the goal line, assuming that we could get this thing
there. And there was nobody to interfere with us on the House
side. Nobody on the House side really cared, other than George and
the valley congressmenthere wasn't anybody from New Jersey or
someplace who was really committed to it.
Congressman Fazio's staff did a very good job of sort of--
Fazio was going to oppose the bill, but he kept coming forward with
these little provisions, saying, "Can't you put this in there, and
can't you put that in there?" We tried to accommodate him to the
extent that we could, so that at least the tone of his rhetoric
Chall: Are we still talking about H.R. 5099 or the final?
Beard: Well, I'm talking about the final bill.
Chall: Okay, I just wanted to make sure.
Well, first of all, we have to go back to H.R. 5099, because
after the compromises were made, you did pass that bill in the
House. Then a tiered pricing was added as an amendment, which had
been considered before apparently, with Yardas working with
Congressman [Sam] Gejdenson. Otherwise it contained the compromise
language, as I understand it. It came out late at night with a
The Somach-Graff Negotiations
Chall: But, we haven't discussed Somach-Graff, which came out before you
went to the House with H.R. 5099. Tom Graff was asked to consider
this negotiation with [Stuart] Somach, and he [Graff] said he went
to you, and you said in effect, "Go ahead, we just won't promise
you our support, but see what you can do." Because you were, at
that point, at a stalemate and both sides apparently felt that
maybe something should be done.
However, Somach was pulled out before the briefing session,
and the only person left to do the briefing was Tom Graff. Can you
describe that briefing meeting?
Beard: Well, it was pretty laughable, actually. What was happening, what
was really happening here was a larger tussle that was taking
place, and that was that the people who were opposed to a bill were
just so strongly opposed to a bill. You've got to remember the
whole politics, in my view, changed when they introduced a bill and
said, "We're for this bill." And as it turned out, even if we
would have moved that bill [Seymour S.2016], I don't think they
would have been supportive, but that was as far as they were ever
willing to go on anything.
I really think that Stuart and Tom really did a service to
everybody by trying to sit down and negotiate a compromise. You've
got to remember, we wanted a bill and we were willing to compromise
One of the things that has frustrated many people in the
environmental community with George has been his failure, in their
eyes, to fall on his sword. Now, he has fallen on his sword a lot
of times, but George has always recognized that in the Congress at
least, he's at one end of the spectrum. If you're at the end of
the spectrum, be it on the right or the left, you can never get
your way 100 percent of the time because your views are extreme.
In our system at least, we always move legislation that is in the
middle. The trick is to try to move the center of gravity to your
side of the center line at least.
And George always recognized that, and always felt that his
job was to get out in front of the parade, to be the first person
to introduce the bill, to raise an issue, to debate it, to move it
forward, and then to move on to the next issue. Because that is
what he did best, he liked that. He has always liked being a trail-
blazer on issues and subjects of concern, as opposed to somebody
who is sitting around crossing T's and dotting I's. That is just
not his basic nature.
Compromise: The Foundation of a Democratic System
Beard: The environmentalists have a different agenda. They have certain
things that they want in the bills, and many of them are very
unrealistic in the political sense. So it's always a clash, it's a
clash of values and ideals, and positions and thing like that. I
have always taken the position--! share George's view, I'm--if you
were to ask me--I'm way out on the left too, but I understand that
the majority of the people don't share my views, and that I live
and work in a democracy, and that I have to temper my own personal
views with those around me, and to try to move the debate to my
side. But I'll never get my way 100 percent of the time. And
thank God we don't or otherwise we'd probably have revolutions in
So compromise really is the foundation of our system, and is
terribly important. A lot of people who are with advocacy groups
don't understand that, that compromise is fundamental and essential
to the system. So I really felt that having Tom [Graff], who is, I
felt, the most articulate advocate on one side, and Stuart Somach,
who is the most reasonable and articulate on the other, sit down
and try to forge a compromise, would have made a lot of sense. And
there were a lot of things in their compromise that I really
thought were interesting.
Chall: And they did get into the final bill, some of them.
Beard: Yes, some of them did. And I really thought they were interesting.
I thought it was a thoughtful debate and discussion, and it was
really very useful to have them do that. We knew these discussions
were taking place, we encouraged them, but we didn't participate in
any way. They came out, and said, "We want to come back and brief
people on where we have arrived." Our answer was, "Boy, that's
great! Come on back, we'll give you the room and make sure we
notify everybody." Lo and behold, we got ready to notify everybody
and there was no Stuart, who had been called off by his folks.
And Stuart, I think, had to recognize-- He's a businessman,
he's a lawyer, and he makes money representing a lot of those
people, and he certainly wasn't in a position to alienate his
potential clients to that extent. He had been given a certain
license, and obviously they didn't like what he had done. He was
not happy, incidently, about that either- -
Chall: About being called out?
Chall: He'd worked hard on it.
Beard: Well, he's a reasonable person, and he really felt that he had
been-- Somebody gives you authority to enter into negotiations, and
you go through and complete it, and then you go back and they pull
the rug out from underneath you, it kind of makes you look silly.
And I think that's what Stuart felt, that he was made to look silly
and he didn't like it. And, frankly, I don't blame him.
Factions Within the Agriculture Community
Chall: Were you aware what factions there were within the agricultural
community, and what a difficult time they were having themselves?
I suppose you probably realized it when you working with people on
H.R. 5099, that some of them were willing to make some compromises
and others were adamantly opposed to it, so that even they were
having great difficulties.
Beard: I think there is a tendency on the part of all of us when we get
involved in these kinds of issues and debates and discussionsa
tendency to categorize people, put them into little niches and talk
about the niches, and not appreciate the subtleties within the
niche. I think this is one of those cases.
Our relationship, certainly from Mr. Miller's perspective,
with the ag community was almost nonexistent. They didn't call us,
we didn't call them. It would have been a waste of time, a waste
of their time and a waste of my time. I talked a lot with Stuart
Somach. I negotiated with him on a large number of issues. I
talked to their lobbyists [Wes McAden and Bob Will] but there
wasn't a lot of reason for me to have a long discussions with them
either. They weren't going to tell me much and I wasn't going to
tell them much. We liked each other, and I think respected each
other, but we just didn't spend a lot of time-- So I was generally
aware that they were having real difficulty internally. They
couldn't get their act together.
Because there are significant differences between east side
and west side, the Sacramento Valley, the San Joaquin Valley--you
know, people who had water rights before the projects were built,
and those that didn't. It's all very complicated, and very
fractious, and there were these divisions between the various
elements, and it worked against reaching any resolution.
The Conference Committee Struggles with the Omnibus Bill
Chall: Okay, so the briefing of Somach-Graff was on June 16th, and on June
18th, you passed H.R. 5099 out of the House. And then the
Now, as I understand it, Fazio distributed some draft of his
own bill with some ideas in it, 700,000 acre-feet of water plus
unallocated yield and a $30 million restoration fund. And then
Miller came in with a mark when the conference convened, with a
million acre-feet of water and a $50 million restoration fund, and
some things from Somach-Graff. Having stated that the project also
was there for water, fish, and wildlife, that was one of the
rationales for the project. Apparently there was some kind of a
And then, as the conference committee only met once, the rest
of it was done by staff. I know you started to tell me about that,
so tell me more.
Your staff, which was Beard, Lawrence, Lanich. Then Jensen--
Beard: Jensen was with the Senate.
Chall: Senator Wallop, or his staff?
Beard: Yes, a fellow by the name of Jim Beirne.
Chall: And Mr. Fazio's staff.
Beard: Yes, Roger Gwinn.
