Dear Restore the Delta friends,
Update 12/14: HR 2898 negotiations continue to the detriment of the Delta. Senator Feinstein is holding the line on Endangered Species Protections for Delta, but is looking to allow more water pumping during periods of more rain, even though we are in the fifth year of drought and the estuary is dying from 30 years of over pumping.
We cannot save the SF Bay-Delta estuary by delivering more water during drought to Westlands Water District. If Feinstein’s new bill allow exporters to turn up the pumps, the Delta will die in the 5th drought year.
Call Senator Feinstein’s office (202) 224-3841, and tell her staff: I appreciate that Senator Feinstein is holding the line on the Endangered Species protections for the Delta, but I expect better. If the new drought bill allows more pumping, the Delta will die in the 5th year of drought. We need more flows to the SF Bay-Delta or our estuary will collapse from the drought and 30 years of over pumping. Tweet this message!
The Delta is not Solomon’s baby! Solomon cannot split the baby on this one. Will Senator Feinstein be remembered as the Senator who saved the SF Bay-Delta estuary, or the Senator who pushed it to collapse during extreme drought for almond exports to China?
Update 12/11: Read our statement to the press.
Update 12/11: URGENT: Senator Dianne Feinstein appears ready to sign off on HR 2898, after negotiations with Central Valley House Congressmen that want to over pump the San Francisco Bay-Delta. Californians have not seen the federal drought bill. We need to make sure it does not harm our Delta estuary, which is on the verge of collapse in this extreme drought. Senator Barbara Boxer says she will NOT sign off on any bill that weaken existing federal protections. Call Senator Boxer ASAP.
Senator Barbara Boxer: (202) 224-3553 Click to Tweet our message to @SenatorBoxer
Tell this to Senator Boxer: Senator Boxer, you promised us an open and transparent process in drought bill (HR 2898) negotiations. Northern Californians haven’t seen the drought bill, now in it’s final stages, and we haven’t been given the opportunity to comment on it yet. It’s our region that will take the environmental and economic impact of this bill. Please slow down the bill process, do not allow passage of this drought bill that has not been vetted in the light of day. We have a right to know how HR 2898 will impact the estuary, the fisheries, our farms, our home, and the source of our livelihood — fresh water flows.
Today, Senator Dianne Feinstein released this statement:
“The bill that Republicans tried to place in the omnibus last week—in my name and without my knowledge—hadn’t been reviewed by me, Senator Boxer, the state or the White House. Each of those parties is key to coming up with a bill that can actually be signed into law.
“There were at least a half-dozen items in the bill that I had rejected and that would have drawn objections from state or federal agencies—some of them would likely violate environmental law. Several more provisions were still being negotiated and hadn’t been reviewed by state or federal stakeholders.
“We’ve worked hard all week to resolve these outstanding provisions, and I believe we’ve come to closure on virtually all of them. I expect that by early next week we’ll have a bill that the state and federal government can sign off on. At that point I plan to present the bill to Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Murkowski and Ranking Member Cantwell and discuss the best way to move the bill forward through regular order.”
Need a refresher on HR 2898? See this Mercury News editorial, "Drought relief held hostage to trashing the Delta" about HR 2898. Mercury News wrote, "Central Valley Republicans want to strip out essential environmental protections for the Delta to quench Big Ag's thirst for more water for questionable orchard crops such as almonds and pistachios."