Bakersfield

Valley lawmakers join McCarthy push for earthquake repair funding for China Lake

Following back-to-back earthquakes near Ridgecrest over the Fourth of July holiday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) and Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) launched an effort Wednesday to dedicate $100 million in funding for repairs and structural modernization to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.

Seismologists concluded the epicenters of the two quakes were located within the Navy compound. Since they struck on July 4 and 5, the Navy declared the station “not mission capable” and evacuated personnel.

The funding, which McCarthy and Cook aim to be adopted as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2020, would also fast track repairs by setting a deadline of Oct. 1, 2019 for the Pentagon to submit a master plan of repairs to Congress.

On Thursday, Valley state lawmakers joined the effort in support.

State Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield), Sen. Andreas Borgeas (R-Fresno), along with Asms. Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) and Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) voiced their support in a letter addressed to McCarthy and Cook.

“Besides being the United States Navy’s largest landholding for weapons research, [and] development… [the] China Lake military base provides thousands of jobs for people and families in Inyo County, San Bernardino County, and Kern County,” the letter from the four legislators reads.

The NDAA was approved in the Senate on an 86-8 vote Thursday. It is expected to be up for final vote in the House of Representatives on Friday.

Alex Tavlian
Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at alex.tavlian@sjvsun.com.