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Governor Jerry Brown

30,000 people demand that Big Oil Brown halt offshore fracking

by: Dan Bacher

Mon Nov 17, 2014 at 15:48:31 PM PST

The state and federal governments have been in collusion with Big Oil in California for decades - and people concerned about the future of fish, wildlife and the oceans are fed up with the fact that Southern California's oceans were fracked at least 203 times over the past 20 years.

Citing the threats to coastal communities and marine wildlife posed by fracking pollution, the Center for Biological Diversity on Wednesday, November 12 delivered a petition signed by more than 30,000 people urging Governor Jerry Brown to halt offshore fracking in California's coastal waters.

The petition was released the same week that a new report by American Lung Association's Center for Tobacco Policy and Organizing revealed that the oil industry from July through Sept 2014 spent an amazing $7.1 million lobbying legislators in Sacramento.

"California's coast is a natural treasure, upon which millions of people and animals depend. But now oil companies are threatening entire ecosystems by intensifying drilling with toxic fracking techniques," the petition says.

It urges Brown to "act now to halt this dangerous practice and preserve our oceans for future generations."

"Thousands of people are urging Gov. Brown to stop offshore fracking before dangerous chemicals or an oil spill inflict catastrophic damage," said Miyoko Sakashita, the Center's Oceans director. "Fracking offshore and onshore poses a toxic threat to our air, water and wildlife. The governor can end fracking in California and reject oil development plans that would frack federal waters off our coast."

The Center wants Brown to halt offshore fracking in state waters under the Emergency Service Act, which authorizes the governor to impose a broad array of measures to protect the health and safety of state residents. Federal law also gives governors a special say in offshore oil and gas decisions that Brown could use to fight fracking in federal waters in the Santa Barbara Channel, according to Yamashita.

Yamashita said oil companies have fracked hundreds of wells off California's coast and the oil industry has federal permission to annually dump more than 9 billion gallons of wastewater, including chemical-laden fracking fluid, directly into the ocean off California's coast.

This rampant fracking has only become possible because of the cozy relationship between federal and state regulators and the oil industry, the largest and most powerful corporate lobby in Sacramento.

"The California Coastal Commission, meeting this week in Half Moon Bay, has struggled to determine the full extent of offshore fracking, which involves blasting water and industrial chemicals into the seafloor at pressures high enough to crack rocks and release oil and gas," according to Sakashita.

Offshore fracking is no surprise

The intensive fracking taking place off the California coast is no surprise to grassroots environmentalists, fishermen and Tribal leaders who challenged the corrupt Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative.

In one of the biggest conflicts of interest in recent California history, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and leader of the campaign to expand offshore oil drilling and fracking in California, CHAIRED the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create fake "marine protected areas" on the South Coast. She also served on the task forces to create the alleged "marine protected areas" on the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast.

This is not just a case of where the regulated have captured the regulators. In the case of the MLPA Initiative, the regulated - a big oil lobbyist and other corporate interests - actually served as the regulators!

The MLPA Initiative, funded by the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, created so-called "marine protected areas" that fail to protect the ocean from fracking, oil drilling, pollution, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than fishing and Tribal gathering. These "marine protected areas" are good for Big Oil, polluters and corporate interests - and bad for sustainable fishermen, tribal gatherers and the public trust.

Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and media investigations by Associated Press and truthout.org reveal that the ocean has been fracked at least 203 times in the past 20 years, including the period from 2004 to 2012 that Reheis-Boyd served as a "marine guardian." (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/10/19/calif-finds-more-instances-of-offshore-fracking/3045721/)

The Western States Petroleum Association that Reheis-Boyd heads is the most powerful corporate lobbying group in California. The association spent over $4 million, a new record, for the three month period from July 1 through September 30. (http://truth-out.org/news/item/27373-western-states-petroleum-association-spent-4-million-lobbying-this-summer)

New report documents Big Oil's increase in lobbying expenses!

Will Barrett, the Senior Policy Analyst for the American Lung Association in California, has just published a new report revealing that the oil industry has spent $70 million on lobbyists in California since 2009. (See the in-depth analysis here: http://www.lung.org/associatio...

In the last three months alone, the oil industry has spent an unprecedented $7.1 million lobbying elected officials with a major focus on getting oil companies out of a major clean air regulation.

The oil industry spending total from July through Sept 2014 amounts to an amazing $2.4 million/month, $78,000/day, $3,200/hour, $54/minute and $1/second!

And this doesn't include spending on ballot measures or the recent election, including Chevron spending $3 million (unsuccessfully) to elect "their" candidates to the Richmond City Council. Big Oil also dumped $7.6 million into defeating a measure calling for a fracking ban in Santa Barbara County and nearly $2 million into an unsuccessful campaign to defeat a measure banning fracking and other extreme oil extraction techniques in San Benito County.

The report documented record money spent on lobbying by the oil industry through the first 9 months of 2014. Big Oil has spent $13.6 million lobbying elected officials so far this year:
• This surpassed the prior record ($13.5 million) seen in all of 2013.
• The industry pent $1.5 million per month lobbying in 2014.
• Oil interests represented 17 percent of all lobbying in California last quarter.

The report also revealed huge increases in July-September 2014 compared to previous quarters. Big Oil made significant increases in spending in 2014 as the legislative session came to a close and as the industry intensified its anti-AB 32 campaign:
• The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), whose president oversaw the creation of so-called "marine protected areas" in Southern California, spent $4 million in the last three months alone, more than twice historical levels
• WSPA spent more than $7 million so far in 2014, leading all statewide lobbying by a wide margin
• WSPA paid nearly $2.5 million to KP Public Affairs in 2013-14, the state's highest paid lobbying firm.
• Eight oil interests spent their most ever lobbying in California
• Four broke annual spending records in just 9 months.
• Phillips66 (4), Chevron (6) and Valero (9) are also all among the top ten lobbying spenders from July-Sept 2014.
• Phillips66 spent $880,000, 4 times over its recent average
• Valero spent $542,000 in 3 months - more than the prior 42 months combined.

Data source: Secretary of State's online campaign finance/lobbying disclosure database

For more information, go to: http://www.lung.org/associatio...

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Strategic Leadership Forum in D.C. Greenwashes Brown's Tunnel Plan

by: Dan Bacher

Mon Nov 10, 2014 at 19:50:31 PM PST

No, this is not an April's Fool Day article - a group called the "North American Strategic Leadership Forum" selected Governor Jerry Brown's Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build two massive tunnels under the Delta as the "Project of the Year" for 2014!

Organizations bestowing awards to undeserving politicians, projects and organizations is nothing new. In recent years, big "environmental" NGOs have given environmental leadership awards to politicians such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown, two of the worst Governors for fish, water and the environment in California history, to curry favor with them.

Among the groups to give Schwarzenegger awards for his "green" leadership, in spite of his war on salmon, the Delta and the oceans, included the Hudson Riverkeeper at their annual "Fishermen's Banquet" in New York City in April 2010.

Then the Monterey Bay Aquarium and an array of corporate "environmental" NGOs gave the very undeserving Governor Jerry Brown the "Ocean Champion" award in 2012. (www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/04/05/18710843.php‎).

In October 2013, The Blue Green Alliance had planned to give Governor Jerry Brown the "Right Stuff" award in San Francisco, but he didn't show up because of the protest by environmental and Native American activists outside the hotel where the event was held.

However, the North American Strategic Leadership Forum recently topped even these shamelessly pandering organizations in their attempt to greenwash anti-environmental politicians and projects by honoring the California Department of Water Resources' Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build the peripheral tunnels.

The Forum, which "draws more than 500 industry executives from all aspects of an infrastructure project lifecycle - including lenders and investors, law, design, engineering and construction firms, and owner operators - to focus on projects with business opportunities available within the next 3-18 months," just honored the Bay Delta Conservation Plan as the "Engineering Project of the Year" in Washington D.C. (http://www.bus-ex.com/article/north-american-infrastructure-winners)

It gets worse. The BDCP was also named a finalist for the categories of "Strategic Project of the Year" and "Green/New Project of the Year." (http://www.cg-la.com/media-enquiries/press-releases/59-press-releases/cg-la-announces-finalists-for-top-project-in-north-america-pr)

Water activist Jerry Cadagan commented, "To once again steal from humorist Dave Barry, 'we are not making this up!'"

It is interesting that the California Department of Water Resources applied for these awards, but did not publicize receiving them.

The forum features the following description for the BDCP:

Bay Delta Conservation Plan Tunnels
Subsector: Water Transmission
Location: California
Value: US $25 billion
Stage: Planned
Project Sponsor: California Department of Water Resources
Project Presenter: Jim Macrae, Senior Project Manager, California Department of Water Resources

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) is a part of California's overall water management portfolio. It is being developed as a 50-year habitat conservation plan with the goals of restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem and securing California water supplies. The BDCP would secure California's water supply by building new water delivery infrastructure and operating the system to improve the ecological health of the Delta. The BDCP also would restore or protect approximately 150,000 acres of habitat to address the Delta's environmental challenges. (http://www.cg-la.com/forums/nalf6/projects#NI)

Lets get this right, folks - this forum gave Jerry Brown's Peripheral Tunnel Plan, potentially one of the most environmentally destructive projects in California history, "Engineering Project of the Year" for 2014 and listed the boondoggle as a finalist  for the categories of "Strategic Project of the Year" and "Green/New Project of the Year?"

Apparently the leadership of the forum is not aware of the scathing criticisms of the project by an array of science panels, ranging from the National Academy of Sciences Sciences, to a panel of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service scientists, to the Delta Independent Science Board.

Nor was the group apparently aware of the state and federal government's decision to delay the $67 billion proposed project until sometime in 2015, following the 43-page comment letter by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) slamming the Bay Delta Conservation Plan's draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS).  

