West coast House call for salmon

UPDATED 2/20/2010 Eleven Pacific-region congressmen and women have joined Los Angeles Representative Grace Napolitano in writing California Senator Dianne Feinstein asking her to withdraw her proposed rider to a pending jobs bill that could quadruple Bay-Delta water deliveries to powerful farm interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. The House group, several of them members of the Subcommittee on Water and Power chaired by Napolitano, wrote on the grounds that the Delta water exports demanded by Feinstein risk annihilation of the Pacific salmon fishery and at the same time could up-end years of hard-fought negotiations to produce pending water reform legislation in California.

To read the text from Reps. George Miller (D-CA), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), David Wu (D-OR), Norm Dicks (D-WA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Doris Matsui (D-CA), and John Garamendi (D-CA), click here.


Fleck check on Feinstein minnow “precedent”

THIS just in from John Fleck, science writer of the Albuquerque Journal: “California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is moving to intervene via Congress in a fight very much like the one that raged here in New Mexico back in the summer of 2003 over the endangered Rio Grande Silvery Minnow. And she’s citing our fish-v-farmers legal and political fight as precedent for the action she is proposing. But is she misrepresenting the history?”

Click here to keep reading.

Suggestion for the senator

The Los Angeles Times is the latest newspaper with advice for the senior senator from California. This comes from today’s editorial on Dianne Feinstein’s announcement that she intends to add a rider to a jobs bill to quadruple water deliveries to corporate farmers on the west side of the Central Valley though it would almost certainly be a death blow to the state’s crippled salmon fishery: “Feinstein says she’s still working on the language of her rider and is open to alternative suggestions. Here’s ours: Stop interfering with the state’s delicate water talks and withdraw this destructive amendment.” To keep reading, click here.

For background on the senator’s move, click here and for an informed look at the supposed “precedent” for the proposed rider, here.

“Silvery minnow” no precedent for Delta

This follow up to “Soft on Fish” arrived today from a member of the water bar familiar with the 2003 Silvery Minnow legislation cited by Senator Feinstein as precedent for the rider that she plans to attach to a jobs bill to increase water diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to farm interests on the West Side of the Central Valley.

“Senator Feinstein’s press release stated, “There is precedent for the solution I am pursuing: in 2003, the Senate unanimously approved legislation that provided water supply certainty with regard to restrictions imposed to protect the Silvery Minnow in New Mexico. In that legislation, Congress mandated that a Biological Opinion be implemented with a change.”

It is not true that the silvery minnow rider is similar to, or provides precedent for, Senator Feinstein’s Bay-Delta proposal.

Soft on fish

On this the advent of the Year of the Tiger, it is striking in “The week that was” how much a certain senator from California sounds like Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

But last week it was the lady from California who showed the iron fist when Dianne Feinstein threatened to add a rider to a jobs bill in order to open Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta pumps full throttle to slake powerful corporate farmers on the West Side of the Central Valley.

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