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Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton) on Thursday condemned the latest developments regarding the controversial Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) after his office received a briefing on the outcome of meetings held last week between federal and state government officials.

The new plans call for the construction of a massive conveyance system, the peripheral canal or tunnel, that would ship water to Southern California water agencies and San Joaquin Valley corporate agribusiness interests.

McNerney described the BDCP as "little more than a Build the Darn Canal Plan" - and the latest development as a "blatant attack on the Delta communities."

“This information confirms what we have known all along; the Governor and Secretary of the Interior intend to build a canal that would steal water from millions of people in our area and give it to wealthy special interests from Southern California," said McNerney. "Their plan will destroy one of the most important water resources in the country and harm the livelihoods of the four million people who call the Delta region home."

“Now we know beyond a shadow of a doubt what the BDCP actually stands for," he stated. "It’s little more than a Build the Darn Canal Plan. The people who reside in the Delta region have been shut out of this process from the beginning. Any plan that includes a peripheral canal is unacceptable. It would devastate our local economy and cost countless jobs."

“From the beginning, I have said that any plan related to the Delta must include the input of the farmers, families and small business owners whose livelihoods stand to be devastated by a peripheral canal. The latest developments don’t address the concerns of the Delta communities in any meaningful way," said McNerney.

“Agriculture is the economic backbone of the Delta. The special interests from south of the Delta are trying to steal our water, which would lay waste to our farmland and our economy. The latest development is a blatant attack on the Delta communities.

“The federal and state governments must come to the table and include meaningful input from the Delta region. This process has been crafted behind closed doors, and I call on Governor Brown and Secretary Salazar to finally make this plan fair and equitable for the Delta communities," he concluded.

On the same day that McNerney blasted the BDCP, Restore the Delta and an array of consumer and environmental leaders protested the announcement by the Brown Administration that it plans to ignore massive negative impacts and go ahead and build a peripheral canal or tunnel and "figure out the damage afterward."

In a series of phone conversations with Delta local county representatives and environmental groups, the California Natural Resources Agency, headed by Natural Resources Secretary John Laird, is announcing a framework based on “decision trees” that will determine how much flow and habitat is needed in the Delta over a fifteen year evaluation period after the project is under construction, according to a news release from Restore the Delta and Food & Water Watch (http://www.restorethedelta.org/...).

“The water contractors associated with BDCP have spent a quarter of a billion dollars of California water rate payers’ money to create a project that was supposed to restore the Delta," said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta. “They failed to produce such a project. So instead, the State is preparing to announce a project that has the potential to divert the majority of Sacramento River water without first ensuring protections for the Delta.”

“Resources Secretary Laird has the audacity to say that the canal will be built first, and they will figure out the good science after it’s built," said Barrigan-Parrilla. "The administration is selling this new BDCP Plus Plan as an improvement because BDCP partners are willing to wait to see what ‘new’ science will decide regarding project operations. But what is clear that the biological science does not support the project, so they are hoping that political science will solve the problem."

A broad coalition of Delta residents, fishermen, Indian Tribes, family farmers, grassroots environmentalists and elected officials opposes the construction of the canal because it would lead to the destruction of the ecosystem of the largest estuary on the west coast of the Americas. It would take Delta farmland out of agricultural production under the guise of "habitat restoration" in order to increase water exports to corporate agribusiness interests on the San Joaquin Valley's west side to irrigate toxic, drainage impaired land that should have never been irrigated.

The peripheral canal's construction would hasten the extinction of Central Valley salmon, Delta smelt, longfin smelt and other fish species, according to agency and independent scientists alike.

"All in all, they are simply going to throw more money after bad money,” said Barrigan-Parrilla. “Gov. Brown proposes to continue the draining of the Delta, imperiling the Delta environment and communities, and would take prime Delta farmland to make up for habitat lost by serving unsustainable huge corporate agribusinesses on the west side of the valley.”
 

Originally posted to Dan Bacher on Thu May 24, 2012 at 08:16 PM PDT.

Also republished by California politics.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ugh. Every time you think it's dead, it comes back (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo, G2geek, Oh Mary Oh, greengemini

    to life.

    •  The voters will have to drive a stake in the heart (11+ / 0-)

      of this monstrosity again. The big money growers in the SJ valley and our own Dianne Feinstein are for this thing. Imagine TWO 33 ft wide tunnels channeling the water of the Sacramento River around the Delta and straight into the CA Aqueduct. It has the capacity to divert the entire flow of the Sacramento River. Remember when Enron gamed the electricity market in CA? Rememnber the fake ass brownouts we endured? When they say they will run it using "adaptive management" - remember Enron. They will game the system, buy the politicians and run that thing full throttle.

      if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

      by mrsgoo on Thu May 24, 2012 at 08:38:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the dirty little secret: it won't get built. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Oh Mary Oh

        Brown doesn't really want this, nor does Obama.