Now did the forum leadership apparently know that the scathing EPA comments came on top of some 4,500 pages of searing reviews by municipalities, counties and water agencies that would be adversely impacted by the project, almost 2,000 pages of highly critical comments by environmental and fishing organizations, hundreds of pages of harsh analyses by government agencies and stinging comments from many thousands of California citizens reveal that BDCP is suffering from a congenital terminal illness, according to Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California

The EPA diagnosis pointed out that operating the proposed conveyance facilities "would contribute to increased and persistent violations of water quality standards in the Delta, set under the Clean Water Act," and that the tunnels "would not protect beneficial uses for aquatic life, thereby violating the Clean Water Act."

The letter noted that the EIR/EIS "assumes a 100 percent success rate for habitat restoration, which is not consistent with our experience, or supported by restoration ecology and conservation biology academic literature and scientific investigation" and detailed the likelihood that proposed habitat restoration would exacerbate the production and transport of methylmercury."

EPA also criticized the failure to analyze upstream/downstream impacts and observed that there is broad scientific agreement that "existing freshwater flow conditions in the San Francisco Estuary are insufficient to protect the aquatic ecosystem and multiple fish species, and that both increased freshwater flows and aquatic habitat restoration are needed to restore ecosystem processes in the Bay Delta and protect native and migratory fish populations."

The agency identified serious inadequacies in the level of analysis, the restoration and adaptive management programs, finance plan, selection of alternatives and found numerous major flaws in the specific effects determinations and impact analyses.

Does that sound like a project that deserves "Engineering Project of the Year" award and warrants being listed as a finalist for "Strategic Project of the Year" and "Green/New Project of the Year?"

Only folks who live a parallel universe devoid of logic, science and common sense would give grant ANY award to a $67 billion project that will hasten the extinction of Central Valley Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species, as well as imperil salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.

EPA's comments on the BDCP EIR/EIS and more information about the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance can be found at: http://www.calsport.org.  

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Western States Petroleum Association spent $4 million lobbying in Sacramento this summer

by: Dan Bacher

Fri Nov 07, 2014 at 16:38:54 PM PST

The oil industry spent millions in political campaigns in California this election cycle, led by the over $7.6 million that they used to defeat a measure calling for a fracking ban in Santa Barbara County.

Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and former Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called "marine protected areas" in Southern California, lauded the "volunteers" of the No on Measure P campaign for their successful efforts in a tweet to her supporters:

"Congrats to the @NoOnMeasureP team & all the volunteers who helped make today reality! Glad Santa Barbara got it right on science & facts!"

The oil industry also spent over $3 million in an unsuccessful effort to influence city council elections in Richmond California, as well as nearly $2 million in an unsuccessful campaign to defeat a measure banning fracking and other extreme oil extraction techniques in San Benito County.

While mainstream media focused considerable attention on the millions of dollars dumped into political campaigns, they failed to mention the record $4,009,177.87 that the Western States Petroleum Association spent on lobbying legislators from July 1 through September 30.

A news release from Sierra Club California reported, "Just days before the election, 7th quarter lobbying filings for the two-year legislative session were released. They showed that the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the lead trade association for oil companies, spent more than $4 million to influence legislators during the period including July, August and September this year, the last three active months of the legislative session. That compares to $1.7 million the group spent during the 6th quarter."

According to the documents that WSPA filed with the California Secretary of State's Office, the $4,009,177.87 included a total of $453,377.03 to lobbying firms, $1259.26 for "other expenses" and $3,554,541.58 for "total other payments to influence."
(http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/PDFGen/pdfgen.prg?filingid=1911643&amendid=0

The largest amount of money spent on lobbying firms, $375,800.53, went to KP Public Affairs in Sacramento.

Stop Fooling California (http://www.stopfoolingca.org), an online and social media public education and awareness campaign that highlights oil companies' efforts to mislead and confuse Californians, asked in a tweet and on Facebook, "We know what @OfficialWSPA lobbyists give Sacramento. What are you getting in return?"

They also challenged Reheis Boyd: "Hey @WSPAPrez, how come you spent $4 million this summer lobbying against CA's #cleanair laws?"

Besides fighting California's clean air laws, massive oil industry opposition resulted in the defeat of a bill to protect a marine protected area in Southern California from oil drilling. On August 26, State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson's bill to ban offshore oil drilling from an area of state waters in the Santa Barbara Channel known as Tranquillon Ridge stalled on the Assembly Floor effectively killing the bill for the year.

The bill, SB 1096, would have protected the Vandenburg State Marine Reserve, created under the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, and the rest of the Tranquillon Ridge from offshore oil drilling plans.

The mainstream media and the "alternative" media, with this exception of this reporter, failed to note the extreme irony of the fact that WSPA President Reheis-Boyd had chaired the panel to create alleged "marine protected areas" in Southern California and sat on the panel to develop "marine protected areas" on the Central Coast! (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/09/08/18761341.php)

The oil industry also defeated Senator Holly Mitchell and Mark Leno's bill, SB 1132, calling for a fracking moratorium in California. State Senators voting 'NO' on the fracking moratorium bill on May 29, 2014 received 14 times as much money the oil and gas industry, on average ($25,227), as senators voting 'YES' ($1,772) from January 1, 2009 to December 21, 2012, according to MapLight, a non profit organization revealing money's influence on politics.

The WSPA and the oil companies also were able to gut Senator Fran Pavley's already weak Senate Bill 4, the "green light for fracking" bill, by introducing poison pill amendments before the Legislature passed it and the Governor signed it in September 2013.

A huge conflict of interest that the corporate media refuses to discuss

Besides serving as the voice for the oil industry, WSPA President Reheis-Boyd also wears another hat - "marine guardian" - that has allowed her and other corporate interests to help eviscerate "marine protection" in California. I have discussed this conflict of interest in many of my previous articles, but it essential to review again because the mainstream media and most of the "alternative" media refuse to discuss it.

In one of the biggest conflicts of interest in recent California history, Reheis-Boyd served as the Chair of the privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative that created fake "marine protected areas" in Southern California. She was appointed by the Schwarzenegger administration to the position, in spite of a massive outcry by fishermen, Tribal members and grassroots environmentalists over the enormous conflict of interest that her appointment presented - and how this appointment further tainted an already corrupt process.(http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/mpa/brtf_bios_sc.asp)

While she was pushing for increased fracking and offshore oil drilling in California, the oil industry lobbyist also served on the task forces to create questionable "marine protected areas" on the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast.

These alleged "marine protected areas" fail to protect the ocean from fracking, oil drilling, pollution, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering. The Marine Life Protection Act Initiative, lauded by corporate "environmentalists" and state officials as the "most open and transparent" process in California history, was in fact one of the most corrupt and conflict of interest-infested environmental fiascos ever seen in the state.

Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and media investigations by Associated Press and truthout.org reveal that the ocean has been fracked at least 203 times in the past 20 years, including the period from 2004 to 2012 that Reheis-Boyd served as a "marine guardian." (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/10/19/calif-finds-more-instances-of-offshore-fracking/3045721/)

As if serving on a state marine protection panel wasn't bad enough, Reheis-Boyd also serves on a federal government marine protected areas panel. The National Marine Protected Areas Center website lists Reheis-Boyd as a member of a 20 member MPA (Marine Protected Areas) Advisory Committee.

Background: Big Oil Money and Power in California

While there are many powerful industries based in California, ranging from the computer and high tech industry to corporate agribusiness, no industry has more influence over the state's environmental policies than Big Oil.

An ongoing analysis of reports filed with the California Secretary of State shows that the oil industry, the largest and most powerful corporate lobby in Sacramento, collectively spent over $63 million lobbying California policymakers between January 1, 2009 and June 30, 2014.

The Western States Petroleum Association, led by President Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the former chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create so-called "marine protected areas" in Southern California, topped the oil industry lobby spending with $26,969,861.

A report released on April 1, 2014 by the ACCE Institute and Common Cause also revealed that the oil industry spent $123.6 million to lobby elected officials in California from 1999 through 2013. This was an increase of over 400 percent since the 1999-2000 legislative session, when the industry spent $4.8 million. In 2013-2014 alone, the top lobbyist employer, Western States Petroleum Association, spent $4.7 million.

The report also documents that Big Oil has spent $143.3 million on political candidates and campaigns - nearly $10 million per year and more than any other corporate lobby - over the past fifteen years. (http://www.indybay.org/uploads/2014/04/10/bil_oil_floods_the_capitol_4.1.14v2.pdf)

In addition to the oil industry spending exerting its enormous power through campaign contributions, lobbying legislators and serving on state and federal regulatory panels, the oil industry also has set up "Astroturf" groups, including the California Drivers Alliance and Fueling California, to fight against environmental regulations protecting our air, water, land, fish, wildlife and human health.

Yet these millions of dollars are just chump change to Big Oil, since the five big oil companies made over $93 billion in profits in 2013. This year their estimated profits to date are over $78 billion.(http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/news/2014/02/10/83879/with-only-93-billion-in-profits-the-big-five-oil-companies-demand-to-keep-tax-breaks/)  

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Goliath Wins Against David on Prop. 1

by: Dan Bacher

Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 19:05:08 PM PST

Proposition 1, Governor Jerry Brown's $7.5 billion water bond, sailed to easy victory on November 4, as forecasted in a number of polls.

The election results show how the power of millions of dollars of corporate money in the corrupt oligarchy of California were able to defeat a how a grassroots movement of fishermen, environmentalists, Indian Tribes and family farmers opposed to Prop. 1.