Beard: Well, the way the discussions started out was that-- First of all,
you have to remember the situation we found ourselves in. We had a
bill that had about fifty-five different titles, somewhere around
fifty-five titles to it--f ifty-five or sixty, I've forgotten which
--so each one of these had to be resolved individually. And some
of them we just simply couldn't accept. They weren't in our bill,
they were in the Senate bill, and we just couldn't accept them. On
the other hand, there were some in our bill that the Senate
Chall: So this was in the Omnibus
Beard: Yes, the Omnibus bill. So we started out with this veneer that you
have sixty different bills all wrapped up in one, and you've got to
resolve all sixty. Now in the House, we had conferees who
represented the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, the
Natural Resources Committee, and the Public Works Committee. So we
had kind of a three-ring circus here. We had a lot of staff people
all wandering around. And a lot of egos running around as well.
Some of these bills were very controversial. I mean, the
Grand Canyon Protection Act was one of the titles. It really dealt
with trying to preserve and protect the Colorado River downstream
from the Glen Canyon Dam as it flows through the Colorado River.
That was a huge issue for Arizona and the power users in that part
of the country. There was the Central Utah Project Completion Act
provision, those were very important. There were individual bills
dealing with Kansas and Nebraska and all of these other states--
Chall: Tribal land?
Beard: Tribal lands, we had. Then we had the whole Central Utah Project
thing which was a huge part of this bill, a couple of billion
dollars. So, we started out. The first problem we had is that we
had a hell of a logistical problem of how to get through this. We
didn't have that many people working there. And we had the
administration, which was absolutely no help. They were sitting on
the sidelines. They had taken the position that they were opposed
to the bill in its entirety, and were opposed to every provision in
it, and weren't going to do anything to lift their finger to help.
So there was no help.
Chall: Oh, really?
Beard: Yes, so there was no help.
Chall: I thought is was just the Central Valley Project Improvement Act
that they opposed.
Beard: They didn't do anything to help us. So that really meant that we
didn't have people there to help us with a lot of the logistics and
things like that. And we were coming to the end of a Congress, and
there was a time constraint. So we went through pretty quickly,
and were able to dispense with some of the least controversial
issues, and pretty much handle those. And we got down to a number
that were more controversial than others, and that really was the
Grand Canyon Protection Act provisions, the Central Valley Project
Improvement Act. I'm trying to think of some other controversial
ones. Well, those were probably the most controversial ones.
Then we had Senator Johnston add on at the end some
amendments to the National Historic Preservation Act which didn't
deal with anything. It sort of dealt-- Some of us felt that he was
more interested in getting the program housed at some college or
university that his wife attended than anything else.
Final Negotiations on the CVPIA
Beard: But anyway, we had all these various provisions that were in here.
But we were able to go through fairly quickly and dispense with
most of these issues except for the Grand Canyon Protection Act and
the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. We got through the
Grand Canyon Protection Act stuff, so we then were left with the
CVPIA. George asked us to sit down with Fazio's staff to see if
there wasn't a way in which we could get Fazio on board. So we
made a number of changes in the bill to kind of reflect some of the
suggestions that he was bringing forward, that his staff person,
Roger Gwinn, was bringing forward. These were long discussions.
We'd have to sit for hours, and Roger would come in and say, "Well,
I have this provision that deals with X, and our constituents need
this, and maybe Vic can go along with the bill."
So you'd say, "Look, this is a difficulty, we've got to
change this," and then they'd go out and talk to their folks. It
just went on for endless hours.
It finally became pretty obvious that Fazio was never going
to support the bill, but he still wanted these changes. Then it
became a situation of George trying to accommodate Vic, but not
destroy the sort of internal integrity of the whole bill itself and
the process. So we made a number of changes in the bill that were
changes requested by Mr. Fazio, not all of them, but some of them.
And I think it did soften his opposition. He was still opposed,
but he wasn't shouting or screaming like Lehman and Dooley were, to
I felt sorry for Congressmen Lehman, and Dooley, and Condit.
They were frustrated because they were not able to engage in the
process. Their constituents simply said, no. And that's very
frustrating to a politician, because a politician really wants to
sit down and negotiate, and they couldn't do that. Despite their
lack of involvement, we felt we had a product that was pretty good.
Then we sat down with Tom Jensen. I think we- -Dave Yardas
was there helping Tom quite a bitand we made a number of changes
in the bill, too, to accommodate requests from the Metropolitan
Water District and others, to try to shift things around so that we
could get their support and make sure that they were happy with the
We were cognizant of the fact that we really didn't have
anybody in the room talking to us that was adamantly opposed to the
bill, so we were kind of in a position which we'd never had before.
Usually there are boundaries in the room; there are people on one
side and people on the other side, and you negotiate something in
between. Well, we had Just one set of people in the room, people
that were on one end of the spectrum. It was kind of laughable in
the end, we laughed about it a lot at the time. We wanted to make
sure that when we came out with something, it wasn't so outrageous
that people like Senator Wallop and others would sort of say, "Hold
it, you guys have gone too far." So we had those boundaries on us.
And we really felt that the product that we came out with in
the end was a product which, when Jim Beirne and others read the
bill, they were able to say, "Well, okay, that's sort of
reasonable." And even to this day, I don't think they see the bill
as that we went too far one way. Many of the growers feel we went
too far, and are trying, at the time we're speaking now, trying to
get some of it back. But I think it's going to be-- It's a pretty
hard case to prove that the bill has really gone too far, because
we were able to implement it in a wet year without much imposition,
and we've also implemented it in dry years as well.
Chall: I see. So you think that you came out with a fairly decent type
bill. Do you think that they thoughtand I think they did to the
lastthat if it got through both houses, that President Bush would
veto it, and so they didn't have to move, they didn't have to
Chall: And what did you think? Did you think that too?
Beard: That's a very interesting comment. We had our own contacts in the
Bush administration. The associate or the deputy director of OMB--
I can't remember the guy's name--
Chall: I think I've got it somewhere.
Beard: Yes. He's gone off to be an investment banker somewhere. But we
had been talking to him quite a bit about this bill, and he was
very supportive, and we had been able to help him with some things
dealing with fish and wildlife resources. He was a very strong
supporter of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation- -Bob Grady
is the fellow's name. Grady was very strong, he was a good
politician, and he really felt that if President Bush could capture
a significant number of people in the environmental community, that
it would really help him in his reelection effort, and I think he
was probably right in that.
We talked to him quite a bit. He told us, "Look, we are
getting a tremendous amount of pressure from western Republicans
who are telling the president, 'You've got to sign this bill. 1 " It
was Senator Wallop. Well, it was led primarily by Senator Jake
Garn of Utah, who was absolutely adamant about passing this bill.
Senator Garn, and Senator [Orrin] Hatch from Utah, Senator Wallop,
Senator Simpson from Wyoming, and Senator John McCain of Arizona
were really pushing President Bush to sign this bill.
So we knew that. It was a gamble, but I always felt that the
president would sign the bill, and I was the only one who really
felt that way. I guess, having studied these issues more than most
people, I've always been convinced of the power of the pork barrel,
that these senators wanted their provisions so badly that they were
going to go down and sit on the president's desk and demand that he
sign this bill.
So I was always very confident. George was not as confident,
and many of the environmentalists were just always running around
saying, "What are we going to do about the administration?" I kept
saying, "We're going to do nothing. We're going to send the bill
down, the president signs it or he doesn't." For us, that was
really the easiest part.
Because you've got to remember, we entered into this fight,
if you will, years before with absolutely no inkling that we would
ever be successful. And I really can't stress that enough. I
don't think that George ever thought we'd ultimately pass a
comprehensive reform bill. At least I never felt we would. I
never, ever thought that we would pass this legislation. I didn't
think we had the foggiest chance of passing it. And the fact that
we did was not a surpriseit was hard workbut it was astonishing
to me. And to me, if it would have passed the Congress and the
president vetoed it, I would have felt I'd achieved a victory
anyway. Not as big a victory, but at least I would have achieved a
victory. We'd have gotten the thing through the Congress.
