Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-475-9550, [email protected]
Congressman Jeff Denham To Meet With President Trump To Advance Efforts To Thwart Bay-Delta Water Quality
STOCKTON, CA –Politico reporter Annie Snider reports that Congressman Jeff Denham (CA-10) will join President Trump in Arizona this afternoon for the signing of a presidential memorandum “aimed at sending more water to farmers in California’s arid Central Valley.” Click here to read Ms. Snider’s article in full.
Ms. Snider writes that Representative Denham, who is in a toss up race to hold onto his seat, is one of several San Joaquin Valley GOP incumbents where water supply is a top campaign topic.
Restore the Delta’s executive director, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, said regarding Representative Denham’s efforts to secure a presidential memorandum calling for more water to be taken from the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary:
“The real water grab is what Congressman Denham is inflicting on the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary. Denham, a supposed conservative, is leading the charge to interfere with state rights to oversee and operate its water delivery systems, by pushing President Trump for Federal intervention in the Water Quality Plan for the Bay-Delta currently before the State Water Resources Control Board. In the process, he is splitting his own district, forgetting what is important to his constituents in San Joaquin County – a healthy and restored Delta.
“While we would like to see even more flows restored to rivers that flow into the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary than what is presently being considered by the State Water Board, the present plan before the Board, which President Trump and Interior Secretary Zinke are now trying to help Representative Denham thwart, contains at least an improvement over current in-flow conditions for the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary.
“Congressman Denham, who claims to be against the Brown Administration’s WaterFix tunnels, has, however, also voted for and helped to advance the controversial Calvert and Valadao riders in the Department of Interior House Appropriations bill. The Calvert rider would strip Delta residents of due process rights by blocking their ability to litigate over the tunnels project, while the Valadao rider would block Delta residents from being able to litigate over the operation of the Central Valley Project. Our concern is that Congressman Denham’s effort to stop the needed restoration of river flows downstream in the Delta, with passage of these riders, would mean that millions of Bay-Delta residents would have no legal recourse for deteriorated water quality conditions and reduced access to needed fresh water supplies from a re-operation of water projects – all to support almond growers up and down the San Joaquin Valley, whose crops are sold mostly to foreign markets. This matches up with recent campaign contributions Congressman Denham has taken from Stewart Resnick of the Wonderful Company, and board members from the Oakdale Irrigation District, and show the Congressman’s concerns for the top 1% of agribusiness at the expense of everyday Californians.
“Californians should not be fooled. Congressman Denham, who recently claimed according to a report in the Manteca Bulletin , “EPA has the authority under the Clean Water Act to stop the plan because it ‘fails to meet the Clean Water Act’s ‘sound, rigorous’ science standards for flow criteria,’” does not care about sound science guiding responsible water management policies for the state. The science has shown time and time again that the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary will fail without restored freshwater flows. Congressman Denham is using the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary to further his political aspirations and to hold onto power. He is no friend of the estuary, or his constituents who depend on a healthy San Francisco Bay-Delta.”