The Hoopa Valley, Yurok, Winnemem Wintu and Concow Maidu Tribes, the defenders of California's rivers and oceans for thousands of years, strongly opposed Prop. 1. because of the threat the bond poses to water, salmon and their culture. (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/11/04/18763767.php)

Prop. 1 proponents, including a rogue's gallery of oil companies, corporate agribusiness tycoons, Big Tobacco, health insurance companies and greedy billionaires, dumped over $16.4 million into the campaign, while Prop. 1 opponents raised around $100,000 for the effort. In other words, the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign outmatched the No on Prop. 1 campaign by a factor of 164 to 1.

In a state and country where corporations have the same rights as people, the political game is rigged so that Goliath is usually able to defeat David. The state's voters, responding to the avalanche of pro-Prop. 1 ads funded by corporate interests, approved the measure by a vote of 66.77 percent to 33.23 percent.

The results of the Prop. 1 campaign are a classic example why everybody who cares about the future of this state and country should join the Move to Amend Coalition. From Massachusetts to Ohio, from Illinois to Florida, and Wisconsin, citizens voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to pass a Constitutional amendment calling for an end to the doctrines of corporate Constitutional rights and money as free speech.

The Amendment states: "We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling and other related cases, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights."

For more information, go to: http://www.MoveToAmend.org.

Farming, Conservation, Environmental Groups: Prop. 1 Didn't Solve Our Water Crisis

Californians for Fair Water Policy, a statewide coalition of environmental, water conservation, fishing, farming and community organizations and Indian Tribes, responded to the passage of Prop. 1 by calling for a new focus on sustainable water policies and for the governor to abandon his proposed Delta Tunnels project to export water from the Sacramento River to corporate agribusiness interests, Southern California water agencies and oil companies conducting fracking and steam injection operations.

"When Californians wake up today following the election, the water challenges we face are still huge and pressing," said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta. "Now that the debate over Prop. 1 is behind us; it is time to look at sustainable solutions to our water challenges. Whether you supported or opposed Prop 1, we all agree that it will do nothing to address our current drought. So we need to face the fact that the State has over allocated up to 5 times more water than is normally available in our rivers and streams."

"Proposition 1 will not solve our water crisis," says Adam Scow, California Director of Food & Water Watch. "Its proponents sold the water bond as a way to protect California from future drought, but Prop 1 fails to address the real problems, especially the State's poor management of our water resources. Governor Brown must balance California's overstretched water budget and reduce allocations to water-wasting super-farms in the desert. Food & Water Watch will continue to work with allies to ensure that Prop 1's voter-approved funds benefit the public interest, and do not promote corporate interests by building new dams and subsidizing excessive water transfers to unsustainable agribusiness operations."

"Prop. 1 did not change any of these stubborn facts: the Delta has been overpumped for decades, and this cannot be sustained, and our salmon and other fisheries are on the verge of collapse," said Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance. "The one thing that must be done if we're going to stabilize the state's water policies: balance water rights claims to actual water supplies."

"The governor is still wedded to his Bay Delta Conservation Plan/Delta Tunnels project, which the EPA has said would violate the Clean Water Act," said Bob Wright, Senior Counsel of Friends of the River. "The Delta Tunnels project is fatally flawed, and the governor should abandon it and instead promote sustainable water solutions."

"We urge the governor to shift his concentration from the doomed Delta Tunnels project to large scale recycling, conservation, storm water capture, ground water clean up projects, and other new drought technologies that will provide local jobs and reduce reliance on imported water supplies," said Conner Everts, Executive Director, Southern California Watershed Alliance. "Sustainable water programs are needed to safeguard California from inevitable future droughts."

Billionaires, Corporate Interests Dumped Over $16.4 Million into Prop. 1 Campaign

Voters throughout the state fiercely debated the pros and cons of Proposition 1, Jerry Brown's $7.5 billion water bond, before they went to the polls on November 4.

While the pros and cons are important, an even bigger issue in any environmental battle or process is the money behind the campaign. The big corporate money spent on the water bond largely determines who the bond will benefit - billionaires, agribusiness, oil companies and corporate "environmental" NGOs, not the fish, wildlife or people of California.

The passage of Proposition 1 was inevitable considering the millions of dollars dumped into the campaign by Governor Brown and his collaborators - and the deceptive campaign ads run by the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign cynically employing fear-mongering over the drought to scare Californians into voting for Prop. 1.

I have discussed the campaign contributions to Prop. 1 in my previous articles, but it's a good idea to review these contributions again, now that the election is over.

Contributions to Brown's Yes on Props 1 and 2 Committee totalled $13,880,528.43, according to the latest data posted on the California Secretary of State's website. (http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Campaign/Measures/Detail.aspx?id=1369617&session=2013)

The contributions feature millions of dollars from billionaires, corporate agribusiness, Big Oil and the tobacco industry - corporate interests that all expect a big return for their "investment" in the corrupt "play to pay" politics that rules California today.

Contributions to the committee from the period from October 1 to October 18 alone amounted to $9,537,048.90.

Expenditures during the period from January 1 through October 18 were $10,728,645.50, with $10,149,477.92 just from the period of October 1 to October 18.

But this isn't the only committee that funded the Yes on 1 campaign. When you consider the other committees backing Prop.1 listed on the Secretary of State's website, the total amount of contributions jumps by another $2,541,257.91 to $16,421,785.91!

The "California Business Political Action Committee," sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce, raised $550,000 for Yes on 1 and 2 during the period from January 1 to October 18, 2014.

The "Wetlands Conservation Committee, Yes on Prop. 1," sponsored by Ducks Unlimited, Audubon California and the Nature Conservancy, raised $215,000 from January 1 through October 18.

Other committees backing Prop. 1 include:

• The "Conservation Action Fund": $818,623.78

• The Sac Valley Water & Rice For Prop. 1: $44,499.00

• Think Long Committee, sponsored by the Nicolas Berggruen Institute Trust, Supporting Propositions 1 and 2: $250,000

• Western Plant Health Association, Supporting Propositions 1 and 2: $100,000

• NRDC Action Fund Ballot Measures Committee - Yes on Prop. 1; $9,514.27

• Environmental Coalition for Water and Wildlife Protection - Yes on Prop. 1: $102,000

• The Southern California District County Laborers PAC: $58,219.02

• The California Water Association Political Issues Committee - Yes on Prop. 1: $100,000

• Laborers Pacific Southwest Regional Organizing Coalition Issues PAC - Yes on Props 1 and 2: $293,401.84

While the committees backing Prop. 1 raised over $16.4 million, the Vote No on Prop. 1 campaign raised over $97,999, a small fraction of the money raised by Prop. 1 proponents.

In addition, opponents of Prop. 1 revealed that the Nature Conservancy donated $500,000 to the campaign.

"Prop. 1's big dam projects will make very little new water, and the water will mainly go to unsustainable huge agribusinesses," said Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta. "Most disturbing is the $500,000 that the Nature Conservancy has contributed to the Prop 1 campaign. The Nature Conservancy has benefited from the gifting of public lands in the Delta by the Department of Water Resources."

She emphasized, "The Nature Conservancy turned a blind eye to oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico for the ability to manage wetlands, and pumps oil on its own lands. In California, they are turning a blind eye to the issue of how water exports will be accelerated from the Bay-Delta estuary if Prop. 1 passes, and how this water will fill Governor Brown's Delta tunnels. They are supporting water policies that will serve special corporate interests in exchange for the opportunity to manage more conservancy projects in the Delta and throughout California."

The campaign for and against Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond on the November 4 ballot, was the classic David and Goliath battle of this election season in California.

Governor Jerry Brown, the Republican and Democratic Party establishment, corporate agribusiness interests, oil companies, construction unions, corporate "environmental" NGOs, prominent billionaires, the health care industry and big water agencies backed the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign. In contrast, a grassroots coalition of fishing groups, environmentalists, consumer organizations, Indian Tribes, family farmers and Delta water agencies campaigned against Proposition 1.

The top 18 campaign contributors - those who donated $250,000 or more - raised a total of $12,005,279 for the Yes on Prop. 1 and 2 campaign, according to the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). (http://fppc.ca.gov/top10Nov2014/)

These contributions include $250,000 donated to the campaign by Aera Energy LLC, a company jointly owned by affiliates of Shell and ExxonMobil.

The Bakersfield-based Aera Energy is one of California's largest oil and gas producers, accounting for nearly 25 percent of the state's production, according to the company's website. (http://www.aeraenergy.com/who-we-are.asp)

Corporate agribusiness interests, the largest users of federal and state water project water exported through the Delta pumping facilities, donated a total of $850,000 to the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign. The California Farm Bureau Federation contributed $250,000 and the Western Growers Service Association donated $250,000.

Stewart Resnick, the Beverly Hills agribusiness tycoon, owner of Paramount Farms and largest orchard fruit grower in the world, contributed $150,000 and the California Cotton Alliance contributed $200,000 to the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign.

Resnick and his wife, Lynda, have been instrumental in promoting campaigns to eviscerate Endangered Species Act protections for Central Valley Chinook salmon and Delta smelt populations and to build the fish-killing peripheral tunnels - and have made millions off reselling environmental water to the public.

The largest individual donor in the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign was Sean Parker, who contributed $1 million to the campaign. Parker is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist who cofounded the file-sharing computer service Napster and served as the first president of the social networking website Facebook.

Four members of the Fisher family, who own the Gap stores, collectively donated $1.5 million to the Yes. on Prop. 1 and Prop. 2 campaign. They also own the Mendocino Redwood Company and Humboldt Redwood Company, formerly the Pacific Lumber Company (PALCO), more than half a million acres of redwood forest lands in total.

Doris F. Fisher contributed $499,000, John J. Fisher $351,000, Robert J. Fisher $400,000 and William S. Fisher $250,000.

Tobacco giant Philip Morris also contributed $100,000 to Governor Brown's committee established to support Propositions 1 and 2. On October 20, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) called on the governor to return that money.

