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Brown and Obama administrations set Oct. 1 deadline for draft tunnel plan
by Dan Bacher
Thursday May 9th, 2013 5:18 PM
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, responded to the state-federal announcement by stating, “The governor’s new Oct. 1 deadline is an attempt to thread the needle between pressure from the water-takers, who are threatening to stop paying for the BDCP, and the delay he faces because the science stubbornly still shows his tunnels would kill the Delta."
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Brown and Obama administrations set Oct. 1 deadline for draft tunnel plan

by Dan Bacher

As the campaign against the peripheral tunnels builds momentum, the Brown and Obama administrations on May 8 set a formal deadline of October 1 for the release of the draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and accompanying environmental documents for public review and comment.

The centerpiece of the proposal is two massive tunnels, 35 miles long and 40 feet in diameter, that will divert water from the Sacramento River to corporate agribusiness interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. A coalition of fishing groups, Indian Tribes, environmentalists, family farmers and Delta residents oppose the construction of the peripheral tunnels because they say the project will hasten the extinction of Central Valley Chinook salmon, Delta smelt and other fish species.

A joint statement from the two administrations claimed the BDCP will "enable the state to make significant progress toward achieving the co-equal goals of securing California’s water supply and restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem."

“One calamitous storm or natural disaster—driven by climate change—could jeopardize the entire Delta, destroy its ecosystem and cut off water to 25 million Californians,” said Governor Jerry Brown. “This agreement with our federal partners moves us another step closer to being more prepared for an uncertain future in California.”

The Brown administration said the completion of the proposed plan and accompanying Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) is the "culmination of more than six years of user-funded water planning and study." After considering public comment, the state and federal agencies will complete the review process and determine "the most appropriate ecosystem conservation and water conveyance plan for adoption and permitting."

“It’s important that we continue to take an open and transparent approach as we evaluate this proposal to strengthen California’s water security and restore the health of the Delta,” claimed U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

“This is an aggressive deadline to issue the environmental analyses for public review and comment that will require a great deal of important work from both our state partners and the Administration. But with California’s water system at constant risk of failure, and the continuing impacts to imperiled fish, we can’t afford the dangers or costs of inaction," Jewell said.

On July 25, 2012, Governor Brown and former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced their renewed commitment to the fast-tracking of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan in a press conference in Sacramento as fishermen, environmentalists, tribal members and Delta residents held a protest rally at the State Capitol protesting the plan.

"In the past two months, several revised and updated chapters of the BDCP have been made public. This week, state and federal agencies will provide a preliminary, consultant draft of the EIR/EIS in an unprecedented commitment to transparency," the statement concluded.

According to the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), Brown made a brief appearance at the 2013 ACWA Spring Conference & Exhibition this week, where he briefly discussed BDCP and told attendees, “I'm going to do everything humanly possible to get it done. We're going to get it done with your help."

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, responded to the state-federal announcement by stating, “The governor’s new Oct. 1 deadline is an attempt to thread the needle between pressure from the water-takers, who are threatening to stop paying for the BDCP, and the delay he faces because the science stubbornly still shows his tunnels would kill the Delta."

The campaign by Delta advocates to stop the construction of twin peripheral tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta received a big boost Tuesday when Sierra Club California called on Governor Jerry Brown to abandon his "out-of-step position" on the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas.

“You and your administration are relying too heavily on an old-fashioned approach to resolving California’s water demand challenges at a time when more updated ideas and alternatives are needed,” the organization said in a letter to the Governor delivered on Monday. “Your solution is to build something big before you leave office. Yet, building something big and old-fashioned isn’t going to ensure—especially during a time of climate disruption—that the people of California and the environment will be guaranteed the reliable and essential water supply needed at a time it is most critical.”

Kathryn Phillips, the group’s director, signed the letter on behalf of its more than 380,000 members in the state. She said the letter culminates a month of controversy surrounding the Brown Administration’s proposal to develop two giant tunnels, and massive accompanying infrastructure, to draw water from the Sacramento River before it arrives in the Delta.

Based on recently released chapters of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), the tunnel proposal “will be disastrous for the environment, the cultural resources and the economy in the Delta,” the letter says. “Whereas the Delta Reform Act speaks to dual goals of ecosystem restoration and reliability of Delta supplies, in the context of programs for long-term reliability statewide, the documentation released for the BDCP seems intent on maintaining or increasing high exports out of the Delta to benefit the State Water Project and Central Valley Project contractors at the expense of the environment.”

