In the interest of national security, can the United States afford to allow Kansas to shut down irrigation in the Republican River Basin?
Given the large number of ethanol and bio-diesel plants in the basin, and the billions of gallons that they produce from the irrigated crops, a shutdown of irrigated acres will have a major impact on the plants that produce biofuels.
Article X of the compact and settlement states that: "Nothing in this compact shall be deemed: (a) to impair or affect any rights, powers or jurisdiction of the United States, or those acting by or under its authority in, over, and to the waters of the basin; nor to impair or affect the capacity of the United States, or those acting by or under its authority, to acquire rights in and to the use of the waters of the basin."
The United States has a larger stake in this than most people realize when you consider ethanol and biodiesel plants in the basin. The issues in the Republican River Basin concern more than just irrigation, tax valuations and local concerns about water.
The United States has the authority to use the waters of the basin to grow irrigated crops that can be used for producing alternative fuels.