Northern CA House Democrats Slam Valadao Drought Bill Ahead of Senate Hearing
Washington—Northern California Representatives Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Doris Matsui (CA-06), and John Garamendi (CA-03) released the following statement opposing H.R. 2898, the Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015, ahead of this legislation being heard today in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee:
“We’ve said this before and we will say it again: H.R. 2898 does not offer any real solutions needed to bring serious and significant relief to our drought-stricken home state of California. Not only would this legislation have long-term, damaging effects on communities across the state, it would fail to build on the state’s ongoing work to respond to the drought through innovative water conservation efforts, infrastructure improvements, and water recycling programs.
“H.R. 2898 does nothing to boost California’s long-term resiliency and prepare our communities for droughts in the future. Instead of coming to the table with fresh ideas that would help solve the drought crisis, our Republican colleagues would rather rehash old, failed policies – including their crusade to repeal the Endangered Species Act that would destroy natural habitats and eviscerate many species in the process.
“Furthermore, this legislation takes a divisive approach that neglects to include the voices of farmers, fishermen, families, water agencies and businesses of the Delta and Northern California communities that would be harmed. H.R. 2898 is opposed by the State, commercial and sport fishermen, Native American tribes, environmental groups, and recreational employers – and the Obama administration has already threatened to veto it.
“Nearly four years into a historic drought, we stand at a pivotal moment. How we confront the drought and the resulting massive water shortages will set a precedent for years to come. By preempting state laws, reducing management flexibility, eliminating protections for salmon and endangered species, and rolling back environmental laws, the provisions in H.R. 2898 would make it more difficult for federal and state agencies to act at a time when Californians need to move forward together.
“We must put the days of choosing one economic sector or one geographic region over another behind us. We need better, more comprehensive solutions based on policies that reflect the reality of the problem. We must bring all affected stakeholders together to advance legislation that assists the entire state in responding effectively to the current drought and builds regional resiliency to face future droughts.”
Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.