Lucy, Charlie Brown and the Football
The latest version of Lucy's water deal is the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan which is the tunnel deal
Oct 31, 2012
Watching the progress of the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) can be confusing. Here are a few stories just from today: Coalition Gaining Momentun to Solve California's Water Woes, Delta Leaders Line Up in Opposition to Tunnels, Drilling for Delta Tunnel Studies Blocked in Court. Both those for and against the tunnel plan seem to think they're winning. Although Governor Jerry Brown is in favor of the tunnels, other Democrats are vehemently opposed as are many of the landowners who are blocking the environmental drilling needed to study the plan. They wanted to do the drilling before the start of the rainy season, so now that's been postponed.
We can't help but be reminded of Lucy in the Peanuts comic strip and her ability to talk Charlie Brown into kicking her football, only to pull it away every time at the last minute. It's like many of the water deals we've seen come down the pike over and over again. The latest version of Lucy's water deal is the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan which is the tunnel deal. Will this be another Lucy football pulled out at the last minute? We wouldn't be suprised.
The last water deal that was supposed to be the great deal for farmers was the San Joaquin River Restoration Act which was going to return the SJ River to its former wet status all the way to the Delta where the water would be returned via the pumps into the state and federal water system. But, there was the NRDC in court shutting down the pumps and double-crossing the farmers who couldn't get their water back after signing the deal. Farmers were talked into kicking the football only to have it pulled away again.
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has perhaps been the greatest Lucy of them all while being involved in deals that were going to help the West side solve their drainage problems (still hasn't happened), and help the Madera Water Bank with $25M in federal money that never appeared. Lucy does it again.
Maybe Jerry Brown can see how well Feinstein's Lucy strategy works and has farmers believing he will solve their water problems with his Delta tunnels. They say this project will be studied for 5 years before construction will begin. Think there's any chance it just won't happen? Dianne Feinstein is fully on-board with the plan, but U.S. Representatives George Miller, John Garamendi, Jerry McNerney, Doris Matsui, Jackie Speier and Pete Stark have all asked for more details and a cost-benefit analysis on what they call an 'expensive and potentially damaging water diversion project." Who will be governor when it's finally time to build? Will these opposing Democrats stop fighting it? Will Lucy pull the football away again?
We're all for solving the state's water problems which are many, but we're leary of working with the Lucy's of the world and their football.
From the California Economic Summit:
“For California’s usually divisive water politics, this may end up being an October to remember. Only a few months after Gov. Brown announced plans to proceed with a $14 billion tunnel system that would divert water through the Bay Delta—a proposal that immediately reignited the long-running water wars between the state’s rural and urban areas—the last few weeks have seen some of these same groups coming together around a plan to solve the state’s water crisis.
The first signs of progress appeared last week in Martinez, where a State Senate committee unveiled a list of short-term water projects supported by a surprisingly diverse group of Delta stakeholders. Avoiding the divisive subject of the governor’s canal, a loose-knit group of farmers, environmentalists, and water providers calling themselves the Coalition to Support Near-Term Delta Projects spent the day highlighting their support for a shorter-term collection of 43 projects—ranging from levee improvements to ecosystem restoration. … “
From Dan Bacher at the California Progress Report:
“On October 24, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) hosted a press conference in Sacramento urging more federal support for levees in rural parts of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and calling for a statewide cost-benefit analysis of the controversial Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP).
Joined by a bipartisan coalition of local leaders representing diverse Delta communities, Garamendi, a Member of the House Natural Resources Committee and former Deputy U.S. Interior Secretary under President Bill Clinton, said the cost-benefit analysis is necessary to ensure the plan does not cause harm to Northern California farming, fishing, and tourism. … “
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