October 23, 2019
California fights Trump on everything — except water – Politico
“Clearly this governor is making a play for the Central Valley to be nice to agriculture, and I think they’re playing him like a fiddle,” said one longtime environmental advocate who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid political repercussions.
Editorial: Newsom must not cave to Trump on Delta water safeguards – The Mercury News
The question now is whether Gavin Newsom will respond by standing up for protection of California’s waterways with the vigor that he opposes Trump’s attack on the state’s auto emissions standards. Or will the governor capitulate to the same lobbying pressure from farmers and water agencies that are pushing the president’s Delta policies?
An analysis completed by NOAA Fisheries biologists in July found the administration’s plan jeopardized the future of endangered fish. Under federal law, the biologists are then required to put limits on it, like restricting how much water can be pumped to farms from the state’s rivers. Instead, the administration removed those biologists from the project and brought in other staff to rewrite their decision.
The plan, which administration officials expect to be finalized in January, is a major victory for a wealthy group of California farmers that had lobbied to weaken protections on the fish, the delta smelt. It also might intensify ethics questions about Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who was the lobbyist for those farmers until just months before he joined the Trump administration.
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta said:
“If the Trump plan is implemented, Delta water quality will degrade and residents will use itswaters for fishing and recreation, less. Stockton’s costs for treating its drinking water willrise as will residents’ water rates, and the public health will be impacted due to increased harmful algal blooms. We are calling on the Newsom Administration to help fight these faux-science based opinions and to stop the Trump plan to increase water deliveries to big water districts. These rollbacks cannot become part of the Newsom Administration’s‘voluntary agreement’ process for the Delta.”