And in fact, we almost didn't get it through the Congress.
Chall: What happened?
Beard: We negotiated out the CVP portions, and at that point, we had the
whole bill done. We put together the bill, and the Senate staff
read it, and the conference report there was really no conference
report, just says, "Here is it," because we didn't have time to
write it. We were literally down to days and running out of time.
Chall: So what do you mean, you just put out a draft of this thing?
Beard: Usually what you do in a conference committee is that you sit down
and you take the House bill and the Senate bill, and you negotiate
a compromise. Then you write a report on that compromise, and you
say, "The statement of purpose, the House said this, the Senate
said this, and the conferees have taken the House position." You
explain what you did and why you did it.
Well, this bill, you've got to remember the final act itself
was --how many pages?
Chall: Quite a few. [laughs] I think the pages are numbered.
Beard: [looks at published Omnibus Act] 1 It's about 160, 170 pages. We
didn't have a lot of time. So we simply didn't write a report.
The report simply said, "The House and the Senate conferees have
'Public Law 102-575, October 30, 1992: Reclamation Projects
Authorization and Adjustment Act of 1992, pp. 4600-4769.
met, and here's the compromise bill they've come up with." That's
all we ever said. We never explained any of the provisions about
anything. On the CVP portions, that's what we did. In other
portions, where we had the time, we wrote it.
So we put the whole report together. Now, at this point, you
take all thisand it's a huge stack of paperyou take the new
compromise bill and whatever report you have on it, which is a huge
stack of paper, and you then go around and physically get the
signature of every member who is on the conference. It can't move
forward without the signature of the conferees, and a majority of
Well, we had negotiated the provisions in here in the CVPIA
and we had not included anything to change the way in which you
allocate supplies in a drought year for municipal and industrial
water supply customers. Well, the Santa Clara Water District,
under the leadership of Ron Esau, who was the general manager,
wanted the bill changed. They wanted provisions included in the
bill that would give them more water in a drought year. There were
provisions in the Contra Costa Water District contract which he
wanted, and he wanted those in law. He went to Congressman
[Norman] Mineta and said, "Don't agree to sign this report until
you get these changes." Mineta said, "Yes, sir." I mean, he said,
Chall: Oh, that's the reason.
Beard: So we went for days. Mineta would not agree to sign the report.
And there was a huge fight, George--! "ve never seen George so mad,
because he had worked so hard, and now we were at the very end, and
Mineta was just adamant. He would not move. And we went to the
Senate guys and said, "Okay, can we make this change?" And they
said, "No way. We're just not going to agree to it." And it was
wrong from a public policy standpoint to do that.
So that's the point at which we thought we would lose. Not
only that, it was very curious. Mineta for some reason wouldn't
sit down and negotiate--
Beard: We would say when we were meeting with him: "What is it you want?
How can we solve this problem?" I can't even remember how we
solved the problem. I think we agreed to hold hearings and move
legislation in the next Congress to address the issue, and have the
secretary do some other things. But we ultimately got Mineta to
sign the bill.
But I thought at that point that we were going to lose it,
that Mineta was just going to hold on to it for so long that he
just wouldn't do it.
Chall: Now, what about Leon Panetta?
I understand that he was adamant
Beard: You know, I can't remember what he was adamant about, but now that
you remind me, he was adamant. But he was George's roommate, and
George really put the arm on him, and agreed to provide help to
him. I mean, that's about all you can do at that point. You agree
to help somebody in some way to do whatever it is that you can do
to help them out. It's very frustrating, because we were down to
the last few hours of the Congress, and we knew that Senator
Seymour was then going to filibuster the billthe conference
reportwhich was a very unusual action, and so we were fearful
that we were simply going to run out of time to get it through.
The Omnibus Bill Moves Through the House and Senate
Chall: That was difficult to get through House, I guess, because of this
kind of maneuvering which made it late. But it did pass on a voice
vote, after a number of, I understand, other votes on it in various
Beard: Yes. The valley congressmen offered up motions and things to kind
of put on a good show, but at that point, we had the votes, we had
passed it a number of times, everybody was on board, and it was
really in everybody's interest to move the legislation forward.
And then it went over to the Senate, where they engaged in
this rather lengthy charade of delay which Senator Seymour
undertook. Senator Seymour filibustered the conference report, and
his Republican colleagues were totally frustrated with him. They
abandoned him and never did support him in his effort. So he was
left by himself, out there giving his long-winded speeches, railing
against the bill. But in the end, he lost, and the bill was then
sent to the president.
At that point, all the western Senators sort of jumped in on
the action, and frankly, they really did a number on President
Bush. They really worked hard, put a lot of pressure on him to
sign the bill, which he did in the end.
Chall: I understand from Barry Nelson's interview that the vote in the
Housethe activity in the House on the vote was a "lobbying
frenzy" around the door. [laughs] He said the secretary of the
Department of the Interior and Senator Bradley were all down on the
floor besieging the congressmen. Is that how you recall it? 1
Beard: Well, no, Secretary [Manuel] Lujan did go down on the floor, and he
did wander around to a few people and say, "Gee, I'd like you to go
ahead and vote no," but at this point--
Chall: It didn't matter?
Analyzing Aspects of the CVPIA and Its Implementation
Beard: It didn't matter. First of all, the administration played no role
in the debate or the discussions, and I think that is a tragedy, in
my view. The real strengthone of the reasons why the CVP is
going to be amended some day- -I don't know whether it will be
amended this year, but it's going to be amended some day, and it
ought to be amendedis that when we wrote the bill, we really
didn't know what we were doing in some important areas. (I hope
somebody doesn't misquote that statement.)
Chall: They can't misquote it, because if they're going to use it for
publication, they have to quote it exactly, and you have to give
permission. In what ways?
Beard: In what way? Well, what you had is you had myself, and John
Lawrence, and a number of lobbyists who were handing us pieces of
paper, and our own imagination, writing a bill, and Charlene
Dougherty and Steve Lanich also working on it, on one side. And
then you had Tom Jensen, and Dave Yardas, and other lobbyists, and
other people handing them pieces of paper on the other side.
Missing from the equation are the professionalsthe
bureaucrats who will implement this law. Our knowledge of the
system and how it operates was limited. None of us had ever worked
at the Bureau of Reclamation. I had worked at the Interior
Department and supervised the Bureau of Reclamation, but I had
never worked there. We were not aware of many nuances that are
present in the system.
'Barry Nelson, The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act,
1991-1992, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Libary, The University
of California, Berkeley, 1994, p. 63.
For example, regarding water transferswe thought this is
very unique. Well, in fact, it wasn't unique. Transfers had been
taking place for years. And what we did, in fact, was that we
added a superstructure, we added a layer, on to the approval
process that wasn't there previously. So we, in fact, slowed
transfers down, not sped it up. But we didn't know that at the
time. And the reason we didn't know it is the administration
wasn't communicating with us.
And they weren't communicating for a fundamental reason.
Secretary Lujan and the people in policy positions down there made
the decision early on that they were going to do absolutely nothing
to make this bill better, to correct mistakes in it, because they
didn't want to help move the process along. They were that opposed
to the bill. So they sat and did absolutely nothing. Well, when
this bill passed, a lot of people, like the regional director of
the bureau and others, sort of said, "Gee, if we'd have only known,
we could have done this or done that." A lot of exemptions, for
example, to the contracting moratorium and some other things. We
put in exemptions when people brought them to our attention, but a
lot of people didn't bring them to our attention because they
didn't have lobbyists. We didn't know about certain things.
