Never Give an Inch!!
The problem with science policy in California is that it evolves from politics instead of the other way around.
Sep 18, 2019
California's environmental bureaucracy doesn't know the meaning of retreat or compromise. They are always aggresively on the move forward, always taking more territory or water. They are almost totally in control of lawmakers in the state assembly and senate. They usually get their way.
The environmental bureaucracy always touts science as the basis of their proposed policies. The problem with science policy in California is that it evolves from politics instead of the other way around. It might be better if politics evolved out of the science. In California we literally have political science. And the science of the environmentalists has evolved out of the liberal politics of this state.
To be a part of the scientific community of California you must also be a part of the liberal political extablishment. You need no further proof of this than their total unwillingness to listen to any science that doesn't come out of their own party. The Trump Administration proposed to bring in a new group of lawyers, administrators and biologists to refine and improve the rules of water policy in the delta. They wanted some new blood to look at the old problem that never gets solved by the political scientists of California. “This is an outrageous assault on California's fish and wildlife, and the thousands of fishing jobs that depend on their health,” said Doug Obegi of the Natural Resources Defense Council. He was speaking for the NRDC, but might as well have been speaking for the legislature.
So, to protect themselves from scientists who didn't adhere to the political strategy of the state's environmental community, the lawmakers in Sacramento came up with SB1, Senate Bill 1. The official name of SB1 is "The California Environmental, Public Health and Workers Defense Act of 2019. The unofficial name is the Trump Insurance Bill. The Act is written to protect California from any opposing scientific views not in concert with the state's official environmental religion.
Surprisingly, in the one-party state there was some disagreement within the party. On September 6, California Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressmen Jim Costa (CA-16, John Garamendi (CA-03), TJ Cox (CA-16) and Josh Harder (CA-10) sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom urging him to amend the bill to be more generous to the farmers of the Central Valley and the people of Southern California who rely on water from the delta. It's ironic that the lawmakers who are making the proposal are the same who made the current rules that are also so restrictive for delivering water out of the delta to people and farms.
But, when you mix politics and science there are other factors. Now the governor says he fully supports the bill but will veto it because it will stop California from relying on the best available science. We'd like to think that means taking the politics out of science but really think it's more about denying water to 20-million voters in Southern California. Farmers in the Central Valley must remember that this is a lot more about those Southern Californians than it is about them. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) delivers water to them and strongly opposed SB1. If the people of SoCal ever wake up to the fact that 88% of the water that flows into the delta flows right out to the ocean instead of to them, they might put 2 plus 2 together and vote for someone else.
But, don't get too comfortable. You can bet the California environmental community will still fight any proposed changes to water policy with every breath they take. They will never give an inch without a fight.
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