What Trump Did
He is attempting to tinker with the ESA through the Bureau of Reclamation that would allow more water to go to humans instead of fish and wildlife.
Oct 23, 2018
President Trump is trying to maximize water deliveries from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the southern half of the state including farmers in the Central Valley. He is attempting to tinker with the Endangered Species Act through the Bureau of Reclamation that would allow more water to go to humans instead of fish and wildlife.
Environmentalists have already stepped up to the plate to object. Doug Obegi of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says the "Trump Administration is saying damn the fish and damn the rivers and let's get more water to Westlands."
This will be no immediate fix as the Bureau will spend the next year conducting environmental reviews with all the stakeholders including state and federal environmental agencies. The NRDC's Obegi has already said the plan violates federal law and no doubt is ready to take it to court.
In addition to the NRDC the Trump Administration will also butt heads with the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) which "has the authority to make sure all pumping operations - including those conducted by the U.S. government - comply with the state's environmental laws."
The federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) has been the foundation for restricted pumping operations, but the State of California also has their own California Endangered Act (CESA). So this fight isn't over, it's just the next chapter.
Good for the President to speed this evaluation process along. Delay has always been a tactic of the environmental left. They are getting paid for delays while farmers go out of business.
The aforementioned Obegi says if the state believes the federal government is "violating California Endangered Species protections by increasing pumping, it's obliged to reduce its own State Water Pumping activities." That would be a net gain of nothing and would pit farmers with State contracts against farmers with Federal contracts and the environmentalists back to their old divide and conquer tricks.
Obegi: "It's got the potential to be a pretty chaotic year."
As fish disappear, Trump administration seeks to pump more California water south
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