[env-trinity] Salazar responds to WSJ Editorial on smelt

Tom Stokely tstokely at att.net
Wed Sep 9 17:40:23 PDT 2009


I think Mr. Salazar is right on.

Tom Stokely
Water Policy Coordinator
California Water Impact Network
504A Lennon St. (USPS and UPS)
Mt Shasta, CA 96067
V/FAX 530-926-9727
Cell 530-524-0315
tstokely at att.net
http://www.c-win.org/

Begin forwarded message:


  From: Brian Smith <bsmith at earthjustice.org>
  Date: September 9, 2009 3:52:49 PM PDT
  To: "David Nesmith (dnesmith at ewccalifornia.org)" <dnesmith at ewccalifornia.org>
  Subject: Salazar responds to WSJ Editorial on smelt


  Excerpt from Wall Street Journal Letters to the Editor:
  Your editorial "California's Man-Made Drought" (Sept. 2) about the severe drought and water crisis in California argues that California's water problems could be wished away if our nation were only willing to sacrifice an endangered three-inch fish, turn on a few pumps to move water from Northern California to the Central Valley, and wave a magic wand. The trouble is: The fish are a sliver of the problem, the pumps are already on, and pointed fingers can't make it rain.
  California's water crisis is far more troubling than your editorial suggests. The state is in its third year of a devastating drought, caused by a lack of precipitation. In California's Central Valley, where half the nation's produce is grown, many farms and fields are bone dry, unemployment has surged, and the state's inadequate water infrastructure—built 50 years ago for a population half as large—cannot handle the stress. Moreover, California's Bay Delta, upon which 25 million Californians depend for drinking water, is in a state of full environmental collapse.
  As a proposed response, your editorial asks the Obama administration to ignore science and convene a so-called "God Squad" that would override protections on watersheds and turn California's water crisis over to the courts. Trying to force more water out of a dying system will only cause more human tragedy, while diverting attention from the governor and the legislature, who face a Sept. 11 legislative deadline to decide whether to fix the broken water system in California after decades of neglect.
  Rather than more finger pointing, we need real solutions. After eight years on the sidelines, the federal government has stepped in to help. The Obama administration is investing over $400 million through the president's economic recovery plan to help modernize California's water infrastructure, including over $40 million in emergency assistance to help water-short Central Valley farmers. We have helped move record amounts of water to communities in most need and are taking steps to prepare for a potential fourth year of drought. And perhaps most importantly, the federal government is now engaging as a full partner in the collaborative process that the governor launched two years ago to restore the Bay Delta, and modernize the state's woefully outdated water infrastructure. Though what we need most is rain and snow to fill the reservoirs, these actions will help mitigate the devastating impact of the ongoing drought and deliver help to the families and communities suffering most.
  This is the type of locally-driven, solution-oriented, collaborative approach that we must all support—and to which we must all contribute.
  Ken Salazar
  Secretary of the Interior
  Washington



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