House Passes a Water Grab Bill
The House of Representatives passed legislation today containing a wholesale assault on California’s environment, native fisheries, and the thousands of jobs that depend on a healthy Bay-Delta ecosystem. President Obama has already threatened to veto the bill. The legislation passed with strong Republican support and against the wishes of Governor Jerry Brown of California, both of California’s U.S. senators, and numerous fishing organizations, outdoor recreation groups, and environmental organizations.
Supporters of the bill portray it as an emergency measure to respond to California’s terrible drought, when the legislation is actually a Trojan horse that would permanently repeal federal and state laws protecting salmon and other native fish in California and protecting water quality for Delta farmers.
The following is a statement from Earthjustice legislative counsel Marjorie Mulhall:
“This bill is yet another attempt by some members of California’s congressional delegation to gut critical safeguards for California’s Bay-Delta ecosystem that also protect thousands of fishing and farming jobs. It’s disappointing to see this bill’s proponents use record-breaking dry conditions as an excuse to go after environmental protections these folks have never liked. What’s needed are practical measures for getting through California’s drought.”