Folks like Stewart Resnick, the Fisher Family and other billionaires, the oil industry and agribusiness interests didn't dump millions into the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign for the common good or benefit of all Californians - they did it as a relatively small investment to advance their own interests and to further privatize and plunder the public trust, including our rivers, Delta and the oceans, for their own personal profit.

Winnemem Wintu Chief Caleen Sisk: It's All One Big Project

Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, said the water bond, peripheral tunnels, Shasta Dam raise and other water projects now being planned by the state and federal governments are in in reality "one Big Project" that will destroy salmon, rivers and groundwater supplies.

"It does not make sense that people are separating the water puzzle into individual pieces, such as: the raising of Shasta Dam, Proposition 1, the Delta tunnels, BDCP, Sites Reservoir, Temperance Flat, CALFED, Delta Vision, BDCP, OCAP, the Bay Delta, Trinity/Klamath Rivers, the Sacramento River, the San Joaquin River, and water rights," said Chief Sisk. "It is all one BIG Project."

She emphasized, "You have to look at the whole picture and everything in between from Shasta Dam to the Delta estuary. We need to ask what is affected by our actions and who is benefitting from them? These are not separate projects; they are all the same thing that the State is asking us to fund - California water being manipulated for the enrichment of some and the devastation of cultures, environments, and species all in the name of higher profits."  

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Goliath Gets Bigger: Prop. 1 War Chest Grows to $16.4 Million

by: Dan Bacher

Sun Nov 02, 2014 at 12:07:54 PM PST

The debate over the pros and cons of Proposition 1, Jerry Brown's $7.5 billion water bond, is very important, but an even bigger issue in any environmental battle or process is the money behind the campaign.

The big corporate money behind the water bond largely determines who the bond will benefit - billionaires, corporate agribusiness, oil companies and the 1 percent, not the people, fish or wildlife of California.

Contributions to Governor Jerry Brown's Yes on Props 1 and 2 Committee have jumped to $13,880,528.43, according to the latest data posted on the California Secretary of State's website.

The contributions feature millions of dollars from billionaires, corporate agribusiness, Big Oil and and the tobacco industry - corporate interests that all expect a big return for their "investment" in the corrupt "play to pay" politics that rules California today.

Contributions to the committee from the period from October 1 to October 18 alone amount to $9,537,048.90. (http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Campaign/Committees/Detail.aspx?id=1343257&session=2013)

Expenditures during the period from January 1 through October 18 were $10,728,645.50, with $10,149,477.92 just from the period of October 1 to October 18.

But this isn't the only committee funding the Yes on 1 campaign. When you consider the other committees backing Prop.1 listed on the Secretary of State's website, the total amount of contributions jumps by another $2,541,257.91 to $16,421,785.91!

The "California Business Political Action Committee," sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce raised, $550,000 for Yes on 1 and 2 during the period from January 1 to October 18, 2014.

The "Wetlands Conservation Committee, Yes on Prop. 1," sponsored by Ducks Unlimited, Audubon California and the Nature Conservancy, raised $215,000 from January 1 through October 18.

Other committees backing Prop. 1 include:

• The "Conservation Action Fund": $818,623.78

• The Sac Valley Water & Rice For Prop. 1: $44,499.00

• Think Long Committee, sponsored by the Nicolas Berggruen Institute Trust, Supporting Propositions 1 and 2: $250,000

• Western Plant Health Association, Supporting Propositions 1 and 2: $100,000

• NRDC Action Fund Ballot Measures Committee - Yes on Prop. 1; $9,514.27

• Environmental Coalition for Water and Wildlife Protection - Yes on Prop. 1: $102,000  

• The Southern California District County Laborers PAC: $58,219.02

• The California Water Association Political Issues Committee - Yes on Prop. 1: $100,000

• Laborers Pacific Southwest Regional Organizing Coalition Issues PAC - Yes on Props 1 and 2: $293,401.84

Background: Oil industry, agribusiness, health care industry and billionaires lead Prop. 1 contributors

While the committees backing Prop. 1 have raised over $16.4 million to date, the Vote No on Prop. 1 campaign, has raised $89,100 and has spent $53,077.(http://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_1,_Water_Bond_(2014))

The campaign for and against Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond on the November 4 ballot, remains the classic David and Goliath battle of this election season in California.

Governor Jerry Brown, the Republican and Democratic Party establishment, corporate agribusiness interests, oil companies, construction unions, corporate "environmental" NGOs, prominent billionaires, the health care industry and big water agencies are backing the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign. In contrast, a grassroots coalition of fishing groups, environmentalists, consumer organizations, Indian Tribes, family farmers and Delta water agencies is campaigning to defeat Proposition 1.

The top 18 campaign contributors - those who donated $250,000 or more - have raised a total of $11,835,279 to date for the Yes on Prop. 1 and campaign, according to the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). (http://fppc.ca.gov/top10Nov2014/)

Dignity Health, which contributed $250,000, is the latest corporate contributor to the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign. That donation followed the contribution of $250,000 to the campaign by Aera Energy LLC, a company jointly owned by affiliates of Shell and ExxonMobil.

The Bakersfield-based Aera Energy is one of California's largest oil and gas producers, accounting for nearly 25 percent of the state's production, according to the company's website. (http://www.aeraenergy.com/who-we-are.asp)

Corporate agribusiness interests, the largest users of federal and state water project water exported through the Delta pumping facilities, have donated a total of $850,000 to the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign. The California Farm Bureau Federation contributed $250,000 and the Western Growers Service Association donated $250,000.

Stewart Resnick, the Beverly Hills agribusiness tycoon, owner of Paramount Farms and largest orchard fruit grower in the world, contributed $150,000 and the California Cotton Alliance contributed $200,000 to the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign.

Resnick and his wife, Lynda, have been instrumental in promoting campaigns to eviscerate Endangered Species Act protections for Central Valley Chinook salmon and Delta smelt populations and to build the fish-killing peripheral tunnels - and have made millions off reselling environmental water to the public.

The largest individual donor in the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign to date remains Sean Parker, who has contributed $1 million to the campaign. Parker is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist who cofounded the file-sharing computer service Napster and served as the first president of the social networking website Facebook. He also cofounded Plaxo, Causes, and Airtime.

Four members of the Fisher family, who own the controversial Gap stores, have collectively donated $1.5 million to the Yes. on Prop. 1 and Prop. 2 campaign. They also own the Mendocino Redwood Company and Humboldt Redwood Company, formerly the Pacific Lumber Company (PALCO), more than half a million acres of redwood forest lands in total. (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/09/28/18762178.php)

Doris F. Fisher contributed $499,000, John J. Fisher $351,000, Robert J. Fisher $400,000 and William S. Fisher $250,000. The Gap become notorious among labor and human rights advocates for employing sweatshop labor in the Third World to produce its clothes.

Tobacco giant Philip Morris also contributed $100,000 to Governor Brown's ballot measure committee established to support Propositions 1 and 2. On October 20, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) called on the governor to return that money.

In contrast to the $13,212,726 in donations to the Prop. 1 and 2 campaigns listed on the FPPC website, the FPPC states, "No committee opposing this ballot measure raised enough money to reach the reporting threshold."

Folks like Stewart Resnick, the Fisher Family and other billionaires, the oil industry and corporate agribusiness interests aren't dumping millions into the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign for the common good or benefit of all Californians - they're doing it as a relatively small investment to advance their own greedy interests and to further privatize and plunder the public trust for their own personal profit.

Six simple reasons why you should vote no on Prop. 1:

• Prop. 1 will spend $2.7 billion for costly and inefficient dams and bill the public for the expense.

• Prop. 1 would support the Governor's Twin Tunnels project, as indicated by his Stanford speech on October 20. Brown said that Proposition 1 would provide components missing from the State Water Project "enacted by my father." These components, Brown ominously intoned, would "deal with the Delta."

• Prop. 1 violates the public trust. The bond provides hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to purchase water allegedly for public trust purposes, to then divert it from the Delta as "abandoned" water for billionaires' almond orchards.

• Prop. 1 ignores the bedrock realities of California's water dilemma. Consumptive water right claims in California already exceed the amount of available water by 5.5 times. Proposition 1 does nothing to rectify this situation. Indeed, it ignores the one thing that must be done if we're going to stabilize the state's water policies: balance water rights claims to actual water supplies.

• Prop. 1 provides no strategies to mitigate the impacts of drought. The bond is thus a classic bait-and-switch: It implicitly promises drought solutions it does not deliver.

• Prop. 1 underfunds recycling, conservation and other drought solutions that will provide local jobs and reduce reliance on imported water supplies.

For more information, go to http://www.noonprop1.org

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Nature Conservancy contributes $500,000 to Yes on Prop. 1 campaign

by: Dan Bacher

Sat Nov 01, 2014 at 10:50:20 AM PDT

The Nature Conservancy, one of the largest recipients of Walton Family Foundation money every year, has joined Big Oil, corporate agribusiness, the health insurance industry, tobacco giant Philip Morris and greedy billionaires in dumping big money into the Yes on Proposition 1 campaign.

Opponents of Prop. 1, Governor Jerry Brown's State Water Bond, responded to the $500,000 political contribution to Prop. 1 from The Nature Conservancy by calling it "disturbing."

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta, said, "Donors to Prop. 1 want this water bond to pass so that they can get something from it: short-term jobs building dams that will be created with public tax dollars, land to manage bought with public funds, and taxpayer-subsidized water to grow permanent crops on unsuitable land."

"Prop. 1's big dam projects will make very little new water, and the water will mainly go to unsustainable huge agribusinesses," said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla. "Most disturbing is the $500,000 that the Nature Conservancy has contributed to the Prop 1 campaign. The Nature Conservancy has benefited from the gifting of public lands in the Delta by the Department of Water Resources."

