“Last night, California’s Legislature said ‘no to future-oriented water policy including new environmental protections and ‘yes’ to an outdated regulatory system and business as usual, said Mike Wade, Executive Director of the California Farm Water Coalition. “They said ‘no’ to Senator Feinstein and a host of Congressional Democrats. And they said ‘no’ to the Governor, his Voluntary Agreements and his Water Resiliency Portfolio.”
Late into the night/early morning, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 1, by Sen. President pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), a bill preemptively freezing water and clean air regulations to the final day of the Obama administration. SB 1 officially jams Gov. Gavin Newsom and his water plan.
“One of the most concerning issues in SB 1 is it would invalidate voluntary agreements entered into between the state and federal government on water conveyance in the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project, and impose outdated methods of operation that do not acknowledge the new scientific consensus,” California Globe wrote last week.
“This bill has little to do with ensuring clean water and air, protecting wildlife, and standing up for workers,” Bill McEwen at GVWire reported. “The real goal is to provide a legislative vehicle for Democratic lawmakers to polish their “Trump resistance” credentials ahead of the 2020 elections.” GVWire focuses on California’s Central Valley.
Assemblyman Jim Patterson Tweeted his displeasure with the passage of this bill: “SB 1 PASSED 45-22: Sac Dems wouldn’t even listen to their colleagues in DC who are OPPOSED to #SB1. They know this bill freezes outdated bio opinions that put fish over farmers when there is newer data available. They voted for it anyway. Now it’s up to Gov Newsom to veto.”
SB 1 PASSED 45-22: Sac Dems wouldn’t even listen to their colleagues in DC who are OPPOSED to #SB1. They know this bill freezes outdated bio opinions that put fish over farmers when there is newer data available. They voted for it anyway. Now it’s up to Gov Newsom to veto. pic.twitter.com/zJEgcP0aO9
— Jim Patterson (@JimPatterson559) September 14, 2019
Wade explained, “Last night’s passage of SB1 was bad news because it tramples efforts led by the Governor to end decades of fighting about water. The Governor’s plan favored cooperative efforts sought by farmers, environmentalists, cities, towns and other water users. The Legislature said no.”
“Without a veto of SB1 by the Governor, the Voluntary Agreements will be left as roadkill, run over by Legislators in an emotional end to the legislative session.”
“Without the VAs California will remain mired in our old regulatory system under which endangered species have continued to decline. The status quo helps no one and guarantees nothing but endless lawsuits, delays and old science.
“Efforts to amend SB1 in order to save the Voluntary Agreements fell on deaf ears as the bill passed late at night at the close of the session.”
This Tweet from the Butte County Farm Bureau sums up the issue:
While farmers and their employees were getting a few hours of sleep on Friday night, after a long harvest day in prep for more harvesting throughout the weekend, the Dem led Legislature was dismantling our ability to produce food in Calif by passing #SB1. https://t.co/SdBEUugPaR
— Butte Co Farm Bureau (@ButteCFB) September 14, 2019
Curious about who supports SB 1? The hashtag #SB1 on Twitter speaks volumes on the special interests behind the bill.