Stockton’s new 26 year old mayor, Michael Tubbs, did a great job speaking about his opposition to the Delta Tunnels plan on national media NBC’s Meet The Press yesterday.
We appreciate the acknowledgement from the mayor to our supporters when he says, regarding the Delta Tunnels, “we have local advocates who have been engaged for a long time.” Worth a listen!
Conversation begins at 13:12, click here to listen.
Chuck Todd: So there’s a lot of talk of infrastructure spending coming out of the federal government, the Trump administration talks it up, you hear a lot of rhetoric about it. When you hear that, what are you hoping that means, bottom-line, to Stockton, CA?
Michael Tubbs: I hope it doesn’t mean money for the Twin Tunnels, which will employ some folks short-term, but shift all our water away from the Delta and have lasting impact on our economy. I hope it doesn’t mean a bunch of people building walls to push people out. But if it mean a Works Progress Administration sort of initiative for putting Stocktonians and the rest of America back to work on fixing our existing roads, and dams, and building the transportation infrastructure we need in this century, that sounds like a good idea.
CT: It’s interesting, you just talked about something that sounds very local, and it might be that some people don’t know about this, it sounds like you are getting ready for a water war in the state. Is that what you are concerned with about the Twin Tunnels you just talked about?
MT: I wouldn’t call it a water war, Chuck, it has been something of a discussion for a long time…
CT: About moving Northern California water south, right?
MT: Yeah, moving water south and what’s the best way to do that, and are there existing things we can do to that won’t unduly harm some parts of the state to help with the some of the needs in others. One of the things we have been battling locally is, and we have local advocates who have been engaged for a long time, is this Twin Tunnels plan. Which is number one, super expensive, and number two, doesn’t get at some of the root causes of issues in terms of water storage and cleaning that creates some of the water scarcity in other parts of the state. So for me, an infrastructure bill makes sense as long as it is employing people to do good things that benefit communities and not cause undue harm, whether it’s building walls or building super-expensive tunnels that don’t increase the ability to get water.
CT: Are you just concerned that if the Tunnels are built and the water is moved then basically, you then have an Ag problem on your hands?
MT: Ag problem, but also just economies of scale. You have farmers and fishermen, there are people who rely on the Delta for their well-being in the San Joaquin Valley area and once their Delta is gone, once the salination levels rise, or once the environment is harmed, there’s no going back from that. There would be all types of residuals, impacts, and economic effects for this region and that doesn’t do the state any good, actually.