[env-trinity] Governor Brown celebrates John Muir Day as he pushes twin tunnels and fracking
danielbacher at fishsniffer.com
Tue Apr 22 09:36:48 PDT 2014
Photo of Jerry Brown courtesy of http://www.stmarys-ca.edu
Governor Brown celebrates John Muir Day as he pushes twin tunnels and
by Dan Bacher
Governor Jerry Brown issued a proclamation on April 21 celebrating
"John Muir Day" - at the same time he is fast-tracking the
construction of the environmentally-destructive peripheral tunnels
under the Sacramento -San Joaquin River Delta and promoting the
expansion of fracking in California.
"John Muir (1838-1914) was a giant of a man," Brown proclaimed. "His
vision of the pristine landscape as a source of spiritual renewal has
become central to our understanding of the relationship between
humanity and nature."
"In addition to his scientific discoveries, engineering innovations
and writings that still inspire us today, Muir’s advocacy was
instrumental in the creation of the National Park System, one of the
world’s great ecological treasures," Brown continued.
"Today, as a way to honor Muir’s teachings and help keep his legacy
alive, I suggest a visit to one of California’s public open spaces—
national park, state park or any other unspoiled wilderness—which he
strived so zealously to preserve," said Brown.
While Brown celebrated Muir's legacy, the record to date in his third
term as governor is hardly one that Muir would approve. Brown has
signed several good environmental bills, including a bill limiting the
number of crab pots used by commercial fishermen and the Human Right
to Water bill package, both bills that Arnold Schwarzenegger
However, on the biggest and most controversial issues regarding our
oceans, estuaries and freshwater resources, including water exports,
fish restoration, the peripheral tunnels, marine protection and
fracking, Brown has been firmly on the side of corporate interests
that seek to privatize and exploit public trust resources.
First, the Governor presided over record water exports out of the
Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas, and a
record fish kill at the state and federal pumps in 2011. The export
total was 6,678,000 acre-feet of water in 2011, 208,000 acre-feet more
than the previous record of 6,470,000 acre-feet set in 2005.
A record number of 8,989,639 native Sacramento splittail were
"salvaged" in the Delta pumps in order to ship these record amounts of
water to southern California and corporate agribusiness. The average
annual splittail “salvage” number is 1,201,585 fish, according to the
Bay Institute’s report, Collateral Damage,http://bay.org/publications/collateral-damage
By comparison, the average salvage total for all species combined is
9,237,444 fish, including splittail, striped bass, threadfin shad,
largemouth bass, American shad and largemouth bass, as well as
imperiled Sacramento River chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead,
Delta smelt, green sturgeon, and longfin smelt.
“Salvage numbers drastically underestimate the actual impact,” the
report emphasized. “Although the exact numbers are uncertain, it is
clear that tens of millions of fish are killed each year, and only a
small fraction of this is reflected in the salvage numbers that are
reported.” One study of “pre-screen loss” estimated that as many as 19
of every 20 fish perished before being counted (Castillo, 2010).
Brown has continued to pursue water export policies that resulted in
the second lowest population levels of Delta smelt and American shad
on record in the DFW’s 2013 fall midwater trawl survey, as well as the
third lowest striped bass, eighth lowest longfin smelt, and fifth
lowest threadfin shad indices.
Populations of Delta smelt are down 98.9%, striped bass 99.6%, longfin
smelt 99.7%, American shad 89.1%, threadfin shad 98.1% and splittail
99.4% from 1967, the first years that the survey was conducted,
according to Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California
Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA.) Steelhead and winter-run
salmon are down 91.7% and 95.5%, respectively. (http://calsport.org/news/delta-fish-hammered-yet-again-fall-midwater-trawl-results-reveal-continued-biological-collapse/
These fish have declined dramatically because of massive water exports
out of the Bay-Delta Estuary, combined with poor management of
upstream dam operations, declining water quality and invasive species.
Killing record numbers of fish, exporting record amounts of water from
the Delta, and driving steelhead, winter-run Chinook salmon and Delta
and longfin smelt to the edge of extinction are actions that John Muir
would vociferously condemn, not celebrate.
Second, the Governor has fast-tracked the Bay Delta Conservation Plan
(BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels to export more water to
corporate agribusiness, oil companies conducting fracking and steam
injection operations and Southern California water privateers. If
built, this canal will likely result in the extinction of Central
Valley steelhead, Sacramento River chinook salmon, Delta smelt,
longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other imperiled fish species, as
well as imperil salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and
The project will devastate the Bay-Delta Estuary, the most significant
estuary on the West Coast, resulting in tremendous damage to coastal
halibut, striped bass, leopard shark, anchovy, sardine, herring,
halibut, leopard, rockfish, lingcod and other fish populations.
The construction of the tunnels will only spread the carnage of fish
that takes place daily at the Delta pumps from the South Delta to the
Sacramento River, the main migratory path for chinook salmon,
steelhead, striped bass, American shad and other fish.
How can we expect the state water contractors, who have failed to fund
the installation of state-of-the art fish screens on the current Delta
pumps as required under the CalFed decision, to fund state-of-the-art
fish screens for the new intakes for the canal/tunnel to reduce fish
And who is going to pay for the project, a pork barrel boondoggle that
could cost over $67 billion?