        But "letting it go forward" will let all the special interests waste money like there's no tomorrow, pimping it and promoting it and paying off legislators, and pushing it every way they know how.

        In the end it will run aground on the species preservation laws, environmental regs, lawsuits, and citizen opposition.

        Meanwhile all that special interest money will have "trickled down" to local spending all over the state.  

        It's an economic stimulus plan to be paid for by special interests wasting their money and getting nothing in the end.

        This doesn't mean we don't have to fight it.  We do.  But we can do it with our time and effort that does not cost money.  It's our brains & muscles vs. the special interests' money, and the outcome is almost a foregone conclusion.  So this is one more fight we can fight hard and WIN, and we should welcome the opportunity to cost the special interests a bundle on their way to defeat.  

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Fri May 25, 2012 at 05:26:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Brown does want the canal (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greengemini

          Brown definitely wants the peripheral canal - he wanted it back in 1982 and he wants it now.

          It is magical thinking, based on no facts or evidence, to conclude that Jerry Brown "doesn't really want" the canal.

          If Brown "doesn't really want the canal," why did he promote "Mr. Peripheral Canal," corporate "environmentalist" Jerry Meral, to serve as Deputy Secretary under pro-canal Natural Resources Secretary John Laird?

          Brown is going ahead with the canal plan, regardless of what science or the Endangered Species says. Like Schwarzenegger, Brown is obsessed with building a "monument" to his "legacy."

          Brown doesn't care about the Delta, Central Valley salmon and Delta fish populations or the people of California. If he did, he wouldn't have authorized record water exports that created a record fish kill last year at the Delta pumps. He only cares about serving the interests of the 1 percent, including corporate agribusiness tycoons like Stewart Resnick of Paramount Farms.

    •  and if they bring it to life, it will die. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh

      These plans to ship water long distances are inherent security risks.  

      Think of that guy whose first name is Al and whose last name is Qaeda.  "Ooooh, look at that great big target!" says Al.  "All I need is a 60-gallon drum full of my favorite explosive, and a pressure-activated switch, and I can let the drum float down the canal until it reaches a tunnel along the way, and then ka-boom!"

      As the old ad for auto parts went, "He's Right!"

      And when Al Qaeda or any of his nasty friends does something like that, a) the South's water will be cut off, b) the area where the bomb went off will get flooded, and c) much chaos will ensue, including casualties and a major economic hit.

      So hell NO we shouldn't be giving Al Qaeda and the gang a "great big target."  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Fri May 25, 2012 at 05:16:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dan, I am begging you. Engage with this community. (6+ / 0-)

    Don't diary and run. Now the shit is hitting the fan. It is time to build support.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Thu May 24, 2012 at 08:26:40 PM PDT

  •  glad to see (8+ / 0-)

    Jerry standing up on this one. Proud to have helped him win a tough race last time. May have to consider helping again this  year.

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

    by LaughingPlanet on Thu May 24, 2012 at 09:06:30 PM PDT

    •   McNerney is standing up. I am so proud of him. (8+ / 0-)

      Garamendi is also fighting for the Delta. The five Delta counties are finally coming together. The Delta is kind of being buried under bureaucracy. We already had the Delta Protection Commission. Then they added the Delta Stewardship Council (which is really scaring the sheeite out of Stockton, development wise). Phil Isenberg, while I sat through many Delta Blue Ribbon Task Force meetings (under the gropinator) I originally thought to be a friend of the Delta - naa - he wants to build "the conveyence". No friend of Salmon he is. In a way, it does not matter. We as a business will adapt. We have to. Instead of Striper Central on the San Joaquian, maybe it will be Halibut Central on the San Joaquin! Not. If we get salt water up past Sherman Island, the Delta is well and truly screwed. The only thing we have protecting us right now is the NDWA/DWR contract. North Delta Water Agency has a airtight contract with DWR for salt free water. It is truly a thing of beauty. It is two pages. Granted, Sherman Island got sold out for water quality so DWR could control the reclamation district/water quality - I am ok with our DWR overlords. Sherman Island is one of those islands that if it floods, is oh holy shit. They know it, we know it. Sherman Island is probably the safest island in the Delta right now.

      if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

      by mrsgoo on Thu May 24, 2012 at 09:34:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  lois wolk has been doing yeoman's duty (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrsgoo, fumie, G2geek, Oh Mary Oh

        fighting for the delta, so they pulled her off the committees and shut her out of the meeting. yamada's on board as well AFAIK. steinberg should be, given that he represents sac county, but he's too busy playing important politician games to give a shit about his district.

        i hope we can beat this.