She emphasized, "The Nature Conservancy turned a blind eye to oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico for the ability to manage wetlands, and pumps oil on its own lands. In California, they are turning a blind eye to the issue of how water exports will be accelerated from the Bay-Delta estuary if Prop. 1 passes, and how this water will fill Governor Brown's Delta tunnels."

"They are supporting water policies that will serve special corporate interests in exchange for the opportunity to manage more conservancy projects in the Delta and throughout California," concluded Barrigan-Parrilla.

The Nature Conservancy, known for its service to corporate interests at great expense to fish, wildlife, the environment and the public trust, received a total of $5,482,699 from the Walton Family Foundation in 2013. This includes $1,545,963 for freshwater "conservation" on the Colorado River, $1,437,986 for freshwater "conservation" on the Mississippi River. $475,000 for marine "conservation," and $2,023,750 for other "conservation" grants.

The Walton Family Foundation is governed by the descendants of Sam and Helen Walton, the founders of retail giant Walmart, a company notorious for the poor treatment of its workers and its environmentally destructive practices around the globe.

And the Nature Conservancy is not the only NGO supporting the water bond that is funded by Walmart money. An analysis of environmental grants that the Walton Family Foundation gave to conservation organizations in 2013 reveals that NGOs supporting Proposition 1, the water bond on California's November 4 ballot, received a total of $10,786,949 in grants while opponents of the controversial measure received none.

Supporters of the water bond getting money from the Walton Family Foundation in 2013 include the Nature Conservancy, National Audubon Society (the parent organization of Audubon California, a bond backer), the Ocean Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, American Rivers, Defenders of Wildlife and Ducks Unlimited. The Foundation lists their environmental contributions in three categories: freshwater conservation, marine conservation and other conservation grants. (http://www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org/2013-environment-grants)

National Audubon Society, the parent organization of Audubon California, received $2,570,767, including $312,100 for freshwater conservation on the Colorado River, $2,058,667 for freshwater conservation on the Mississippi River and $200,000 for marine conservation.

The foundation gave the Ocean Conservancy, a strong supporter of the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create questionable "marine protected areas" in California, $1,552,083 for projects in the Gulf of Mexico.

Trout Unlimited was awarded $610,650 for freshwater conservation on the Colorado River.

American Rivers received $424,400 for freshwater conservation on the Colorado River.

Defenders of Wildlife got $100,058 for freshwater conservation on the Mississippi River.

Finally, Ducks Unlimited, Inc. received $46,292 for freshwater conservation on the Mississippi River from the Walton Family Foundation.

The Walton Family Foundation dumps many millions of dollars every year into corporate environmental NGOs, including the Environmental Defense Fund, Conservation International, Nature Conservancy and the Ocean Conservancy, that promote the privatization of the oceans through "catch shares," questionable "marine protected areas" and other projects.

"It is highly troubling to see the impact that Walmart and a few big foundations are having on the conservation of our resources, as well as the protection of our artisanal and traditional fisheries including tribal fisheries," said Zeke Grader, Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations (PCFFA) and opponent of Proposition 1.

Prop. 1 opponents find it even more disturbing to find out that the Nature Conservancy has joined a rogue's gallery of corporate interests that want to pass the $7.5 billion bond so they can get something from it, such as land to manage and "restore" after it is bought with public funds, taxpayer-subsidized water to grow permanent crops on unsuitable land that should have never been irrigated, and short-term jobs building dams that will be created with public tax dollars.

For more information go to http://www.noonprop1.org

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Chief Caleen Sisk: It's All One Big Project

by: Dan Bacher

Tue Oct 28, 2014 at 15:26:05 PM PDT

Tribal leaders and river and groundwater protection advocates on Monday, October 27, announced their strong opposition to Proposition 1, Governor Jerry Brown's controversial State Water Bond.

Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, said the water bond, peripheral tunnels, Shasta Dam raise and other water projects now being planned by the state and federal governments are in in reality "one Big Project" that will destroy salmon, rivers and groundwater supplies.

"It does not make sense that people are separating the water puzzle into individual pieces, such as: the raising of Shasta Dam, Proposition 1, the Delta tunnels, BDCP, Sites Reservoir, Temperance Flat, CALFED, Delta Vision, BDCP, OCAP, the Bay Delta, Trinity/Klamath Rivers, the Sacramento River, the San Joaquin River, and water rights," said Chief Sisk. "It is all one BIG Project."

She emphasized, "You have to look at the whole picture and everything in between from Shasta Dam to the Delta estuary. We need to ask what is affected by our actions and who is benefitting from them? These are not separate projects; they are all the same thing that the State is asking us to fund - California water being manipulated for the enrichment of some and the devastation of cultures, environments, and species all in the name of higher profits."

Other California Indian Tribes opposing Prop. 1 include the Hoopa Valley Tribe and the Pulga Rancheria Concow Maidu Indians.

Prop 1. opponents held a press conference at Lake Redding Park, next to the Sacramento River by the salmon jump viewing area, as fall-run Chinook salmon make their long way back from the ocean to spawn and die, completing their life cycle.

Tom Stokely of the California Water Impact Network (CWIN) told reporters how Prop. 1 would benefit the rich at the expense of the state's taxpayers.

"Once again, California taxpayers are being asked to fund massive public works projects that will benefit the wealthy, the politically connected, and the powerful at the expense of average citizens and the environment," said Stokely. "Ultimately, taxpayers will have to shell out almost $14.4 billion to pay for the bond. This price tag includes $7 billion that must be added, with interest, to the State's already crushing debt burden."

"The bill for ratepayers will be $360 million a year for 40 years. It must be noted that this is money that could otherwise be spent on education, public safety, health care and reducing California's massive debt," he concluded.

Lucas Ross-Merz of the Sacramento River Preservation Trust said the Sacramento River and the tax payers of California "deserve better" than this water bond.

"This bond does little for fisheries, little for multi-benefit flood protection projects needed in Northern California, and little to provide short or long term solutions to the water problems in our state," he noted. "Proposition 1 will encourage private interests who desire to control water for their benefit and spend more public general funds to capture water that is already allocated and needed elsewhere."

"The Sacramento River Preservation Trust rejects this bond because it would set a dangerous precedent, it doesn't address the real problems that have created the symptoms we are struggling through today in California, and it does not include adequate funding for the major state water source regions within the Sacramento River Watershed. We strongly recommend a "NO" vote on Proposition 1 this November," Ross-Merz said.

According to the Prop. 1 opponents, the water bond does nothing to address the current drought - and it shortchanges sustainable water programs that could safeguard California from inevitable future droughts,

They said Proposition 1 would promote "disproven, capital-intensive and destructive infrastructure projects over the innovative approaches that are California's only real hope of developing a sustainable and equitable water policy. n short, this is an ill-conceived, wasteful, and ultimately cynical initiative. It is a backdoor attempt to put the interests of a handful of Central Valley agribusiness barons over the needs of cities, rank-and-file ratepayers, and our valuable and beleaguered commercial and sport fisheries."

"Prop. 1 and its $14.4 billion debt is a bad deal for California," explained Carole Perkins of the Butte Environmental Council (BEC). "California is in desperate need of real and long-term solutions and strategies to meet water scarcity, but Prop. 1 will not provide California water security. Water supply projects in the bond will only increase California's water supply by 1%. Prop. 1 fails to mitigate the effects of drought, and does nothing to establish long-term water self-sufficiency. Prop. 1 reinvigorates the dam building era and pays for increased and long-term north-to-south water transfers.

Perkins said the bond allocates too little money for true water supply enhancement and too much money for pork barrel projects that will do little for water supply. Prop 1 promotes greater groundwater banking and out-of-region water transfers - both of which would be detrimental to the Northern Sacramento Valley's ecosystems. The Sacramento Valley cannot sustain the extraction of more water from this region."

The event took place as contributions to the Yes on Proposition 1 and 2 campaigns soared to $13,212,726 while corporate agribusiness, oil companies, billionaires, the health care industry and other corporate interests continued to dump millions of dollars into Jerry Brown's campaign to pass the water bond. (http://fppc.ca.gov/top10Nov2014/)

In contrast, the Vote No on Prop. 1 campaign, has raised $89,100 and has spent $53,077 to date. (http://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_1,_Water_Bond_(2014))

The campaign for and against Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond on the November 4 ballot, remains the classic David and Goliath battle of this election season in California. Governor Jerry Brown, the Republican and Democratic Party establishment, corporate agribusiness interests, oil companies, construction unions, corporate "environmental" NGOs, prominent billionaires, the health care industry and big water agencies are backing the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign. In contrast, a grassroots coalition of fishing groups, environmentalists, consumer organizations, Indian Tribes, family farmers and Delta water agencies is campaigning to defeat Proposition 1.

Six simple reasons why you should vote no on Prop. 1:

- Prop. 1 will fund costly and inefficient dams, and bill the public for the expense.

- Prop. 1 would support the Governor's Twin Tunnels project as indicated by his Stanford speech on October 20. Brown said that Proposition 1 would provide components missing from the State Water Project "enacted by my father." These components, Brown ominously intoned, would "deal with the Delta."

- Prop. 1 violates the public trust. The bond provides hundreds of millions in funding to purchase water allegedly for public trust purposes, to then divert it from the Delta as "abandoned" water for billionaires' almond orchards.

- Prop. 1 ignores the bedrock realities of California's water dilemma. Consumptive water right claims in California already exceed the amount of available water by 5.5 times. Proposition 1 does nothing to rectify this situation. Indeed, it ignores the one thing that must be done if we're going to stabilize the state's water policies: balance water rights claims to actual water supplies.

