Reps. Jared Huffman and Mike Thompson were among the signees of a statement released this afternoon, pleased that Sen. Diane Feinstein (D, Googletown) yanked a hotly contested and top-secret drought bill today that she was cooking up with GOP reps. Earlier versions of the bill had promised to plunder NorCal water resources (ie, the Sacramento Delta) for the purposes of pleasing politically-minded pistachio ploughmen, who populate the Central Valley and throw lots of campaign cush Feinstein’s way. Negotiations were going on behind closed doors, Feinstein and a bunch of Republicans, without the input of any of the Northern California delegation, and they was peeved. So was the Sac Bee and the Fresno Bee, both of which laid out stories today that absolutely obliterated Feinstein’s plot. Here’s the release from the NorCal delegation:
WASHINGTON—Today, Northern California Representatives Jared Huffman (D-02), George Miller (D-11) Mike Thompson (D-05), Doris Matsui (D-06), Jerry McNerney (D-09), John Garamendi (D-10), and Ami Bera (D-07) released the following statement after Senator Dianne Feinstein announced she will not be pursuing passage of her water bill this year:
“We are pleased Senator Feinstein will not be pursuing passage of the water legislation secretly negotiated by her and House Republicans. This legislation would have eviscerated environmental laws protecting fisheries, California watersheds, local water supplies, and tribal and local economies in order to benefit a few powerful Delta water exporters. We applaud the Senator for stepping away from this deeply flawed legislation and realizing that a bill of this magnitude requires public hearings and regular committee process.
“As Members of Congress who represent districts that would be directly affected by this legislation, we have been raising serious objections to both the secretive process and the harmful content of this legislation. We will continue to demand next year that any water legislation responding to California’s severe drought be balanced and take into consideration the array of stakeholders in California.
“We have long supported inclusive, forward-looking responses to the drought and to our state’s longer-term water needs, including decisions by federal and state agencies this year to maximize water supply while abiding by environmental laws. We remain eager and willing to work with Senators Feinstein and Boxer, state and federal agencies, and other Members of Congress to advance fair and responsible water legislation.”