A Crisis on the Other Coast

A parched Southeast pleads its case to the president

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President George W. Bush (2nd L) tours the remains of San Diego, Ca., with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (2nd R), Congressman Brian Bilbray (R) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (L).

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Without continued flows, Riley continued, "industries will be forced to shut down, and thousands of Georgia and Alabama families will lose their income."

Both Riley and Crist have signaled that they are interested in pursuing discussions with the state of Georgia to find an interim compromise. Georgia, however, has charted a more aggressive course in the past two weeks, first with a suit against the Corps of Engineers, filed last week, and more recently with its appeal to the President.

The Bush administration, for its part, has not vocally endorsed any position or state, although recent actions suggest that Georgia's appeal has been well received. According to a statement by White House spokesperson Dana Perino last weekend, the administration has been in touch with the Corps of Engineers about "drafting interim rules...to address the endangered species requirement." Perino also said that the agency is in the process of "revising the operations manual for the river basin."