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Globe Newspaper Group » Local News, Politics » Representatives Reject Water Bill That would Devastate Bay-Delta Economy, Environment

Representatives Reject Water Bill That would Devastate Bay-Delta Economy, Environment

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, a leading group of U.S. Representatives who support the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta voted against the passage of H.R. 1837, the
so-called Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act. As written, the
legislation would divert additional water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta
to south-of-Delta water users, running counter to established economic thought,
environmental policies and leading scientific research.

The legislation passed the House by a vote of 246-175, and now goes to the Senate
for consideration. The lawmakers responded today after the vote:

“The fact that this legislation passed the House shows that some Representatives are
more concerned with satisfying well-funded south-of-Delta water contractors than
protecting state laws and finding science-based solutions to California’s water
challenges,” said Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-1). “This bill puts politics ahead of
established science, guts environmental protections and kills local jobs. The Senate
should reject it, and solutions to California’s water challenges should be based on
sound science so that wildlife is protected, and our fishers, farmers, families and
businesses that depend on the Delta for their livelihoods are not harmed.”

“This bill would only help a few well-connected water agencies, to the detriment of
everyone else in California,” Rep. George Miller (CA-7) said of the legislation. “It
is a selfish and extreme approach that would end all productive efforts to solve
water problems in California. If this bill were ever enacted, it would unravel legal
settlements, defy Supreme Court precedent, and pose a serious threat to water
management all across the West. HR 1837 is bad for the Bay, bad for the Delta, bad
for California’s environment, and bad for our economic future. By asking Congress to
override state water law – against the state’s wishes — and by ending the
collaborative work that’s taking place in California, the special interests and
water exporters who are supporting this bill are playing a very dangerous game.”

“This bill is a blatant attempt to steal water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin
Delta.  It would undermine existing state and federal laws and forever harm the
millions of people who live from Sacramento to Stockton to Brentwood in the Delta
region.  This bill was crafted without any input from the Delta communities,
farmers, and businesses that will be devastated by its enactment, and it should not
move forward.  It is a bad bill that robs Peter to pay Paul.  To steal from one
community for the benefit of another, while creating a worse problem for everyone,
is completely shortsighted and unacceptable.  I will continue to stand up for the
farmers, families, and small business owners who rely upon a healthy San Joaquin
Delta for their livelihoods.  My colleagues who pushed this bad piece of legislation
forward will have to answer for playing games with the precious water supplies in
California,” said Rep. Jerry McNerney (CA-11).

“In Northern California, we have balanced our watershed to the benefit of our
cities, farms, and habitat. However, this legislation will throw our work out the
window, along with the ability of California to make its own decisions on its water
resources. H.R. 1837 is an unprecedented and unacceptable water grab, and California
cannot afford for it to pass – the stakes are simply too high,” said Rep. Doris
Matsui (CA-5).

“This is not the time to reignite the California water wars of the past. This is not
the time to pit Californians against each other,” said Rep. John Garamendi (CA-10).
“This is the time to focus on meeting the coequal goals of water supply and
ecosystem protection. We must focus on responsible, science-based water management,
with conservation, storage and recycling playing a prominent role. That is the
solution to California’s water needs. H.R .1837 takes us in the opposite direction.”

“On leap day, House Republicans are telling California and other states who want to
manage their own water to take a flying leap. This bill is the ultimate in
Washington power grabs, telling the states that we don’t trust you to manage your
own water for your people and your farmers,” said Ed Markey (MA-7), Ranking Member
of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Written by Globe Newspapers

Filed under: Local News, Politics

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