- Prop. 1 provides no strategies to mitigate the impacts of drought. The bond is thus a classic bait-and-switch: It implicitly promises drought solutions it does not deliver.

- Prop. 1 underfunds recycling, conservation and other drought solutions that will provide local jobs and reduce reliance on imported water supplies.

For more information, go to http://www.noonprop1.org  

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Donations to Yes on Prop. 1 and 2 campaigns rise to over $13 million

by: Dan Bacher

Sun Oct 26, 2014 at 16:24:28 PM PDT

Contributions to the Yes on Proposition 1 and 2 campaigns soared to $13,212,726 on Friday, October 24 as corporate agribusiness, oil companies, billionaires, the health care industry and other corporate interests continued to dump millions of dollars into Jerry Brown's campaign to pass the water bond.

The main committee, "Brown; Yes on Props 1 and 2, A Bipartisan Coalition of Business, Labor, Republicans, Democrats and Governor," has raised $12,418,226 and has spent $11,221,528 to date. (http://fppc.ca.gov/top10Nov2014/)

The California Business Political Action Committee, sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce, has raised $794,500 and has spent $312,401 for the campaign to date,

In contrast, the Vote No on Prop. 1 campaign, has raised $89,100 and has spent $53,077 to date. (http://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_1,_Water_Bond_(2014))

The campaign for and against Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond on the November 4 ballot, remains the classic David and Goliath battle of this election season in California.

Governor Jerry Brown, the Republican and Democratic Party establishment, corporate agribusiness interests, oil companies, construction unions, corporate "environmental" NGOs, prominent billionaires, the health care industry and big water agencies are backing the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign. In contrast, a grassroots coalition of fishing groups, environmentalists, consumer organizations, Indian Tribes, family farmers and Delta water agencies is campaigning to defeat Proposition 1.

The top 18 campaign contributors - those who donated $250,000 or more - have raised a total of $11,835,279 to date for the Yes on Prop. 1 and campaign, according to the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). (http://fppc.ca.gov/top10Nov2014/)

Dignity Health, which just contributed $250,000, is the latest corporate contributor to the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign. That donation followed the contribution of $250,000 to the campaign by Aera Energy LLC, a company jointly owned by affiliates of Shell and ExxonMobil.

The Bakersfield-based Aera Energy is one of California's largest oil and gas producers, accounting for nearly 25 percent of the state's production, according to the company's website. (http://www.aeraenergy.com/who-we-are.asp)

Corporate agribusiness interests, the largest users of federal and state water project water exported through the Delta pumping facilities, have donated a total of $850,000 to the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign. The California Farm Bureau Federation contributed $250,000 and the Western Growers Service Association donated $250,000.

Stewart Resnick, the Beverly Hills agribusiness tycoon, owner of Paramount Farms and largest orchard fruit grower in the world, contributed $150,000 and the California Cotton Alliance contributed $200,000 to the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign.

Resnick and his wife, Lynda, have been instrumental in promoting campaigns to eviscerate Endangered Species Act protections for Central Valley Chinook salmon and Delta smelt populations and to build the fish-killing peripheral tunnels - and have made millions off reselling environmental water to the public.

For an an excellent article on the Resnicks, pleased read, "Water, Money, Taxes, Campaigns, and the Bond: The Resnick Farming Story," by Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla and various associates at: http://restorethedelta.org/blo...

The largest individual donor in the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign to date remains Sean Parker, who has contributed $1 million to the campaign. Parker is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist who cofounded the file-sharing computer service Napster and served as the first president of the social networking website Facebook. He also cofounded Plaxo, Causes, and Airtime. As of September, 2014, Parker's net worth was estimated to be $3.1 billion, according to Wiikipedia.

Four members of the Fisher family, who own the controversial Gap stores and Mendocino Redwood Company, have collectively donated $1.5 million to the Yes. on Prop. 1 and Prop. 2 campaign. (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/09/28/18762178.php)

Doris F. Fisher contributed $499,000, John J. Fisher $351,000, Robert J. Fisher $400,000 and William S. Fisher $250,000. The Gap become notorious among labor and human rights advocates for employing sweatshop labor in the Third World to produce its clothes.

In contrast to the $13,212,726 in donations to the Prop. 1 and 2 campaigns listed on the FPPC website, the FPPC states, "No committee opposing this ballot measure raised enough money to reach the reporting threshold."

Governor Brown's $7.5 billion water bond includes $2.7 billion for new dams and is a serious threat to the Delta and Central Valley rivers and fisheries, according to grassroots fishing and environmental groups.

"These are deadbeat dams," said Ron Stork, Senior Policy Advocate for Friends of the River (FOR). "You can't dam your way to paradise with deadbeat dams. It's just that simple."

"We're going to spend $2.7 billion to increase our water supply by 1 percent," said Stephen Green, president of Save the American River Association (SARA). "That is not a good use of the money."

Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA), sums up why it is so important for people concerned about the future of salmon, the Delta and California to vote against the water bond: "Prop. 1 is a poster-child of why California is in a water crisis: it enriches water speculators but accomplishes little in addressing the drought, solving California's long-term water needs, reducing reliance on The Delta, or protecting our rivers and fisheries."

To read CSPA's 14-Point Analysis and Statement of Opposition to the Proposition 1, go to: http://calsport.org/news/wp-co...

Updated List of Top Contributors to Prop. 1 and 2 (over $250,000)

A contributor whose name is marked with an asterisk made a contribution to a committee that simultaneously supported or opposed more than one statewide ballot measure on the November 4, 2014 ballot. Because of this it is not possible to determine the amount of the contribution that was spent specifically on the campaign for any particular measure. In these cases the contributions are listed for every ballot measure the committee has been formed to support or oppose. This results in the same contribution appearing multiple times - once for each ballot measure the committee supports or opposes.

Supporting
1 Brown for Governor 2014* - $5,026,529
2 Sean Parker* - $1,000,000
3 California Alliance for Jobs - Rebuild California Committee* - $521,250
4 California Hospitals Committee on Issues, Sponsored by California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems* - $500,000
5 Doris Fisher* - $499,000
6 L. John Doerr* - $475,000
7 Laborers Pacific Southwest Regional Organizing Coalition - Issues PAC* - $400,000
8 Robert Fisher* - $400,000
9 John Fisher* - $351,000
10 Dignity Health - $250,000
11 Western Growers Service Corporation* - $250,000
12 Northern California Carpenters Regional Council Issues PAC* - $250,000
13 Reed Hastings* - $250,000
14 California American Council of Engineering Companies Issues Fund* - $250,000
15 Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters Issues Committee (including contributions from Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters Legislative Improvement Committee)* - $250,000
16 California Farm Bureau Federation* - $250,000
17 William Fisher* - $250,000
18 Aera Energy LLC* $250,000
Total from top contributors $ $11,835,279

Tribal Chief, River and Groundwater Protectors Oppose Prop. 1

As corporate interests continued to dump millions of dollars into the campaign coffers to pass the water bond, Redding area tribal leaders, river and groundwater protection advocates announced Friday they will oppose Proposition 1, the State Water Bond, at a news conference in Redding on Monday, Oct. 27.

"The Sacramento River and the tax payers of California deserve better than this water bond. This bond does little for fisheries, little for multi-benefit flood protection projects needed in Northern California, and little to provide short or long term solutions to the water problems in our state," said Lucas Ross-Merz, of the Sacramento River Preservation Trust.

WHAT: Tribal Leaders, River and Groundwater Advocates to Oppose Prop. 1 - Harms Rivers and Fisheries

WHEN: Monday, October 27, 2014 11:00 am

WHO: Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Advisor for the Winnemem Wintu; Tom Stokely, California Water Impact Network (C-WIN); Lucas Ross-Merz - Sacramento River Preservation Trust; Carol Perkins (BEC) - Butte Environmental Council

WHERE: Lake Redding Park, Redding (Next to the river off of Market Street by the salmon jump viewing area)

Contact: Steve Hopcraft 916/457-5546; steve [at] hopcraft.com; Twitter: @shopcraft;
John Merz, 530/345-1865, jbmerz [at] sbcglobal.net

For more information, go to http://www.noonprop1.org

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Big Oil spends big money to stop fracking ban in Santa Barbara County

by: Dan Bacher

Thu Oct 23, 2014 at 18:51:59 PM PDT

As one of the only journalists willing to challenge the mainstream media and political establishment's false claim that California is a "green" leader, here is yet more indisputable financial data showing how Big Oil in fact is the largest corporate lobby in the state and owns both the Democratic and Republican parties.

The battle over Yes on Measure 1, the initiative to ban fracking and other extreme oil extraction techniques in Santa Barbara County, is a David vs. Goliath battle that parallels the No on Proposition 1 campaign. Big oil companies are dumping millions into the coastal county to defeat the measure, just like corporate agribusiness, billionaires and oil companies are spending millions to pass Governor Jerry Brown's water bond.

The Yes on Measure P campaign had a war chest of about $284,000 as of October 16, 2014, largely from hundreds of individuals and county resident, according to the Santa Barbara Independent. This amount notably mounts to only a small fraction of anti-Measure P funds.

The same article reported that Measure P opponents have raised $7.6 million. "Californians for Energy Independence" has funneled over $5 million of its $7.6 million war chest to the 'No' side.

"The two single-biggest donors to the committee have been Chevron ($2.5 million) and Aera Energy ($2.1 million), the latter of which is rumored to be contemplating applying for 300 cyclic steam injection wells here," according to the Independent. "Other Santa Barbara County interests that have contributed to that state group include Santa Maria Energy and Pacific Coast Energy Company, both of whose future plans could be thwarted if the initiative passes. The regional fundraising team for 'No' has seen additional donations from Santa Maria Energy ($88,134) and Pacific Coast Energy Company ($157,035), as well as Venoco ($80,000) and ERG Operating Company ($90,893), which recently applied for 233 cyclic steam injection wells."