Would Muir support the "Brown Water Plan," as Caleen Sisk, Chief and
Spiritual Leader of Winnemem Wintu Tribe describes it? Would Muir, or
any authentic environmental leader for that matter, back a budget-
busting and Delta-draining project that would cause enormous
environmental devastation? I don't think so!
Third, Brown has forged ahead with the privately funded Marine Life
Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create so-called “marine protected
areas” in California. These “marine protected areas” fail to protect
the ocean from oil drilling and spills, military testing, pollution,
corporate aquaculture, wind and wave energy projects and all human
impacts on the ocean other than fishing and gathering.
The so-called "marine protected areas" that went into effect on the
Southern California coast on January 1, 2012 and on the North Coast on
December 19, 2012 were created under the helm of a big oil lobbyist.
Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum
Association and a relentless advocate for new offshore drilling, the
Keystone XL Pipeline and the weakening of California's environmental
laws, served as the Chair of the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force for the
South Coast that oversaw the implementation of these alleged
"Yosemites of the Sea."
Again, you can bet that John Muir wouldn't support a privately funded
greenwashing process, overseen by an oil industry lobbyist and other
corporate operatives, that fails to provide comprehensive marine
protection. Muir would undoubtedly be appalled by the use of the term
"Yosemites of the Sea" to describe these "no fishing" zones.
Fourth, Governor Brown backs the expansion of fracking in California.
On September 20, 2013, he signed Senator Fran Pavley’s “green light
for fracking” bill, Senate Billl 4.
Right after Governor Jerry Brown signed Senator Pavley's Senate Bill 4
on September 20, 2013, the same Reheis-Boyd who oversaw fake “marine
protection” in Southern California praised the legislation for
providing an "environmental platform" for the expansion of fracking in
"With the signing of Senate Bill 4, California has the toughest
regulations of hydraulic fracturing and other energy production
technologies in the country," said Reheis-Boyd. "While SB 4’s
requirements went significantly farther than the petroleum industry
felt was necessary, we now have an environmental platform on which
California can look toward the opportunity to responsibly develop the
enormous potential energy resource contained in the Monterey Shale
Governor Jerry Brown has become known as "Big Oil Brown" because of
his subservience to the oil industry. Robert Gammon, East Bay Express
reporter, revealed that before Governor Brown signed Senator Fran
Pavley’s Senate Bill 4, Brown accepted at least $2.49 million in
financial donations over the past several years from oil and natural
gas interests, according to public records on file with the Secretary
of State’s Office and the California Fair Political Practices
And these aren’t the only abysmal environmental policies that Brown
Brown has also backed the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation
and Forest Degradation+) that allows Northern Hemisphere polluters to
buy forest carbon offset credits from the global South. Tom Goldtooth,
Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, urged
Brown to reject REDD+ carbon trading credits, which allow corporations
to grab huge swaths of land in developing countries in order to keep
polluting at home, usually in low income neighborhoods populated by
people of color.
“Governor Brown is moving ahead with a policy that grabs land, clear-
cuts forests, destroys biodiversity, abuses Mother Earth, pimps Father
Sky and threatens the cultural survival of Indigenous Peoples,” said
Goldtooth. “The policy privatizes the air we breath. Commodifies the
clouds. Buys and sells the atmosphere. Corrupts the sacred.” (http://www.ienearth.org/press-statement-tom-goldtooth-behind-the-backs-of-the-people-of-california/
Finally, Brown has is doing nothing to stop Sierra Pacific Industries
from clear cutting forests, destroying wildlife habitat, and
contributing to climate change.
For more information on Governor Jerry Brown's 10 worst environmental
policies, including his administration's plan to bulldoze a section of
the Ballona Wetlands in Southern California under the guise of
"habitat restoration," go to: http://www.alternet.org/environment/governor-jerry-browns-10-worst-environmental-policies?page=0%2C1
Governor Jerry Brown is fast-tracking the peripheral tunnels,
continues to drive salmon and Delta fish towards extinction, embraced
Schwarzenegger's corrupt MLPA Initiative and is promoting many other
environmentally destructive policies. Yet he hypocritically issues a
proclamation honoring "John Muir Day."
Hey Jerry, why don't you really honor Muir's legacy by abandoning the
Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build the peripheral tunnels - and by
forcing the water contractors to pay for state of art fish screens on
the Delta pumps that that were mandated by the CalFed process over 10
years ago? And how about backing a ban on fracking in California?
A proclamation and visiting a state park is nice, but action on these
and other issues is what we really need.
For the complete John Muir Day proclamation, go to: http://cert1.mail-west.com/c7rmtLyjgY/21tLgtmyuzjanm/rz8/vnqtLyemy3jl8ho/821tLq/m3cbz/xu5zkrcwbe?_c=d%7Cze7pzanwmhlzgt%7C128mop3zpexm5hk&_ce=1398127957.a0151c13ee2f9a025b0f4760613a0e84
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Size: 78594 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://www2.dcn.org/pipermail/env-trinity/attachments/20140422/b31acb14/jerry-brown-california-seal-0003.jpg
More information about the env-trinity