Senator Feinstein Shuts Out Delta Communities and Fishermen From Water Export Talks
For Immediate Release -- February 24, 2010
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla 209-479-2053
Despite requests from Restore the Delta for a meeting with Senator Feinstein's staff, and despite repeated requests from fishing community representatives for a copy Senator Feinstein's amendment language for increased water exports from the Delta, the proposed amendment language has been kept mostly secret. According to Restore the Delta Campaign Director, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, "Those who would be most affected by implementation of the Endangered Species Act waiver - Delta farmers and commercial salmon fishermen - have been once again left out of the discussion process, as they were during the 2009 California legislative water package discussions."
Although, as reported in today's San Francisco Chronicle, Senator Feinstein's amendment was not included in the present jobs bill, Restore the Delta has learned that Senator Feinstein is seeking other ways to move her legislation forward.
In stark contrast, Restore the Delta understands that the Westlands Water District, some additional water contractors, and some members of Congress have seen the language included in Senator Feinstein's proposed amendment. Once again those who want Delta water are working to control any and all legislative discussions by funding media spin and political contributions. Barrigan-Parrilla adds, "Westlands leaders and Stewart Resnick of Paramount Farms clearly have access to the Senator that everyday Delta people do not."
Therefore, Restore the Delta urges Senator Feinstein to recognize that Delta residents are dependent on protection of public resources. Barrigan-Parrilla adds that Delta residents "have an equal right to participate in representative governance" as do corporate irrigators. "The people of the Delta and related fishing communites must be given the opportunity to create a sustainable economic-ecological future for Delta communities and fisheries."
The people of California, especially Delta residents, have been kept in the dark along enough regarding the Senator's proposal to guarantee Westlands' water contracts. Barrigan-Parrilla calls on Senator Feinstein to "end the secrecy on behalf of large corporate irrigators receiving subsidized water. The public has a right to know how their water and money will be spent."