So there are some mistakes in there. There are some things
that oughtnot mistakes but things that ought to be corrected.
They have to be corrected some day.
Chall: Are those technical kinds of things?
Beard: Yes, they're technical, but there are some substantive things, as
I've said. We did some things in the water conservation area:
tiered pricing, for example. We should have had tiered pricing or
an equivalent pricing system, but tiered pricing doesn't work in
some districts. It in fact will be counterproductive in some
districts. Well, none of us knew that. And what we were searching
for is, we were searching for a means we wanted to include
provisions which would require districts to impose pricing
structures which promote conservation and efficient use, as opposed
to promote waste. Now, that's what we were really looking for, and
we didn't care whether it was tiered pricing or banana republic
pricing, we don't care. Whatever would work.
Well, because we didn't have the involvement in the drafting
of the bill by the professionals, the people that are involved in
managing the system, we really suffered as a result of that, and I
hope that that will be corrected. Now, some of those corrections
have already taken place in the implementation phase. In the
implementation phase, the bureaucrats, the people at reclamation
and fish and wildlife have worked very hard to implement the bill,
and they've actually made a number of changes through
interpretation to correct some of those problems.
But that was really a problem of draftsmanship. It sort of
proved the downside to our system of government, where the
government employees, the professionals, aren't part of the
legislative branch. In a parliamentary system, a bill is written
by the agency and then it's handed to their boss, who is also a
member of the parliament, and it's passed. Well, in our system, we
have the agency writing bills and the Senate staff writing bills
and the House staff writing bills, and it's a--
Chall: Pretty soon a compromise doesn't make sense.
Beard: Yes. That's what happens.
Chall: That's interesting. With respect to the implementation--! want to
go into that in the next phase with you--Mr. Peltier had first said
that they [CVP contractors] wouldn't help implement the bill, and
when I asked him about that, he said they would have to. But he
said, "All the monsters that we said are out there obviously aren't
going to be there. Just as on the other side, all the wonderful
benefits that they claimed would be there most assuredly won't be
there. But anyway, we needed to de-monster it a little bit and
start engaging and trying to make it work." 1 He also felt that
they never had a fair debate; it wasn't a fair debate. That's
probably because they weren't in on it?
Beard: Well, I don't think that's a fair criticism. I think first of all,
they never thought that the bill would ever pass. I don't think
that Jason and the people that he represented ever seriously
considered the possibility that the bill would be passed and become
law. I had some one-on-one discussions with Jason, and I told him,
I said, "Jason, this bill is going to pass." He told me, "You're
wrong. It's not going to pass." So I think from the very
beginning, they never, ever felt that the bill would pass.
And I think there are several reasons for that. One reason
is they thought that they had power and ability and authority so
that they could stop the bill. They had President Bush and the
administration and then Senator Seymour. But the other reason I
think that they felt that it wasn't going to pass is a very common
mistake that people make when they deal with George Miller. In the
early 1980s, George really learned how to become a legislator.
'Jason Peltier, The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement
Act, 1991-1992, Regional Oral History Office, University of California,
Berkeley, 1994, pp. 51, 73.
George is an extremely able, capable legislator. He is somebody
who loves politics and plays politics well. I think because of his
bellicose nature he tends to shout loudly, and he's very big, and
he's very loud, and very domineering- -that many people view him as
a buffoon, and they overlook the fact that he's a very accomplished
politician, a legislator who can get things through the legislative
I think that's a skill that he is not given credit for, and I
think many of his opponents in the CVPIA never thought that he
could pull it off. They just thought, "Well, that's just Miller's
own view of the world and it will never go anywhere." And in fact,
he was successful, and it did become law. And, as I told you, I
even think we were a little surprised that we were able to pull it
off. But part of it was that the stars sort of aligned themselves
in a way that-- You know, we never could have predicted that Pete
Wilson would run for governor and get elected. We never could have
ever thought in our wildest dreams that Tony Coelho would resign
and go off and become a millionaire investment banker. We never
thought in our wildest dreams that George would become chairman of
the committee. We never thought in our wildest dreams that the
people, the environmentalists and the Utah people, would ever come
to agreement on the Central Utah Project, which was really the main
locomotive pushing the train down the tracks.
So a lot of things happened- -it was luck. We took advantage
of it when it did occur, but a lot of it is luck.
V COMMISSIONER OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, 1993-1995
Chall: Well, having accomplished that, I'd like to get into your work as
commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation which you've had, what, a
year and a half? Two?
Beard: No, two years, a little over two years now. Two and a half years.
Chall: You were appointed June, 1993?
Beard: I was confirmed in May of 1993.
Chall: I see. It's quite a change from being the head of a staff that
isn't terribly large to being head of a tremendously large agency.
How big is that agency? As commissioner, what were you appointed
Beard: Well, the Bureau of Reclamation is the largest wholesale water
supply utility in the United States, and it's the sixth largest
electric power producer in the United States. We're larger than
Pacific Gas & Electric or Southern California Edison. If we were a
corporation, we'd be a Fortune 500 corporation. It's a very large
After the election and after this bill was passed, I was
tired. I had had obviously a very difficult year. Mr. Miller
started out in January of 1991, as the acting chairman and then
became the chairman of the committee [Natural Resources Committee],
and I had to replace the staff. Mr. Udall's staff had to be let
go, and then I had to hire new staff. We had to move on a number
of bills and investigations and things. It was a very active
period, and frankly, I was kind of burned out.
I was also kind of burned out working in the Congress. As my
description earlier shows, I've worked in the Congress most of my
professional lifein and around the Congress. I've enjoyed it.
In April of 1993, I had my fiftieth birthday, and I had had twenty
years of federal service, which meant that I qualified for the
The Bureau of Reclamation! A Personal Challenge
Beard: So I kind of reached a watershed. I really felt after the election
that I wanted to make a change. I was kind of bored with the
Congress, in one way. It was an exciting place, there was lots
going on, but it was a lot of pressure, and I wanted to kind of do
something different with my life. I really felt that I wanted to
take on a personal challenge. I wanted to take on a challenge of
trying to change an organization. The only organization I knew a
lot about was the Bureau of Reclamation, so I decided right after
the election that I wanted to get the job as commissioner of the
Bureau of Reclamation. I put on a little campaign, and got a lot
of people to write letters to the new president and new secretary
and try to support my candidacy.
I went in for an interview with Secretary [Bruce] Babbitt,
and Secretary Babbitt said, "Why do you want this job?" My wife
asked me the same thing. I took a $10,000 pay cut, and I had two
kids in college. And my answer was that I really wanted a personal
challenge; I wanted to change an organization. I really felt that
that's all I wanted to do. I wanted to change an organization, the
bureau, and then I wanted to leave. I did get the job. Secretary
Babbitt said, "Well, I think it ought to change too," and as I told
him, I said, "Listen, if you hire me, I'm going to do it, so if you
don't want to do it, don't hire me. I've got a good job and I can
just keep it. It's not like I need the work."
He said, "No, I do want to change it, and I think you'd be
the right person to do it," and I've gone ahead and done that.
Restructuring the Bureau to Meet the Changes in its Purpose
Chall: And what have you done?
Beard: Well, we launched an employee-led change process to restructure the
organization from top to bottom.
Chall: Downsize it?
