by Dr. Ed Berry
Today, the Judiciary Committee approved the Compact 8 to 4 and sent it to the Senate. Professionals expect the Senate to pass the Compact and send it to the House, where the outcome will be a close contest.
Most people have not studied the CSKT Water Compact because, frankly, it’s complicated. Like Senator Chas Vincent, I spent about 200 hours of study before I got a grip on the Compact, the arguments for it and against it, and who wins the arguments.
Having done that work, now I can show you how you understand the very-important proposed CSKT Water Compact in a very short time. Here’s were to begin.
The menus on edberry.com contain links to the important Compact documents and arguments by proponents, opponents, and rebuttals.
Under the menu “Water Compact” select “Education” then “Compact Summary” by State of Montana attorneys. Note the following:
The Montana Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission published the following summary here on January 8, 2015. NO Compact opponent has identified any conflict between this summary and the complete Compact. Therefore, you may read this Summary for accurate information about the proposed Compact and save yourself a ton of time.
OK. Now that you have read this summary, you understand what the compact is about.
Next read the seven short documents shown under “FAQ.” These FAQs include rebuttals by State of Montana attorneys to all the arguments opponents raise over and over.
Now you will be ready to read and understand the debates between opponents and proponents. So if you want to proceed further, pretend you are in a jury and mark your scorecard.
When you read an opponent argument that repeats one of the already answered FAQ’s, you can ignore it because it is an invalid argument. Remember, repeating a lie over and over again does not make it a truth.
Don’t be swayed by arguments that irrigators will not get their fair share of water under the Compact. They will. The available water will not disappear because the Compact is approved. The Compact assures irrigators they will receive their historical water consistent with available water and their true need for water. The $30 million emergency pumping fund provides better insurance of water availability than the present situation without the Compact.
Don’t be swayed by irrelevant arguments, like
- “the Commission did not give me time to read the Compact,” or
- “they did not treat me with respect,” or
- “the CSKT is funding advertising for the Compact,” etc.
“If this claim were true, does that mean the compact is bad?”
If the sky is blue, does that make the Compact bad?
As I see it, Compact opponents are against the compact because, well … they decided to be against the Compact before they created their reasons to be against the Compact. Their real reasons for opposing the Compact began with things like
- “it’s a government conspiracy to steal all the water and land” or
- “it’s part of Agenda 21” or
- “it’s part of the government program to poison us with chemtrails,” or
- “opposition to progress is part of the Montana tea party religion,” or
- “my peers are against the Compact,” or
- “my principles are against the Compact,” etc.
If you have 5 hours to spare, you may wish to watch the video of the Compact hearing on Monday, February 16.
In my opinion, no opponent made any claim that State attorneys have already thoroughly rebutted. Opponents do not understand that to contest a rebuttal they must refer to the rebuttal and then explain exactly why they think the rebuttal is false. No opponent did this. Therefore, every proponent rebuttal stands.
If you can find one legitimate opponent argument not already rebutted, please tell us by leaving a note below.