San Francisco (AP) – The Obama Administration is pushing for progress on a California water project before it leaves office. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell issued an executive order Wednesday directing federal wildlife officials to release a preliminary environmental opinion on Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed water tunnels by Jan. 17. Brown wants California to build 2 35-mile-long water tunnels to pipe Northern California’s water to Central and Southern California. The newly issued federal order seeks to speed up federal permitting for the $15.7 Billion project. The order means the project could clears one preliminary hurdle before Obama leaves office Jan. 20. North State Congressman Doug LaMalfa blasted the order.He says that Washington bureaucrats are trying to take water that could supply millions of Californian’s in order to let it flow to the ocean unused. He says the proposal is based on flawed logic that isn’t supported by scientific evidence and contradicts the National Marine Fisheries’ plan to keep more water in Shasta Lake to maintain cold water for Salmon habitat.