Dan Bacher wrote this very informative story for Daily Kos:
During the fall election, Governor Jerry Brown and advocates of Proposition 1, the state water bond, constantly claimed that the measure was “tunnels neutral.”
In photo opportunity after photo opportunity, Brown and Prop. 1 backers, including corporate environmental” NGOs, promised the people of California that water bond funds would not be used for the BDCP, but for dealing with the drought.
Now, Restore the Delta (RTD) is charging that Brown is breaking his promise after Richard Stapler, the spokesman for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, admitted to Peter Fimrite of the San Francisco Chronicle that they could use money from Proposition 1 to pay for “habitat mitigation” for construction and operation of the tunnels.
RTD Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla said, “It is outrageous that the governor would break the promise he made to the people of California that their taxes would not be used to mitigate damage from the tunnels. Now he is signaling that bond monies will support mega-growers like Stewart Resnick, who plans to expand almond production by 50% over the next five years.”
“It’s time for Governor Brown to drop the 19th century tunnels plan, and embrace water technologies that will serve the world we live in now, and our children will live in in the future,” she said.
According to the Chronicle, Stapler “acknowledged that the money could conceivably come from Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond that California passed last year.”
Here is a link to the San Francisco Chronicle story including this startling admission: http://bit.ly/1QgcJc3
“The science has demonstrated that habitat without water for fisheries fails in the Delta. The tunnels project cannot restore the Delta because it takes the necessary water out of the Delta,” said Barrigan-Parrilla.
“California experiences dry or drought conditions 40% of the time historically, even before climate change. That means that in at least four out of ten years exporters will have astronomical fixed costs to pay for no water,” Barrigan-Parrilla concluded.
On Monday, a coalition of environmentalists blasted Beverly Hills billionaire Stewart Resnick and other corporate agribusiness interests for continuing to plant thousands of acres of new almond trees during the drought while Governor Jerry Brown is mandating that urban families slash water usage by 25 percent.
Barrigan-Parrilla said Stewart Resnick, the owner of Paramount Farms in Kern County, uses as much water for his almonds as the amount of water 38 million Californians are now required to conserve.
“While farmers make their own decisions on what to plant, the public is paying the price for poor decisions made by greedy mega-growers, who plant permanent crops where there is no water,” Barrigan-Parrilla told reporters in a news conference about the “tunnels only” version of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) that Governor Jerry Brown is now pushing. “That is not sustainable and the tunnels would subsidize unsustainable agriculture.”
For the complete details on the news conference, go to: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/04/21/1379102/-Resnick-increases-almond-acreage-as-city-dwellers-forced-to-slash-water-use
Proposition 1, California Governor Jerry Brown’s $7.5 billion water bond, sailed to easy victory on November 4, 2014. The election results show how the power of millions of dollars of corporate money in the corrupt oligarchy of California were able to defeat a a grassroots movement of fishermen, environmentalists, Indian Tribes and family farmers opposed to Prop. 1.
The Hoopa Valley, Yurok, Winnemem Wintu and Concow Maidu Tribes, the defenders of California’s rivers and oceans for thousands of years, strongly opposed Prop. 1. because of the threat the bond poses to water, salmon and their culture.
Caleen Sisk, chief and spiritual leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, said the water bond, peripheral tunnels, Shasta Dam raise and other water projects now being planned by the state and federal governments are in reality “one Big Project” that will destroy salmon, rivers and groundwater supplies.
“It does not make sense that people are separating the water puzzle into individual pieces, such as: the raising of Shasta Dam, Proposition 1, the Delta tunnels, BDCP, Sites Reservoir, Temperance Flat, CALFED, Delta Vision, BDCP, OCAP, the Bay Delta, Trinity/Klamath Rivers, the Sacramento River, the San Joaquin River, and water rights,” said Chief Sisk. “It is all one BIG Project.”
She emphasized, “You have to look at the whole picture and everything in between from Shasta Dam to the Delta estuary. We need to ask what is affected by our actions and who is benefitting from them? These are not separate projects; they are all the same thing that the State is asking us to fund – California water being manipulated for the enrichment of some and the devastation of cultures, environments, and species all in the name of higher profits.”
Prop. 1 proponents, including a rogue’s gallery of oil companies, corporate agribusiness tycoons, Big Tobacco, health insurance companies and billionaires, dumped over $16.4 million into the campaign, while Prop. 1 opponents raised around $100,000 for the effort. Resnick, the Beverly Hills billionaire “farmer” who has made millions off of reselling environmental water to the public, donated $150,000 to the Yes on Prop 1 campaign. (http://nativenewsonline.net/currents/californias-prop-1-passes-power-big-money-overcomes-power-people/)