Interior Chief’s Lobbying Past Has Challenged the Agency’s Ethics Referees – The New York Times, 11/9/19
New York Times Coral Davenport writes on how Secretary Bernhardt works to skirt around conflict of interest laws on behalf of Westlands Water District.
“At the center of many ethics issues is Westlands, a state entity created at the behest of, and largely controlled by, some of California’s wealthiest and most politically influential farmers. It is also the state’s largest agricultural water user, and for years it has lobbied lawmakers to weaken environmental rules to in an effort to get more irrigation water.
Last month, the Interior Department granted Westlands the policy victory it had long sought, with the release of a new plan that would lift protections on the smelt and divert water to California’s Central Valley.”
Read more here.
Feds set to lock in huge water contract for well-connected Westlands Water District – Los Angeles Times, 11/11/19
Bettina Boxall of the Los Angeles Times elucidates the significance of Westlands Water District locking in a permanent water contract. A must read article.