Posted: 3:24 pm Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
By Greg Bluestein
Georgia’s got enough water-related headaches on its plate with the long-running fights against Alabama and Florida still raging. The state’s not about to open another water wars front against Tennessee.
That was the message Wednesday from Gov. Nathan Deal in remarks that came after a water policy speech he delivered to dozens of business leaders.
Proposals have been bubbling for years that attempt to grab disputed territory from our northern neighbor that could give the state coveted access to the Tennessee River. The latest, adopted last year, involves a proposal not to sue Tennessee if leaders there give Georgia an uninhabited strip of land that leads to the mighty river.
That proposal was met largely with derision by lawmakers there, leading some legislators in Georgia to warn of a lawsuit if no agreement is reached soon. The Chattanooga Times-Free Press mused that it was a “ticking bomb” that could lead to a larger legal battle.
Consider that bomb defused.
“I think we are much better off to be able to talk with our friends and neighbors in adjoining states. I think the process still has possibilities of producing favorable results. I don’t think we need any more water wars in the courts right now.”
About the Author
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He joined the newspaper in June 2012 after spending seven years with the Atlanta bureau of The Associated Press. He also contributes to the AJC's Political Insider blog. Bluestein has traveled to Haiti with President Jimmy Carter, journeyed to Panama with Gov. Nathan Deal and tracked down a suspected Ponzi schemer in suburban Kansas. He spent weeks in Louisiana covering the Gulf Oil Spill, became an unwitting expert on capital punishment after witnessing almost a dozen executions in Georgia's death chamber and was part of award-winning teams that descended upon the biggest breaking news events in the Southeast. Bluestein has covered a range of beats, including environment, legal affairs and economic development. He's now the AJC's political writer, charged with covering the intricacies of Georgia's lively government on the newspaper's front pages and in the Political Insider blog. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two daughters.