And who is speaking out against Measure P? Yes, it's the one and only Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association and Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create fake "marine protected areas" in Southern California.

Reheis Boyd, the woman whom corporate "environmentalists" greenwashed as the leader of the allegedly "most open and transparent" environmental process in California history proclaimed, "Any reduction in domestic oil production here means more dependence on foreign oil. We should be looking for ways to encourage more domestic production of oil and jobs that go with it rather than passing laws that reduce our domestic energy production."

This compelling short film directed by a documentary film-maker (Road to Fallujah) explains what's at stake here: http://youtu.be/Nk-MdvOPfJk

Please share it and tell everyone you know in Santa Barbara County to vote YES on Measure P to protect our country from fracking and other extreme oil extraction techniques.

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The Home of the Free Speech Movement Suppresses Freedom of Speech

by: Dan Bacher

Wed Oct 22, 2014 at 17:48:05 PM PDT

In the home of the Free Speech Movement at the U.C. Berkeley campus, students got a rude awakening when what they describe as an administrator "with clear political motivations" shut down the Beehive Collective's art project on drought and Proposition 1, Governor Jerry Brown's $7.5 billion water bond.

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Free Speech Movement. In the conclusion of Mario Savio's class speech, before Free Speech Movement demonstrators entered Sproul Hall to begin their sit-in on December 3, 1964, the late Savio said:

"We have an autocracy which runs this university. It's managed. We asked the following: if President Kerr actually tried to get something more liberal out of the Regents in his telephone conversation, why didn't he make some public statement to that effect? And the answer we received -- from a well-meaning liberal -- was the following: He said, 'Would you ever imagine the manager of a firm making a statement publicly in opposition to his board of directors?'

That's the answer! Now, I ask you to consider: if this is a firm, and if the Board of Regents are the board of directors, and if President Kerr in fact is the manager, then I'll tell you something: the faculty are a bunch of employees, and we're the raw material! But we're a bunch of raw material[s] that don't mean to have any process upon us, don't mean to be made into any product, don't mean to end up being bought by some clients of the University, be they the government, be they industry, be they organized labor, be they anyone! We're human beings!

There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all."

These prophetic words become even more chilling and real 50 years later, after the passage of the Patriot Act and the NDAA, the coordinated, brutal suppression of the Occupy movement across the country, the surveillance and political repression at UC Davis and other campuses, the militarization of the police and security forces, the NSA spying scandal and the increasing attacks on Freedom of Speech and the Constitution under the presidency of a Constitutional lawyer.

In a stand for the First Amendment, students at the University of California, Berkeley brought the Beehive Collective's art project on drought and Prop. 1 on Tuesday, October 21, to the steps of Sproul Plaza, where 50 years ago students demonstrated for their right to disseminate political materials. From 2-5 pm, the Beehive Collective displayed their art and informally told the stories of their pieces to the gathered students.

"The event highlights the privatization of water across Mesoamerica and the potential for water privatization in CA under Prop 1 - and was originally scheduled as an event at the Gill Tract Community Farm," according to a news release from Students for Engaged and Active Learning (SEAL). "This community farm was won through Occupy the Farm's acts of civil disobedience protesting the privatization of this land, and is now the site of a partnership project between the community and the College of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley."

The students said the event was shut down with a week's notice by Steve Lindow, the first researcher to do field trials of a Genetically Modified Organism (GMOs), who is now the Executive Associate Dean in the College of Natural Resources.

Lindow claimed that the art show was "not relevant to the research at the community farm," despite clear connections between the Beehive Collective's work on drought and industrial agriculture, the students reported. Water bond opponents have criticized Prop. 1 as a sweetheart bill for water-intensive industrial agriculture.

The students said the event had been approved with strong support from community members, students, and the farm's events working group. This was the first interference in farm events from the administration - and students feel that it is a clear example of repression against free speech on campus, with political motivation.

"We were there Tuesday because the administration shut down the event about the privatization of a natural resource, water, at the site of resistance against the privatization of land," said Paula Jaramillo of Students for Engaged and Active Learning (SEAL). "We were shut down by someone who actively privatizes life itself through patenting GMOs."

"Prop. 1 is known as a sweetheart initiative for Big Ag and the event was supposed to take place at Gill Tract, where we are seeking to find sustainable alternatives to industrial agriculture, and it was a perfect site to have this event. It was a shame the administration denied the students this opportunity - and it was complete repression of freedom of speech because of a political motivation," Jaramillo explained.

"The Beehive Collective, named after an important pollinator, is of absolute relevance to the research of the Gill Tract Community Farm," confirmed Sakura Saunders, Beehive Collective Member. "The Beehive Collective, which has a long history of creating art work that represents the negative ecological impacts of GMO crops and monocultures, was set to present on a topic relevant to all farmers within California: water."

"Specifically, the group aimed to bring a critical perspective on a water infrastructure bond, Prop. 1, which will appear on Californian's ballots in the upcoming election. It is a shame that this timely and politically-relevant talk could not go forward as scheduled, even after posters were distributed listing the Gill Tract Farm as the venue," she emphasized.

I left a phone message at the office of Steve Lindow, Professor and Executive Associate Dean, College of Natural Resources, and I'm still waiting for his response.

Students for Engaged and Active Learning, Fossil Free Cal, and Students Against Fracking supported the event. The event at the Gill Tract had also received the support of Food and Water Watch, a national consumer group that has endorsed NO on Prop 1.

More about the Beehive Collective "Sucked Dry" Storytelling:

California is in the midst of a historical drought, the most severe the region has had in the last 500 years. This water crisis has devastated resources, with several communities facing the prospect of running dry. A number of projects advocating infrastructure development such as the BDCP and Prop 1 have been proposed as solutions for the state, but are they truly in the interests for all? What are their impacts to our drying rivers and reservoirs? Fisheries and communities?

Drawing inspiration from struggles against large-scale infrastructure projects throughout MesoAmerica, the Beehive collective's larger than life art pieces are engaging lessons in political education. This informal storytelling event will guide students on a visual journey touching on the local and the global struggle for control and protection of water.

The Beehive Collective and the No on Prop. 1 coalition are currently on a tour of California, Sucked Dry: Examining Drought and Privatization from Mesoamérica to California, to bring their arguments for a sustainable water future and against the water bond to Bay Area residents in an interactive events in the Bay Area.

"Prop. 1 is one more shovel of dirt on the grave of our salmon, crab and other Pacific fisheries," said Javier Padilla-Reyes, No on Prop. 1 field representative. "Building more dams to hold water we don't have is misplaced spending and harms the businesses, families and communities that depend upon our salmon, crab and other fisheries."

Beehive Collective's Ryan Camero said, "Our graphics are a great way to spark conversations about complex matters like the current water politics of California."

The Beehive Design Collective is an all-volunteer organization of activists, artists, educators and organizers. Their main focus is creating and presenting graphic works about global issues.

For more information: go to http://www.noonprop1.org

Schedule of "Sucked Dry" Events

OCTOBER

October 23- Santa Cruz
Museum of Art and History w/ UC Santa Cruz
705 Front St. Santa Cruz CA 95060
October 24- SLO (San Luis Obispo)
Linneas Cafe
1110 Garden St. San Luis Obispo CA 93401
7pm-9:30pm

October 25- Santa Barbara (TBA)

October 26- Los Angeles
Hollenbeck Park in Boyle Heights w/ Food and Water Watch (Daytime)
415 S. St. Louis St. Los Angeles CA 90033

October 27- Ventura
The Lab (Nighttime)
11137 Azahar St Ventura CA 93003

October 28- San Bernardino
Black Flame Collective (Nighttime)
360 W. Orange Show Ln. San Bernardino CA 92408

October 29- Bakersfield (TBA)

October 30- Fresno
Anvil Art Gallery/Manchester Experiment
3302 Blackstone Ave Suite G 203 Fresno CA 93726
5pm-8pm

October 31- Davis
Delta of Venus Cafe
122 B St. Davis CA 95616
Starting at 1pm

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Big Oil Company Donates $250,000 to Yes on Proposition 1 Campaign

by: Dan Bacher

Mon Oct 20, 2014 at 09:38:19 AM PDT

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) revealed on October 17 that Aera Energy LLC, a company jointly owned by affiliates of Shell and ExxonMobil, has contributed $250,000 to the Yes on Proposition 1 and 2 campaign.

The total of money donated by top contributors for Governor Brown Prop. 1 and 2 campaign has risen to $9,913,452 to date, according to the FPPC. (http://fppc.ca.gov/top10Nov2014/)

Aera Energy LLC is one of California's largest oil and gas producers, accounting for nearly 25 percent of the state's production, according to the company's website. (http://www.aeraenergy.com/who-we-are.asp)

"Formed in June 1997 and jointly owned by affiliates of Shell and ExxonMobil, we are operated as a stand-alone company through our own board of managers," the website stated.

"We are industry leaders that specialize in tapping heavy oil and other unconventional light reservoirs. With headquarters in Bakersfield, most of our production is centered in the San Joaquin Valley. We also have oil field operations in Ventura and Monterey counties. Aera produces about 131,000 barrels of oil and 36 million cubic feet of natural gas each day and has proved oil and gas reserves equivalent to approximately 712 million barrels of oil," the website said.

Opponents of Proposition 1 say Governor Jerry Brown's $7.5 billion water bond is an expensive and unfair taxpayer giveaway to special interests, including Big Oil and Big Ag, that won't solve the drought or help secure California's water future. They see the latest contribution as one of many by powerful corporate interests to pay for slick campaign ads to trick the voters into approving the controversial measure.

