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Rep. Eshoo Decries Passage of Atrocious Water Bill

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Today, Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) voted against H.R. 1837, the San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act, which sets an unprecedented standard of state preemption, environmental disregard, and the privatization of a public resource for the benefit of a select few.

"H.R. 1837 would undo years of negotiations reached by the state of California, local ranchers, farmers and other users of water from the San Joaquin River. This bill repeals existing law and will set up a new round of water wars, which will create more employment for lawyers, but not fishermen or farmers."

Specifically, H.R. 1837 would:

Preempt California Water Laws Protecting Rivers and the Bay-Delta Estuary by blocking implementation of a bipartisan package of water policy reform bills adopted in 2009 by the State of California that required the establishment of a comprehensive Delta Plan to improve the state's water reliability as well as restore the Bay-Delta estuary.

Block the Court-Approved 2009 Settlement to Restore the San Joaquin River, which is a bipartisan settlement that ended nearly twenty years of litigation over the San Joaquin River.

Create Job Losses. In 2008 and 2009, California's salmon fisheries were closed for the first time in the state's history, resulting in thousands of lost jobs in California and Oregon, and hundreds of millions of dollars in lost income each year. If H.R. 1837 becomes law, that number and more jobs would be permanently lost.

Harm Endangered Species by deeming that all Endangered Species Act requirements in the Central Valley Project would be met through the through the 1994 Bay Delta Accord. This ignores the last fifteen years of best available science demonstrating the negative effects on species.

"H.R 1837 is opposed by local governments, business groups, recreational and commercial fishing advocates, environmental organization, the California Attorney General, U.S Secretary of Interior Salazar and the nonpartisan Western States Water Council," said Rep. Eshoo.

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