The letter is available at: https://california2.sierraclub.org/sites/california.sierraclub.org/files/documents/2013/05/Sierra%20Club%20California%20Ltr%20to%20Gov%20Brown%20re%20Delta.5.6.2013.pdf

To find out more about the real story behind the peripheral tunnels being proposed to divert the majority of water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, here's the link to Restore the Delta's new video/TV/YouTube ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gV_cm-UnxKA&feature=youtu.be

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Beeline
Thursday May 9th, 2013 7:45 PM
Check out the Sac Bee article http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/28/5377328/delta-tunnel-project-to-radically.html.... . The article is entitled "Delta tunnel project to radically change Sacramento County landscape".

Such as: two giant tunnels 35 miles long-so where are they going to put the millions of cubic yards of mud they dig up?
by Register Peace & Freedom or Green
Saturday May 11th, 2013 5:48 AM
On the KPFA Evening News, after 6:30 p.m. on Friday, 5/10/13, KPFA had a report on the special election to the state legislature in the Fresno area in the 16th State Senate District called after DEMOCRAT Michael Rubio resigned to take a job with Chevron Oil Company. They went into great detail on the 2 money candidates, with great emphasis on Democrat Leticia Perez, whose horrifying background is described below, and proudly announced both big money candidates support the tunnel project! They then referred to other candidates, including Mohammad Arif of Peace & Freedom Party, as minor candidates because they are not rich! Here is what Peace & Freedom Party has to say about this campaign:

From: http://www.peaceandfreedom.org/home/campaign/special-elections/1058-mohammad-arif-for-16th-state-senate-district
Mohammad Arif for 16th State Senate District


By Kevin Akin

Posted on April 8, 2013 by the Kern County Central Committee

Mohammad Arif is the Peace and Freedom Party candidate in the State Senate special election on May 21, 2013 in the old 16th State Senate District. Despite all the State Senate boundaries having been redrawn for the 2012 election, the old boundaries will be used to replace disgraced former State Senator Michael Rubio, who resigned in February shortly before newspapers learned of his financial entanglements with the Chevron Corporation and one of its executives. (Rubio now works directly for Chevron.) The "old 16th SD" includes all of Kings County, about half of Fresno County, the western portion of Tulare County, and a western portion of Kern County including part of Bakersfield.

The special election is expected to be a very interesting one. It features Kern County supervisor Leticia Perez, whose mentor is the corrupt ex-senator Rubio, and who is married to Fernando Jara, a self-described former violent "thug" and self-styled former CIA operative whose conversion to Islam appears to have been phony from the start. Despite or because of these connections, Perez immediately received the backing of the official Democratic Party organizations in the area. Two other Democrats are on the ballot, Frank Ramirez and Paulina Miranda, but little has been heard from them. There is a single Republican, Andy Videk. And Mohammad Arif, the Peace and Freedom Party candidate, is listed on the ballot as "businessman" because his preferred occupational title of immigration rights organizer was rejected by the Secretary of State.

Mohammad Arif has been campaigning hard, and has already been featured in radio interviews and various newspaper articles. He has been particularly active in the large local South Asian community, and is expected to line up endorsements and campaign contributions well beyond what most Peace and Freedom Party candidates have been able to garner. Arif is an immigrant from the Pakistani Punjab who has been in the U.S since 1991, and a citizen since 2000. His basic campaign card (see images below), which is being distributed now, hearkens back to Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms," updating them to show their relevance in today's United States. The text under "Freedom from Fear," for example, reads "End bigotry and racism. Stop the raids and deportations, full rights for all, and a straightforward path to citizenship."

The leading Democrat, Leticia Perez, is a "business-friendly" Democrat like her mentor Rubio, and can be expected to follow Rubio's policies if elected, including chopping environmental protection laws, preventing tightening of health and safety protections, and collaborating with Republicans and other "business-friendly" Democrats in steering the legislature to the right. Mohammad Arif is certainly the most pro-labor candidate in the race, and a good contrast to the policies of the "business-friendly" Democrats.
*******
In the above election, you can vote for anyone, regardless of your registration. However, Peace & Freedom Party and the Green Party need you to register with one of them to stay on the ballot after 2014. Please change your registration now. You can register online at:

https://rtv.sos.ca.gov/elections/register-to-vote/

For more information on these parties, see:
Peace & Freedom Party
http://www.peaceandfreedom.org/home/

Green Party
http://www.cagreens.org/
http://www.gp.org/index.php