2010 Colorado elections: Scott McInnis background

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Here’s a background piece about Scott McInnis from Joe Hanel writing for The Durango Herald. From the article:

McInnis is a partner at Hogan Lovells, a law and lobbying firm – formerly known as Hogan & Hartson – where [Bill Ritter] worked before he became governor. As part of his work for the firm, McInnis lobbied for the Million Conservation Resource Group, a company that wants to build a water pipeline from Flaming Gorge Reservoir in southwest Wyoming to the Denver metro area. McInnis still thinks the pipeline is a good idea, and he is confident there is enough water legally available under the multi-state Colorado River Compact. “Some of the lower states may be complaining because they get the benefit,” he said. “But the reality of it is, that’s Colorado water, and we have to capture it for Colorado use or we’re going to lose it, in my opinion.”[…]

McInnis represented the 3rd Congressional District, which spans most of the state’s western half, and in his stump speech, he makes a point of both Maes’ and Hickenlooper’s Denver-area background. “There’s only one candidate in here who’s not from the metropolitan area. There’s only one candidate who’s ever represented Durango,” he said.

Mr. Hanel has also posted an interview with Scott McInnis — pre-plagiarism scandal — on The Durango Herald. From the article:

DH: Governor Ritter’s policy favors using water for recreational purposes, and he has spent money on buying water for endangered species. That’s been a departure for the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Would you continue those policies with you appointments to the CWCB?

McInnis: [McInnis’s wife] Lori’s father was actually probably the longest-serving member (of the CWCB). Lori’s a cattle rancher. So I know a lot about the Water Conservation Board. First of all, you can’t raid their funds. Those funds are being raided, just like the Brand Board. Those are very important funds to protect. Before the Ritter administration, by the way, they bought rights for in-stream flows. This isn’t new with the Ritter administration. In fact, minimum streamflow is Republican, it’s not Democrat. It’s Colorado under the Legislature. It isn’t like Ritter found something new. It was in the process. He might have prioritized it. But they key to it is not the day-to-day operation. The key to it is who your appointments are. My appointments will be very experienced in water. They’ll have a very clear understanding, or I won’t appoint them, that water storage is absolutely essential. And they’ll have to have a strong feeling about protection of the water, whether it’s protection of the water for saving it, storing it, or whether it’s protection of the water for the quality of the water…

DH: You’ve supported the proposed Flaming Gorge pipeline (from the Southwest Wyoming reservoir to the Front Range). Are you confident there’s enough water left under the Colorado River Compact for a project like that?

McInnis: There is. There is. Flaming Gorge – those rights are unclaimed. The Bureau of Reclamation makes those decisions. The water’s at Flaming Gorge. Now, some of the lower states may be complaining, because they get the benefit. That’s Colorado water. We’re going to have to give some to Wyoming to run the pipeline across Wyoming. We have to pay the toll. But the reality of it is, that’s Colorado water, and we have to capture it for Colorado use, or we’re going to lose it, in my opinion.

More 2010 Colorado elections coverage here.

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