Beard: Today we have a workforce that is 20 percent smaller than it was
just two years ago, and at the end of this year, another 5 percent
of our employees have agreed to leave. So one out of every five
workers , and at the end of this year one out of every four workers ,
will have left the organization. Our budget requests are $100
million less than they were two years ago, which is about 20
percent of our budget, or 17 percent of our budget. We have
restructured every office, we have delegated authority. I
abolished the seven highest positions in the organization
underneath me. I had two deputy commissioners and five assistant
commissioners, and I abolished all seven of those jobs. We've
taken a lot of the day-to-day decision-making authority away from
people in the central headquarters and sent it out to the field, so
that in management parlance, we've empowered our field
organizations to make decisions.
Chall: You left the field offices about the same as they were?
Beard: No. I've sent people from the headquarters, regional offices, and
from our Denver office out to the field, and I've completely
restructured that. I took our Denver operation, which was sort of
a pseudo-headquarters--Washington was always the headquarters, but
one- quarter of all our employees were in Denver. That's where all
the design work was done, and we'd centralized most of our
management functions there about eight years ago. I abolished the
Denver headquarters concept, and instead, we've made it a
reimbursable service center that works with the rest of the
We've instituted a wide variety of innovative management
approaches, and we've been very successful at implementing that.
It was all done by our employees, with my support and
encouragement. My only job was to say, "Yeah, go ahead, let's do
it," and work on much of the public affairs angles of it and the
congressional affairs. We recently were awarded $100,000--well, we
will in October be given a $100,000 award by the Ford Foundation at
Harvard University. It's called the Innovations in American
Government Award, and it's handed out to fifteen government
agencies or programs that do innovative things, and we're one of
the recipients for this year.
So we're very proud of that. We're very proud. We now have
the reputation in the federal workforce as being one of the most
innovative agencies, and one of the few agencies that has actually
downsized itself, restructured and refocused itself, and gotten rid
of a lot of middle management layers. We have eliminated at least
two layers of management in our organization, and we've done all
this in the last two years. That's what I've spent a lot of my
Chall: These people, were they civil servants?
Chall: Wasn't there a crying need for restructuring just because the
bureau's purpose has changed over the years?
Chall: And they weren't catching up in their administrative arrangement
with the change in the purpose of the bureau. Was that part of the
Beard: That's the fundamental problem. I mean, the problem is that the
Bureau of Reclamation was conceived and had a ninety-year history
as a construction agency, but the construction program has ended.
The dam-building era in the United States is now over. And all the
employees knew that, and they wanted desperately to have somebody
come in and say, "Okay, it's over. Now we're going to do something
different." And they didn't quite know what to do.
Well, when I came in, I said, "The dam-building era is over,
we're going to get out of the construction business. We're going
to become a water resource management agency. We're going to
manage the infrastructure that we have in place in a more sensitive
and environmentally benign way, I hope, but we're going to be water
resource managers, as opposed to water project constructors." And
that's a significant difference.
One of the reasons why we were able to be successful in this
change was that the agency was ready for it. I literally had
people who were sitting around with no work to do.
Chall: I would have guessed.
Beard: Yes. Oh, they were very frustrated, and frankly, they were not
happy employees. People were really frustrated. All these changes
did not come about without opposition. There were a lot of people
who were opposed to them. But there were a larger number who were
very supportive. Again, we got very lucky in the middle of this
effort when the Congress passed legislation authorizing early
buyout. So anybody that had twenty years of service and was fifty
years of age or older was eligible to retire, and could get a bonus
of $25,000. So about 80 percent of the people who left took
advantage of that.
Now, one of the reasons they took advantage is that we
actually had a very disproportionately aged workforce. When I came
in May of 1993, one-third of all the people who worked at
Reclamation were fifty years of age or older, and one- third were
between forty and fifty. So that meant that two- thirds of my
workforce had been there a minimum of fifteen years. It was a
disproportionately older workforce. I had sections in Denver that
hadn't had a new employee in fifteen years. For fifteen years, the
same people had been doing the same thing with each other. For
Well, at some point, you need some new stimulus, and it was a
tragedy, what was happening. So we came in and we sort of
restructured everything, and then a lot of people said, "Hey, I've
been through this before, I'm not going to go through this again.
I'm going to retire and take this money and leave." And they did
leave. We have restructured the organization, it is different, it
has a different attitude and outlook--
Chall: Different types of training for the people who are in there now, if
you're going from building engineers to water management? Are they
people with different backgrounds?
Beard: Oh, yes. We have a lot more limnologists and biologists and
fisheries experts now than we ever had in the past. We're hiring
fewer civil engineers. I had to be very careful as we did this,
because one of the great traditions with the Bureau of Reclamation,
one of the reasons it's been a fantastic agency, is that it has a
history of being an agency filled with people who do things. If
you've ever been to Hoover Dam or Grand Coulee Dam or Shasta Dam
and looked at them, you've probably said to yourself, How could
somebody think of this? I mean, not only think of it, but do it?
Beard: Yes, it's amazing. Well, in fact, those people, the kind of people
that did that, are still there in the organization. Now, they
can't do that any more, and the trick has been to make sure that we
channel their energies and their efforts in a direction where they
would do things like that and become aggressive in implementing the
new agenda, new items.
And probably the flagship of sort of new things was the
Central Valley Project Improvement Act, where Roger Patterson and
the people in Sacramento have literally thrown themselves into this
effort. There are over 100 separate items in that bill that people
in reclamation have been working on, everything from a programmatic
environmental impact statement to contract negotiations to you name
it, fisheries-- Everything. So you have all this activity taking
place and all these people working on it, and it's amazing to me
that reclamation employees are still focused on the end objective.
They want to get through all this stuff so that they can keep
moving forward. A lot of agencies, the Fish and Wildlife Service
is one good example, they become fixated on the process, not the
end objective. They get into these sort of paperwork loops where
they just keep doing paperwork and never come to any conclusion.
Our folks, fortunately or unfortunately, are more interested
in coming to conclusions and getting things done, and that's a
tradition I've wanted to try to keep as we went through this
restructuring and downsizing process.
The $100,000 Ford Foundation-Harvard University Grant
Chall: And what is the focus of the grant that you're about to get?
That's a study, apparently?
Beard: No. We went in and made a presentation to the Ford Foundation and
Harvard University, a panel of people, judges, and said, "This is
what we did, and this is how we did it," and they gave us
essentially $100,000 award for the accomplishments that we
Chall: Well, that's unusual for a private foundation to be giving
Beard: Yes. Well, they started this program in the early 1980s, when
President Reagan said that we ought to move things back down to
state and local government levels. Ford Foundation and Harvard
felt that they needed to encourage sort of innovative government
approaches by the state and local governments, so they started this
program of rewarding state and local government programs and
efforts that were innovative. This year was the first year that
they allowed federal agencies to participate, and there were five
winners from the federal government of the $100,000 award, and
there were ten winners from the federal government that received
Chall: What will you do with the award?
Beard: We're going to hold several workshops and conferences in cities
where there are large numbers of federal employees to explain what
we've done and how we've done it, and how they can do this as well,
how they can initiate a process like this and move it forward.
Chall: Now, can we talk a little bit about the implementation of the
CVPIA? Because I would assume that you have been involved in that.
Chall: Is this your last little trip around?
Beard: Yes, last trip to California, anyway.
Answering Some Charges
Chall: The Sacramento Bee, in an editorial on February 1, claimed that
you, of course, were Miller's man, that you had temperamental
outbursts, hostility toward agriculture, and oft-repeated contempt
for the reclamation program. "It's not just agribusiness that's
come in for his scorn. He's been equally abusive toward
environmentalists at times. But while environmental leaders
privately express doubts about his commitment to serious reform of
the reclamation program, they are afraid to oppose Miller, who is
using his power as chair of the House Interior Committee to
pressure them into supporting Beard's candidacy. As one puts it--
anonymously--they feel 'obligated 1 to endorse him." 1
However, in June, as you announced your resignation, Calvin
Dooley said, "He wasn't the nightmare some of us thought he was
going to be." 2
So you came in with some hostility toward you in California?