        •  Yes she has! I love Lois. I think if she was a (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, Oh Mary Oh

          decade or two younger - she could really go places. But, she is in a good spot. Been there long enough  to have name regcognition and really fights for the local issues. I like Mariko too. I think she represents the Delta well. Steinberg, I'm out on that one. I think you are right, he has ambitions that may or may not include his district.

          if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

          by mrsgoo on Thu May 24, 2012 at 10:24:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  AND the plan to flood 65K acres of prime (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lorikeet, G2geek, Oh Mary Oh, greengemini

            farmland to make habitat to mitigate the BDCP is by itself a HUGE issue. So you want a 50 year take permit and to mitigate it, you want to take 65K acres of prime agricultural land, flood it for "habitat" and call it done?! REALLY?? This is the redistribution of wealth that my husband speaks of. Taking from the north, sending to the south. The "red flag" documents from the government say it all in respect to that. Hence my new sig..... direct from the government docs.....

            if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

            by mrsgoo on Thu May 24, 2012 at 10:32:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  her son dan's on the davis city council (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            and is only 34, so we could be seeing more of him in state politics down the line. lois is my argument for why term limits are stupid, here's a great public servant who has no ambitions beyond where she is, and no interest in moving to DC, who will get barred from doing what she does best so that all the ambitious pols can move up the chain.

            then again, i'm pretty biased, having known lois since i was 7 (her older son was in my 2nd grade class, and dan and i were friends in high school).

        •  Wolk and Yamada (0+ / 0-)

          Lois Wolk and Mariko Yamada are great supporters of the Delta -  and they have paid the price in terms of their appointments to committess. Steinberg is for a peripheral canal, all of the way, and doesn't serve the interests at all of his constituents in Sacramento County.

  •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo, G2geek

    We here in CA-2 have an important primary coming up in just two weeks.  Salmon and our water are important to us. What role, if any, did Jared Huffman play in this? He was the chair of the relevant Assembly committee.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Thu May 24, 2012 at 09:42:11 PM PDT

    •  He voted yes on the Huber bill for a cost benefit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, G2geek

      analysis on the canal. Which ultimately failed. But there is another bill out there. So far, I think he is on the Salmons side. He is the head of Water, Parks & Wildlife. If you are in his district, hold his feet to the fire. This whole goddamn thing is about redistribution of wealth. The north has the riparian water rights, water, fish and prime agricultural land. The south has jr water rights, selenium laden lands but insist on planting perennial crops. They have accumulated enough money selling subsidised water to LA for huge profit, growing pomagranates and pistachios that they now feel they should jump to the head of the line for water.  Hence Devin Nunes and HR1837. Stuart Resnick and Dianne Feinstein. The deck is stacked against northern CA. It was in 1981 too. Stop The Canal.

      if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

      by mrsgoo on Thu May 24, 2012 at 10:00:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jared Huffman (0+ / 0-)

        Huffman sponsored a bill in the water bond/water policy package that passed in 2009. However, since then he has become increasingly critical of the canal plan - that's why he supported the cost-benefit analysis. He has sponsored several bills that benefit salmon and other fish.

  •  good to see mcnerney's on board (5+ / 0-)

    garamendi is a real champion of the delta as well.

    •  Yes he is. And you should have seen the Delta (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fumie, wu ming, TomFromNJ, G2geek, Dan Bacher

      Tea Party Patriots faces when my husband told them that!!! We ventured into the belly of the beast at the behest of Bill Wells, intrepid reporter, writing the Delta Rat Scrapbook for the Yachtsman magazine. The local Tea Party asked him to give them an overview of Delta issues. Bill called the DH and asked him to come for backup. Many tinfoil hat jokes aside (all of them true btw) we showed up. DH made a impassioned comment or three about how you do NOT assign party politics to the Delta. Not what they wanted to hear but too bad. Garamendi is a fighter for the Delta.

      if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

      by mrsgoo on Thu May 24, 2012 at 10:13:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're absolutely right! (0+ / 0-)
  •  out of curiousity.. (0+ / 0-)

    Has there been a poll covering this topic in LA, Orange, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino, or San Diego counties? That's the audience you need to convince.

    ex-SSP. What would Machiavelli do?

    by hankmeister on Fri May 25, 2012 at 02:14:54 PM PDT

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