Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jerry Brown Betrays North State Delta Plight


Jerry Brown reaffirms support for Delta-killing peripheral canal
by Dan Bacher
Friday Aug 19th, 2011 1:12 AM
“Governor Brown is continuing to promote Schwarzenegger's peripheral canal," Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, responded to Brown's latest affirmation of support for the canal. "That is too bad. He is another career politician clinging to ideas from the past that will not serve the present. It's a shame that he is not looking at cutting edge technology and new solutions to create a positive environmental and economic legacy for California.”
jb.jpg
jb.jpg

Jerry Brown reaffirms support for Delta-killing peripheral canal

by Dan Bacher

Governor Jerry Brown, in his remarks to the editorial board of the Fresno Bee on Wednesday, August 17, reaffirmed his support for a peripheral canal or tunnel to facilitate the export of more California Delta water to corporate agribusiness and southern California water agencies.

The Bee piece focused on Brown's support for high speed rail - and provided little detail about Brown's plan to build the canal, a project opposed by a broad coalition of Delta residents, fishermen, family farmers, Indian Tribes and environmental justice communities.

"The rail project is one of two major infrastructure projects on Brown's agenda," according to the Bee. "He said today that he will have a plan for the other project - a peripheral canal or other way to move water through or around the Delta - within a year." (http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2011/08/jerry-brown-calls-for-high-spe.html#ixzz1VKloTwTj)

On August 11, California Natural Resources John Laird and Department of the Interior Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes unveiled their "aggressive schedule" to build Delta "conveyance" through Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP).

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the California Natural Resources Agency agreed to a schedule for completing an effects analysis and a combined environmental impact statement/environmental impact report (EIR/EIS) as part of the BDCP by June 2012. (http://resources.ca.gov/docs/Final_-_DOI_CNRA_BDCP_Schedule_Release.pdf)

They also agreed to considering a "suite of alternatives" for evaluation in identifying a proposed Delta conveyance project. Those alternatives include a variety of conveyance facilities with capacities ranging from 3,000 to 15,000 cubic feet per second.

“Governor Brown is continuing to promote Schwarzenegger's peripheral canal," Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, responded to Brown's latest affirmation of support for the canal. "That is too bad. He is another career politician clinging to ideas from the past that will not serve the present. It's a shame that he is not looking at cutting edge technology and new solutions to create a positive environmental and economic legacy for California.”

Likewise, Calleen Sisk-Franco, the Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, said, "The Tribe is totally against the canal in any form."

"Governor Brown has put the canal, a huge project to take water from the Delta, on the fast track,” explained Sisk-Franco. “But both the little salmon and adult chinooks need the fresh water in the estuary to acclimate when they go up and down the river.”

She emphasized, “Many people assume that the Governor is doing the best job for us. However, what he is really doing is the best job he can for the corporations.”

The corporate agenda behind the peripheral canal and general obligation water bonds is revealed in the ground-breaking two part investigative report, "Budgets, Billionaires, Bonds, Big Profits and the Brown Family," written by Patrick Porgans and Lloyd G. Carter. (http://www.lloydgcarter.com/files_lgc/Billionaires%20and%20Bonds.pdf)

"Part One focuses on how the wealthy and landed have used the public bond process in California to further their own interests, while promoting and profiting from the state’s “budget crisis.” Part Two focuses on the family legacy of Gov. Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, who first mastered the art of selling water bonds half a century ago, to finance the construction of the State Water Project, which was sold as a project that would pay for itself. It never has," explained Porgans and Carter.

Brown's support for the peripheral canal should come as no surprise, since he backed the earlier version of the peripheral canal during his previous term as Governor. The voters overwhelmingly voted down the peripheral canal proposal during the election of November 1982.

Canal opponents believe the construction of the canal, designed to divert massive quantities of badly needed fresh water out of the Delta, would likely result in the extinction of Central Valley steelhead, Sacramento River chinook salmon, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other imperiled fish species.

The fish-killing canal is teamed up with an equally destructive "habitat restoration" plan to convert vast areas of Delta farmland, some of the most productive agricultural land on the planet, into marshland so that drainage-impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley can continue to be irrigated by corporate agribusiness interests.

The campaign to build the peripheral canal is not the only program of the Schwarzenegger administration that Governor Brown has embraced. He has also decided to forge ahead with Schwarzenegger's widely-contested Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, a privately funded process to create so-called "marine protected areas" characterized by numerous conflicts of interest, institutional racism and the violation of numerous federal, state and international laws.

The Brown administration has also decided to allow record water export pumping out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta this year, resulting in a massive, unprecedented fish kill at the state and federal pumps.

A horrific 8,966,976 splittail, 35,556 chinook salmon, 430,289 striped bass, 54,412 largemouth bass, 69,383 bluegill, 76,570 white catfish, 28,301 channel catfish, 233,174 threadfin shad, 264,171 American shad, 1,642 steelhead and 51 Delta smelt were “salvaged” in the state and federal water export facilities from January 1 to August 2, 2011, according to Department of Fish and Game (DFG) data. As if that isn't bad enough, the overall loss of fish in and around the State Water Project and Central Valley Project facilities is believed to dwarf the actual salvage counts (http://www.counterpunch.org/bacher08052011.html).

For more information, go to: http://www.restorethedelta.org

No comments:

Post a Comment