Beard: Yes, but I think I need to address that.
Chall: Yes, of course.
Beard: First of all, the editorial is written by Bill Kahrl, and second of
all, I've never in my life ever met Bill Kahrl. So how he can say
that I have a personality which is prone to temperamental outbursts
is beyond me. He said some other things about me: I was petulant
and some other things like that, all of which were really
fascinating, especially to my wife, who I've been married to for
twenty-eight years. I've never seen her so upset at anything.
1 "Miller's Man at Reclamation?", The Sacramento Bee, February 1, 1993,
2 The Oakland Tribune, June 13, 1995.
I was fascinated by the editorial, because it really ascribed
to me a lot of personality characteristics which, first of all, I
don't have, but second of all, I don't know how anybody who's an
editorial writer would know, if they've never met me, or ever dealt
with me, know that I have such personality characteristics. I
guess I'm one of those that believes, and I always have felt this,
that the record counts. I'm in public life. I'm a public servant.
I'm a political appointee, but nevertheless, I'm paid by the
taxpayers. And in public service, you have a record. Your record
really speaks more than anything else. I sort of have this old
adage which is, Never get into an argument with somebody that buys
ink by the barrel, because they'll always outdo you.
I think that all I can say to Mr. Kahrl is I'll put my record
up against anybody else. I am leaving as commissioner in another
week. A reporter called me and asked me, "What's the thing you're
most proud of?" I said, "Oh, without a doubt, as my tenure as
commissioner, the thing I'm most proud of is that all the people
who helped me get this job two years ago are still my friends, and
that I can still sleep at night." And there aren't a lot of people
in political life who can say that. I worked hard to get this job,
but a lot of people helped me get this job. A lot of people in the
environmental community, notwithstanding Mr. Kahrl, really worked
hard to help me get the job, and they're still my friends. I still
enjoy a good working relationship with them, and I haven't
abandoned my own core principles.
I haven't been indicted for scandalous behavior either, or
unethical behavior. So I walk away from this in many respects with
a sense of pride, because I was true to my principles and my
friends, and I conducted myself, I think, in such a way that I
could manage one of the largest corporations in America, and bring
it through a significant change process. Vice President [Al] Gore
gave us an award [Golden Hammer Award] and was very complimentary,
in fact came over and personally gave me the award. Harvard
University and the Ford Foundation have given us an award for what
we did, and even more so than that, the employees of the
organization support what we did.
So I don't have any qualms about my record. I'm a public
employee, I'm a public servant. I understand that. I worked for a
congressman, and have now worked for a president and a secretary,
and my job is to do what they ask me to do, not what I wanted to
do, not what I personally wanted to do. Bill Kahrl and others
ascribe to me certain positions, such as I'm anti-agriculture.
Well, I'm not. Now, George Miller was, and I worked for him, and I
love George Miller, but I don't agree with him on that. But you
get tagged with the people who you work for. But that's just part
of the game, and I don't mind that. That sort of comes with the
Chall: That's right. You say George Miller is truly anti-agriculture?
The Connection Between Subsidies and the Uses of Water
Chall: Not really? He was just anti-what?
Beard: Oh, I don't think he's anti-agriculture. I mean, nobody's anti-
agriculture, everybody's got to eat. But I think that his view of
how agriculture ought to receive water is a view that's different
from theirs. Maybe that's a better way to put it. I mean, much of
what we were trying to fight for, the reforms that we were trying
to fight for, and the reforms that we're still trying to fight for,
frankly, are really pretty simple. That is, I think, that we ought
to try to eliminate the subsidies which are found throughout the
federal water resource system. If you were able to eliminate the
subsidies and provide water at a true cost, you would have a much
more significant impact, a much more efficient system.
For example, the drought that took place between 1988 or '89
and '94 led to some absolutely startling changes in the way in
which water is managed south of the Delta in California. If you go
to Westlands today, there is very little cotton produced. There
are a lot of almonds, high-value crops. In Westlands much of their
field crops are irrigated through drip irrigation, underground drip
irrigation of row crops, which is very unusual. And all of this is
driven by only one thing, and that is that during that period,
there was very little water, and they had to do something. What
they did is that they became much more efficient in the application
Now, if you go right across the street and go where the
Exchange Contractors were, who never were shorted, they're just
using old techniques and wasting water, with all due respect. So I
have always felt that the Achilles heel of the federal reclamation
program has been pricing water. What we've proven is that if you
give people water for nothing, they'll waste it. I mean, it's
really that simple. So if we could eliminate, or work to
eliminate, many of the subsidies, what we'd do is change the use,
we'd change cropping patterns, we would reduce drainage, we would
correct a lot of problems.
So I have always, sort of my lifetime's work here, with
George and on my own, has been to try to seek to eliminate
subsidies from the federal reclamation program where possible, and
to encourage the agency to operate in a much more environmentally
sensitive manner. And that's been the overall objective for what
I've been trying to achieve.
Chall: How about the elimination of subsidies? Are you getting very close
Chall: That's really a very difficult-
Beard: It's very difficult. I mean, the subsidies have been there for so
many years, and they're so integral to the system that I don't want
to say it's impossible to get rid of them, but it's very, very,
very difficult. And there are so many subsidies. You can't get
rid of them all, but you can begin to try to change the system, and
that's what tiered pricing is, for example. Tiered pricing is just
a way to try to bring some reality to the pricing system. I think
change will come, but it will come slowly.
But we've done some very unique things. I was in Stockholm
at the Stockholm Water Conference several weeks ago, which is an
annual meeting where they invite people from all over the world to
come and talk about a number of issues. And the Central Valley
Project Improvement Act was cited on a number of occasions as one
of the few instances worldwide in which we've gone back and sort of
retrofitted a water project, trying to correct the environmental
abuses and introduce innovative concepts, such as allocating a
block of water for environmental restoration, encouraging water
transfers, encouraging water conservation, encouraging pricing
policies which are proactive.
And there is fairly wide agreement internationally that these
are the kinds of reforms that we're going to have to make worldwide
if we're going to meet world development needs long-run.
Chall: Rather than just building facilities.
Beard: Yes. I mean, the dam-building era is over in the United States as
well as the rest of the world. There's going to be fewer and fewer
dams built, because many of the major lending institutions, like
the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank and others, are
finding it more and more difficult to come up with the money, and
once they do come up with the money, then there is significant
opposition. And then the third thing is that there is recognition
that if you do build these structures, they don't really lead to
the kind of result that you think that they will have. There are
the environmental impacts associated with them; they don't
contribute as much to the economy as people think. I mean, there's
a lot of downsides to it, and the World Bank in particular has been
very good at saying the right things. Their actions aren't the
same, but they are moving in this direction.
We kind of got off the track a bit.
The CVPIA: Possible Changes by the Republican-Controlled Congress
Chall: That's all right. Tell me what's happened to your agency with the
new Congress, and with the CVPIA. What's going on now? I know
that we have different people now chairmen of the resources
committees in the Senate and the House, and that George Miller has
a small office and a small staff compared to what he used to have.
There is an attempt to construct an Auburn Dam, a private buyout of
the CVP, et cetera, et cetera. There are legal problems. What's
going to happen? What is happening?
Beard: Well, obviously, the reform era, the era when George was head of
the resources committee had ended. In 1990, as I told you before,
we went to this curious position of suddenly finding ourselves in
control of all the levers. Thank God we took advantage of it while
we had the opportunity. I'm forever grateful that we did, because
that was our window of opportunity, and we utilized it. The last,
the 1994 elections swept into office the Republicans in the
Congress in both the House and the Senate, and so far, they haven't
been able to take advantage of their newfound power. This is their
window of opportunity, and so far, they haven't been able to take
advantage of it.
