[env-trinity] Bakersfield Californian 4 5 10

Byron Leydecker bwl3 at comcast.net
Tue Apr 6 10:42:33 PDT 2010


Jim Costa to fellow Democrat: "It's on" over Delta

Bakersfield Californian-4/5/10

BY Christine Bedell

 

Jim Costa declared political "war" against a fellow member of the California
congressional delegation Monday over the ongoing fight to both protect fish
in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and keep delivering desperately needed
water to the San Joaquin Valley.

 

Costa, D-Fresno, offered to do battle with Rep. George Miller, D-Richmond,
after Miller was quoted as promising at a political rally last week to push
for tougher restrictions on water diversions to valley farms and cities. 

 

Northern California fisherman in large part blame the water pumping for
declining salmon populations and, by extension, their livelihoods.

 

"That one side of the state gets to rip off the other side is not
sustainable, politically or environmentally," the San Francisco Chronicle
quoted Miller as saying at a San Francisco "Salmon Summit" Thursday. "For 10
years they've violated the laws and the science in the name of greed. But
we've beat them before and we'll beat them again."

 

Costa came out swinging Monday.

 

"If he wants to fight with the Latino community and valley farmworkers whose
futures depend on water allocations, we'll give him a fight," Costa said of
Miller in a news release titled "Rep. Costa Declares War Over Water."

 

"If he wants to fight with people whose economy hinges on farms getting a
fair share of water, we'll give him a fight. If he is willing to destroy the
entire Valley way of life to suit his own ends, he'll get the fight of a
lifetime."

 

In a meeting with Californian reporters and editors later in the day Monday,
Costa said he was not referring to any specific Miller proposal but rather
his long history of making the valley a "scapegoat" for the delta's
ecological problems and ignoring the damage also being done by a polluting
power plant, effluent from cities and pesticide runoff from housing tracts
and farms in Miller's district.

 

Miller has long failed to recognize the valley's economic struggles and
contributions to the world's food supply, Costa complained.

 

"Unfortunately politicians from other parts of the state don't recognize our
way of life is as important as theirs," Costa said.

 

He said valley farmers and water officials have drastically cut production
of thirsty crops like cotton, given up water allocations to protect the
environment and found ways to be more water-efficient. 

 

Miller's staff couldn't be reached for comment late Monday afternoon. The
Chronicle story quoted fishermen and their supporters as saying two years of
canceled salmon seasons have cost California $2.8 billion in revenue and at
least 23,000 jobs. 

 

Costa's harsh words come at a time he's been repeatedly pummeled by
Republicans in the valley for not doing enough to get the federal government
to ease water pumping restrictions. It's been a major theme of Republicans
running in the 20th Congressional District GOP primary: Hanford farmer Andy
Vidak, Fresno businessman Serafin Quintanar and Fresno-Clovis CPA Richard
Lake.

 

 

Byron Leydecker, JcT

Chair, Friends of Trinity River

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810 land/fax (call first to fax)

415 519 4810 mobile

 <mailto:bwl3 at comcast.net> bwl3 at comcast.net

 <mailto:bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org> bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org
(secondary)

 <http://fotr.org/> http://www.fotr.org 

 

 

 

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