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Barrigan-Parrilla will oppose Delta tunnels at Senate hearing
by Dan Bacher
Tuesday May 14th, 2013 8:18 AM
"We oppose the rush to build a project that would exterminate salmon runs, destroy sustainable family farms and saddle taxpayers with tens of billions in debt, mainly to benefit a small number of huge corporate agribusinesses on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley," said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta (RTD).

Photo of Governor Jerry Brown, flanked by California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, at the press conference unveiling the fast-tracked Bay Delta Conservation Plan in Sacramento on July 25, 2012. Photo by Dan Bacher.
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Barrigan-Parrilla will oppose Delta tunnels at Senate hearing

by Dan Bacher

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, will voice her strong opposition to Governor Jerry Brown's plan to build two Peripheral Tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta on Tuesday, May 14, at the Senate Natural Resources & Water Committee hearing at the State Capitol in Sacramento.

"We oppose the rush to build a project that would exterminate salmon runs, destroy sustainable family farms and saddle taxpayers with tens of billions in debt, mainly to benefit a small number of huge corporate agribusinesses on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley," said Barrigan-Parrilla. "Governor Brown’s Peripheral Tunnel proposal is fatally flawed. It’s a bad investment.The total cost is unknown; the financing unsecured, and the only certainty is water customers will pay billions and billions in increased rates."

"There’s a better solution than to drain the Delta, burden taxpayers with tens of billions, and extinguish native salmon to mainly benefit a small number of huge corporate mega-farms that are unsustainable," she explained. "This plan would increase water rates for Southern Californians, who would not get any increase in water but would subsidize San Joaquin farmers, who would get more water. The taxpayers of the south pay the debt for the water facilities, while much of the water is virtually donated to the agribusiness giants of Kern."

Senators Lois Wolk, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and Fran Pavley, Chair of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water, will convene the joint hearing Tuesday. This is the second of two Senate hearings on the BDCP.

Those participating in the event include the following individuals:

Roger Patterson, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
David Guy, Northern California Water Association
Greg Cartrell, Contra Costa Water District
Jason Peltier, Wetlands Water District
Don Nottoli, County of Sacramento
Doug Obegi, Natural Resources Defense Council
Brent Walthall, Kern County Water Agency

The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the State Capitol, Committee Room 112.

A broad coalition of fishermen, environmentalists, Indian Tribes, family farmers, Delta residents and elected officials opposes the construction of the 35 mile long tunnels because they will hasten the extinction of Central Valley Chinook salmon, Delta smelt and other fish species.

Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, exposed the peripheral tunnel plan for the scam that it is. "The common people will pay for the project and a few people will make millions. It will turn a once pristine water way into a sewer pipe. It will be all bad for the fish, the ocean and the people of California," Sisk said.

Restore the Delta is a 10,000-member grassroots organization committed to making the Sacramento- San Joaquin Delta fishable, swimmable, drinkable, and farmable to benefit all of California. Restore the Delta works to improve water quality so that fisheries and farming can thrive together again in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. For information about Restore the Delta, go to http://www.restorethedelta.org