Chall: That's within the water sphere they haven't?
Beard: In the water sphere. And the reason that they haven't is that I
think they're still so new at the process that they don't quite
know what it is they should be doing. They're a little confused
about the system. They'll straighten that out after another year
When you look back at the history of the Central Valley
Project, or any other water project, for that matter, major
amendments to the enabling legislation, I mean acts of Congress,
only come along about once every decade, and there's a reason for
that. The reason is all the discussion that I've had today. I
mean, I explained to you how many things had to line up to enable
us to move a bill forward, and frankly, we were surprised that we
were able to do it.
The same works for anybody else that comes along with another
piece of legislation. You have to be able to align all these
things up. I mean, it's almost like a complicated jigsaw puzzle,
where you have to get all the pieces to fit together, and if one
piece isn't there, it doesn't work. Right now, with the '94
election, the Republicans have come in, and the farmers feel now
it's payback time. Miller bested them in 1992; "By God, we're
going to get payback, and we're going to get our pound of flesh,
and we're going to move a Central Valley Project Improvement Reform
Act," or whatever they call it, Improvement Act, "and take back
some of the losses that we suffered in 1992." This is a farmer
So the Republicans have introduced that bill [H.R.2738,
Central Valley Project Reform Act of 1995], got hearings held in
the House, and found out that there is significant disagreement
amongst all of them as to what ought to be done. So that isn't
working so good.
Then they came forward with this idea that they would buy the
Central Valley Project, and they were encouraged in this by the
investment bankers, one of whom is a former regional director for
the Bureau of Reclamation, David Houston. And they're trying to
move that legislation, and frankly, that's not going to work
either, because the price is laughable, and all the various
elements within this project are not happy being under the thumb
ofessentially under the thumb of the ag growers on the west side
south of the Delta. I mean, they're the people that are pushing
And I think part of it goes back to just the inherent nature
of our political system. Our political system is very complex, and
it's frustrating, and there are so many checks and balances in it,
so many little hoops that you have to jump through, that it's
really complicated, and it takes a long time. One of the things
that our system does is that it almost forces you to put together
coalitions to move a bill forward. Now, by coalition I mean it
forces you toyou can't do anything by yourself. You've got to
get others to help you.
Our experience with the CVPIA was that it was one thing to
have George Miller introduce a bill; it was another thing to get
the thing enacted into law. And the way to do that was to spend a
lot of time visiting southern California, San Diego, San Francisco,
and meeting with the business community, meeting with
environmentalists, meeting with a lot of people, to encourage them
to come on board with this whole idea of reform.
Chall: And stay on board.
Beard: And stay on board. And that was a time-consuming effort, and one
that required commitment. One of the reasons that I think the
current crop of politicians is having a problem is that they're not
as committed to it, and they haven't had the time to invest in it
yet. But who knows? We'll see. We'll see if they have the
opportunity, if they're willing to stay with it, and if they can
stay in control of the House of Representatives. Who knows whether
or not they can.
Total Revision of the CVPIA Unlikely
Chall: But do you think that they could turn it right around almost to
where it was-- 180 degrees?
Beard: No. In my view, and this is just my view, this is like toothpaste
out of a tube. Once it gets out, you can't get it back. I really
think that they will make some corrective actions. But they can't
turn back the clock; they can't repeal all the 1992 reforms. The
most controversial thing about the CVPIA, the one thing that really
grates on the farmers more than anything else, is the 800,000 acre-
feet. They hate it, they really hate that. I mean, when you
really get down to it and you say, "What is it you really don't
like about this law?", they say, "It's the 800,000 acre-feet."
That's the thing that just really gets them.
Chall: I see. More than the loss of their contracts for forty years?
That bothered Peltier I think. Maybe it's the loss of water to
Beard: Yes. See, the problem with the CVPIA and the critics, the people
who are opposed to it right now, is that it's a fear of the
unknown. When you talk to them and you say, "What specifically do
you have a problem with?", they say, "Well, they could take our
Chall: It's the uncertainty.
Beard: It's the uncertainty. But they're afraid that the 800,000 acre-
feet is going to mean less water for agriculture. Well, you say to
them, "How do you know that?" And they say, "Well, you've got to
take it from somewhere and you're going to take it from us." When
you go to them, you say, "What don't you like about the fish
doubling plan?" "Well, it's going to take more water and you're
going to take it from us." "Well, how do you know that? You
haven't seen the plan yet, so how do you know?"
So you kind of go through all the items, and the answer in
each case is that there's this fear of the unknown, and it's a
deep-seated fear and frustration, and they want to change it. If
we can get a couple of years experience, I think we'll have more
acceptance. In the next couple of years the programmatic EIS
[Environmental Impact Statement] is going to be finished, we're
going to have the fish doubling plan in place, we're going to have
agreement as to how the 800,000 acre-feet is going to be handled,
and all of these things that are the ghosts, the bogeymen that are
out there that--
Beard: The monsters that infuriate the farmers will no longer be unknowns.
People will know what they are, it will be in black and white, and
explanations will be there, and I think people will begin to
understand that we can meet all those needs in a fashion that's
Now, maybe I'm overly optimistic, but I don't think so. I
think once you get rid of that fear, the driving force behind the
legislation is going to begin to disappear. The problem that
they're having in the Congress right now with any efforts to repeal
this stuff is that nobody, and I mean nobody, in the Senate is on
their team. They have virtually nobody in the Senate. Barbara
Boxer is not at all interested; Dianne Feinstein wants the problem
to go away; and Bill Bradley, who's still there at least for
another year and a half, Bill Bradley is adamantly opposed to
amending it. And even if Bradley left, a senator from South
Carolina or some other state could care less about California. I
mean, with all due respect.
So once again, it goes back to the problem that we had when
we tried to move the legislation originally: we couldn't get
anybody in the Senate to take up our little cause until Bill
Bradley wandered along. Well, when Bradley leaves, it will be a
problem. You wouldn't be able to move reform legislation in this
environment anyway, but it's going to be a problem for them. If
they want to try to roll back the reforms, they've got to have an
advocate in the Senate, and they don't have one right now.
Dan Beard's Future Career Plans
Chall: Tell me where you're going from here.
Beard: Where am I going? I am currently planning on going into business
as a lobbyist in Washington with a friend of mine by the name of
John Freshman. He has a group called Freshman and Associates.
He's been in business for fifteen years. We are going to set up
Freshman and Beard, a public policy consulting firm, lobbying.
That's my current plan. I plan to lobby and do consulting, and
then I also want to do public speaking. I want to try to do some
public speaking on management of large public organizations in the
1990s, and try to see if I can make a little money doing that. I'm
also going to retire as a federal employee, so I get a small
I've had a life of public service and controversy. I've
probably been involved in and around most- -well, all of the major
water controversies in the last twenty years in Washington, D.C.,
and being a lobbyist is a lot different than being the staff person
sort of putting these things together. We'll have to see if I can
keep myself detached from it in that way. I hope I'm mature
I don't know. This is what I plan to do. I probably have a
sneakingthere's something in the back of my mind that makes me
think that I'll end up running some kind of organization somewhere,
because it turns out I actually- -notwithstanding Bill Kahrl it
turns out I'm actually pretty good.
Beard: Well, as a leader, as somebody who can articulate a vision and
encourage people to move in that direction. I don't know how I--to
me it's sort of second nature, but for some reason, I seem to have
that ability to lead a group of people, and I'm grateful for it.
But I kind of want a little bit of a break, frankly. This
has been a very hardthis experience with reclamation has been an
extremely hard one on my family.
Chall: What hasn't, over the twenty- some years? [laughing]
Beard: Well, yes, you're right, but this has been--I travel on the average
two days a week in the West, so I'm on the road every week. Well,
I only have seventy- five employees in Washington, and all the other
employees are in the western United States, or around the world,
for that matter. So it's been very difficult. I've had to be on
the road a lot, and you go out and meet a lot of people and talk to
people, and it's been very hard on my family. I've been away from
home a lot. I don't know, I think if I hung around home, maybe
they'd get sick of me after a while, but I'd like to see if I can
do that for a while.
Chall: And you wouldn't be sick of them?
Beard: No. It's very interesting, this experience. I was talking to
somebody at a management forum. They were asking me what we did
and how we did it, and they asked me sort of what advice I'd have,
and I said, "You know, the first bit of advice I'd give somebody
who was in charge and going to undertake an effort like this is to
get yourself a physical fitness regime." Because the hardest thing
I've had to deal with for the last two years has been the mental
and physical stress of leading a change effort. I had a lot of
employees who would call me up or write me notes and say, "Why
don't you just shoot us and get it over with?"
And I have taken that very seriously, very personally. I've
really felt very strongly that we were going in the right
direction, but when somebody disagrees with you pretty strongly,
you kind of--at least I felt--it was hard. That was hard.
But we'll see, we'll see what the future brings. It's odd, I
woke up with my retirement- -suddenly I didn't have to work. It
would have been not a starvation diet but close to it, but the rent
would get paid certainly, and I could mow lawns and paint houses, I
guess, to make money.
Chall: That doesn't sound-- You wouldn't do that.
Beard: Well, you know, there's a certain intrigue to it. But I really
found myself for the first time ever with this sort of space to
fill--I had lots of different options, and I've sort of settled on
this option. I hope that it works out fine.
Chall: At least you can try it.
Chall: And when you say public policy, what public policies? Will you be
mainly interested in environment and water, or could you go over to
child welfare or something like that?
Beard: No, no.
Chall: You're going to stay in your own field.
Beard: No, I'm going to stay in my own field. The fellow that I'm working
with has worked at EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] , and his
strengths really are in water pollution control, waste water, solid
waste kinds of things, and my strength has been in the natural
resource fields programs that the Department of the Interior has,
for example. Our objective is ultimately to make money, but also
to have some fun and some exciting times along the way. That's
what I'm kind of looking forward to. I'm somehow trying to see if
I can make some money and then have some fun at the same time. Who
knows? I'll do this for four or five years, and then maybe there
will be some other public career.
Chall: Oh, there will always be something.
Beard: Yes, there always is, isn't there?
Chall: Particularly if you're energetic and articulate.
Beard: I've often thought about going back to teaching, but you know, I
taught for just a little while and never really got back to it.
Chall: Well, there's probably a place for people who have had the kind of
experience you have to be teachers. I notice quite a number of
people go from government into some of the universities around the
Eastern Seaboard, teaching, particularly in Washington. Who knows?
But thank you very much for the time you've given me and all this
information that I needed.
Beard: Well, thank you. I really appreciate the fact that the institute
[The Centers for Water and Wildlife Resources] has been willing to
fund the study, or fund your efforts. I only wish you'd come along
about two years ago when all this was a lot more fresh in my mind.
Chall: Oh, yes. Well, I knew that it probably wouldn't be fresh in your
mind, because it couldn't possibly have been after all this time.
I had a lot of information, but what I needed was to gather it
together from your perspective.
Beard: Yes. Actually, you had the framework there. It isn't hard if the
framework is there to sort of fill in the details.
Chall: Yes, you did that. Thank you.
Transcriber: Shannon Page
Final Typist: Shana Chen
TAPE GUIDE- -Daniel P. Beard
Date of Interview: August 30, 1995
tape 1, side A 1
tape 1, side B 12
tape 2, side A 21
tape 2, side B 32
tape 3, side A 42
tape 3, side B 54
Beirne, James, 37, 39
Boxer, Barbara, 61
Bradley, Bill/ Bradley bills, 9, 12,
16-17, 28, 61
Bush, George, 40, 43
Bush, George, administration of, 24,
37-38, 44, 45
business interests and the Central
Valley Project Improvement Act,
California Fish and Wildlife
Protection bills, 13-16, 19. See
also Miller, George
Carter, Jimmy, 9-10
Central Utah Project, 18, 19, 38, 47
Central Valley Project:
mitigation, need for, 12-16
state purchase of, 59
Central Valley Project Improvement
Act: agriculture /water community,
6-7, 22, 31-33, 35-36, 39, 46;
business interests, 20;
contract renewals, 60;
environmental community, 32, 34,
implementation of, 44-46, 52-53;
Republican Congress, 58-61
tiered pricing, 45;
water marketing/transfers, 44-45
Coelho, Tony, 8, 19-20 22
Condit, Gary, 22, 32, 39
Cranston, Alan, 30
Dooley, Calvin, 22, 26, 31, 32, 39,
Dougherty, Charlene, 8-9, 14-15
environmentalists, 32, 34
Esau, Ron, 42
Fazio, Vic, 32-33, 38-39
Feinstein, Dianne, 61
Garn, Jake, 40
Garrison, Karen, 21
Golb, Richard, 25
Grady, Robert (Bob), 40
Graff, Thomas, 16, 33, 34
Grand Canyon Protection Act, 37, 38
Gwinn, Roger, 37, 38-39
Hatch, Orrin, 40
Houston, David, 59
Jensen, Tom, 9, 16-17, 39
Johnston, J. Bennett, 38
Johnston, J.Bennett/Johnston mark,
Kahrl, William, 54-55
Lanich, Steve, 8, 32
Lawrence, John, 8, 20, 32
Lehman, Richard, 22, 31, 39
McCain, John, 40
Metropolitan Water District, 29, 39
Miller, George, 5-8, 12, 18, 19, 20,
25, 27, 34, 36, 40-41, 42, 46-47,
Fish and Wildlife Protection
Bills, 12, -17, 23
Miller-Bradley bills, 31-32, 36
water marketing/transfers, 21-23,
Mineta, Norman, 42
Omnibus Water Bill (H.R. 429), 19,
27, 29-31, 37-44
Omnibus Water Bill H.R. (2567), 18
Panetta, Leon, 43
Peltier, Jason, 46
Peripheral Canal, 6
Seymour, John/ Seymour bills, 23-26,
27, 30-31, 43
Share the Water, 20
Simpson, Alan, 30, 40
Somach, Stuart, 33,34, 35
Somach/Graff negotiations, 33-35
Udall, Morris (Moe), 18
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, 48-54
Wallop, Malcolm, 30, 40
Wilson, Pete, 18, 19, 24-25
Yardas, David, 21, 28, 39
Graduated from Reed College In 1942 with a B.A. degree,
and from the State University of Iowa in 1943 with an
M.A. degree in Political Science.
Wage Rate Analyst with the Twelfth Regional War Labor
Board, 1943-1945, specializing in agriculture and
services. Research and writing in the New York public
relations firm of Edward L. Bernays , 1946-1947, and
research and statistics for the Oakland Area Community
Chest and Council of Social Agencies, 1948-1951.
Active in community affairs as director and past
president of the League of Women Voters of the Hayward
area specializing in state and local government; on
county-wide committees in the field of mental health; on
election campaign committees for school tax and bond
measures, and candidates for school board and state
Employed in 1967 by the Regional Oral History Office
interviewing in fields of agriculture and water
resources. Also director, Suffragists Project,
California Women Political Leaders Project, Land-Use
Planning Project, and the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care
U. C. BERKELEY LIBRARIES