The Con argument in the California Progressive Voter Guide states: "It allocates over $3.6 billion, without oversight by the legislature, to build dams and pay for water transfers for corporate agribusiness. Prop 1 with interest will cost CA taxpayers $14.4 billion or $360 million per year for 40 years out of our State's general fund, money that could be used for other needs like education and healthcare."

It's hard not to see the irony of a big oil company contributing $250,000 to a campaign for a water bond that allocates $900 million for alleged "groundwater sustainability" less than two weeks after the Center for Biological Diversity released state documents revealing that almost 3 billion gallons of oil industry wastewater were illegally dumped into Central California aquifers that supply drinking water and irrigation water for farms.

The documents also reveal that Central Valley Regional Water Quality Board testing found high levels of arsenic, thallium and nitrates, contaminants sometimes found in oil industry wastewater, in water-supply wells near these waste-disposal operations.(http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2014/fracking-10-06-2014.html)

The bond money includes $800 million for prevention and clean up of groundwater pollution and $100 million for local plans and projects to manage groundwater. So is the oil industry backing the bond so that the taxpayers will foot the bill, rather than Big Oil, for the clean up of water in aquifers contaminated by fracking wastewater filled with toxic chemicals?

Billionaires and corporate agribusiness fund Water Bond campaign

Corporate agribusiness interests, the largest users of federal and state water project water exported through the Delta pumping facilities, have donated a total of $850,000 to the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign. The California Farm Bureau Federation contributed $250,000 and the Western Growers Service Association donated $250,000, as listed on the FPPC site.

Stewart Resnick, the Beverly Hills agribusiness tycoon, owner of Paramount Farms and largest orchard fruit grower in the world, contributed $150,000 and the California Cotton Alliance contributed $200,000 to the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign, but their donations are listed on the FPPC website because they were under $250,000.

For an excellent, in depth article on the Resnicks, pleased read, "Water, Money, Taxes, Campaigns, and the Bond: The Resnick Farming Story," by Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla and various associates at: http://restorethedelta.org/blo...

Resnick and his wife, Lynda, have been instrumental in promoting campaigns to eviscerate Endangered Species Act protections for Central Valley Chinook salmon and Delta smelt populations and to build the fish-killing peripheral tunnels - and have made millions off resellling environmental water to the public. On October 2, Prop. 1 opponents held a "mock reception" outside the Resnick mansion in Beverly Hills to expose the Resnicks, who stand to benefit from the two dams funded by the latest state water bond. (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/09/28/18762178.php)

The largest individual donor in the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign is Sean Parker, who has contributed $1 million to the campaign to date. Parker is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist who cofounded the file-sharing computer service Napster and served as the first president of the social networking website Facebook. He also cofounded Plaxo, Causes, and Airtime. As of September, 2014, Parker's net worth was estimated to be $3.1 billion, according to Wiikipedia.

Also noteworthy is the $1.5 million collectively donated to Prop. 1 by four members of the Fisher family that owns the controversial Gap stores, notorious for employing sweatshop labor in the Third World, and Mendocino Redwood Company. Doris F. Fisher contributed $499,000, John J. Fisher $351,000, Robert J. Fisher $400,000 and William S. Fisher $250,000.

In contrast to the $8,026,015 in donations to the Prop. 1 and 2 campaigns listed on the FPPC website, the FPPC states, "No committee opposing this ballot measure raised enough money to reach the reporting threshold."

The Vote NO on Prop. 1 campaign had raised a total of $71,000 and has spent $41,036 as of October 6, 2014, according to Ballotpedia (http://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_1,_Water_Bond_(2014_)

From Governor Moonbeam to Big Oil Brown

The contribution of $250,000 from Aera Energy LLC to Governor Jerry Brown's campaign to pass the water bond is no surprise, since Brown is a strong supporter of Big Oil and the expansion of the environmentally destructive practice of fracking in California.

Leaders of environmental organizations, Indian Tribes and fishing groups strongly criticized Brown for signing Senator Fran Pavley's Senate Bill 4, the green light for fracking bill that clears the path for expanded fracking in California, in September 2013. The bill made California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review of fracking permits optional and prevented the imposition of a moratorium on fracking for 15 months.

The bill "undermines existing environmental law and leaves Californians unprotected from fracking and other dangerous and extreme fossil fuel extraction techniques," according to a statement from Californians Against Fracking, a statewide coalition of over 100 organizations calling for a moratorium on fracking. For more information on the legislation's many flaws, go to: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.o...

Big Oil strongly supported the amended version of Senate Bill 4 that Brown signed. Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association and former chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force for the South Coast, praised the governor's signing of Senate Bill 4 for creating "an environmental platform on which California can look toward the opportunity to responsibly develop the enormous potential energy resource contained in the Monterey Shale formation."
(http://www.wspa.org/blog/post/statement-wspa-president-catherine-reheis-boyd-signing-sb-4)

Brown signed that bill after receiving at least $2,014,570.22 from fossil fuel interests since his race for Attorney General in 2006, according to Oil Change International.

In the 2014 election cycle, four oil companies had contributed a total of $161,000 to the Brown campaign as of March 1, 2014. Occidental Petroleum has given $27,200, the maximum legally allowed. Edison and Chevron have both contributed $27,200 twice, once for the primary election and another for the general election. Phillips 66 has nearly maxed out with a $25,000 contribution. (http://www.bigoilbrown.org/frackwater/)

Fossil fuel industry contributions in 2010 Governor's race were $198,451.22.

Proposition 30, one of the Governor's signature policy initiatives in 2012, was also heavily funded by Big Oil. The oil and gas companies contributed over $1,118,418 to the campaign, including $500,000 from Occidental Petroleum and $125,000 from Aera Energy.

In addition, fossil fuel industry interests have donated $355,000 to Brown's two Oakland charter schools since 2006. In 2013 alone, Occidental Petroleum gave The Oakland Military Institute $150,000 at Brown's behest.

Top Contributors to Propositions 1 and 2

Below is the list of the top contributors to Propositions 1 (and 2) from the FPPC:

Proposition 001 - AB1471 Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014.

A contributor whose name is marked with an asterisk made a contribution to a committee that simultaneously supported or opposed more than one statewide ballot measure on the November 4, 2014 ballot. Because of this it is not possible to determine the amount of the contribution that was spent specifically on the campaign for any particular measure. In these cases the contributions are listed for every ballot measure the committee has been formed to support or oppose. This results in the same contribution appearing multiple times - once for each ballot measure the committee supports or opposes.

Supporting
1 Brown for Governor 2014* - $3,367,202
2 Sean Parker* - $1,000,000
3 California Alliance for Jobs - Rebuild California Committee* - $521,250
4 California Hospitals Committee on Issues, Sponsored by California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems* - $500,000
5 Doris Fisher* - $499,000
6 L. John Doerr* - $475,000
7 Laborers Pacific Southwest Regional Organizing Coalition - Issues PAC* - $400,000
8 Robert Fisher* - $400,000
9 John Fisher* - $351,000
10 Western Growers Service Corporation* - $250,000
11 Northern California Carpenters Regional Council Issues PAC* - $250,000
12 Reed Hastings* - $250,000
13 California American Council of Engineering Companies Issues Fund* - $250,000
14 Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters Issues Committee (including contributions from Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters Legislative Improvement Committee)* - $250,000
15 California Farm Bureau Federation* - $250,000
16 William Fisher* - $250,000
17 Aera Energy LLC* $250,000
Total from top contributors $9,913,452

Opposing
No committee opposing this ballot measure raised enough money to reach the reporting threshold.

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The water bond: A classic David and Goliath battle in California politics

by: Dan Bacher

Fri Oct 10, 2014 at 11:02:58 AM PDT

The campaign for and against Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond on the November 4 ballot, has emerged as the classic David and Goliath battle of this election season in California.

The Governor, Republican and Democratic Party establishment, corporate agribusiness interests, construction unions, corporate "environmental" NGOs, prominent billionaires and big water agencies are backing the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign. In contrast, a grassroots coalition of fishing groups, environmentalists, consumer organizations, two Indian Tribes, family farmers and Delta water agencies is enlisted in the battle to defeat Proposition 1.

The contrast between the Yes and No on 1 campaigns is illustrated by the respective money each campaign has raised. Governor Jerry Brown's Yes on Proposition 1 and 2 campaign has raised $6,621,946 and has spent $817,276, while the Vote NO on Prop. 1 campaign has raised a total of $71,000 and has spent $41,036 as of October 6, 2014, according to Ballotpedia:
http://ballotpedia.org/Califor...

The water bond proponents are divided up in two committees. The Yes on Props 1 and 2 committee, "A Bipartisan Coalition of Business, Labor, Republicans, Democrats and Governor," has raised $4,540,580 and has spent $759,649. The second committee, the California Business Political Action Committee, sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce, has raised $62,500 and has spent $57,627.

The top donor in the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign is Sean Parker, an entrepreneur and venture capitalist who cofounded the file-sharing computer service Napster and served as the first president of the social networking website Facebook. He also cofounded Plaxo, Causes, and Airtime. As of September, 2014, Parker's net worth was estimated to be $3.1 billion, according to Wiikipedia. He has contributed $1 million to the Yes campaign to date.

Also noteworthy is that four members of the family that owns the Gap Stores - Doris F. Fisher, John J. Fisher, Robert J. Fisher, and William S. Fisher - each contributed $245,000 to the campaign.

Corporate agribusiness donates $850,000 to Yes on Prop. 1

Corporate agribusiness interests have donated a total of $850,000 to the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign. Stewart Resnick, the Beverly Hills agribusiness tycoon, owner of Paramount Farms and largest orchard fruit grower in the world, contributed $150,000. The California Farm Bureau Federation contributed $250,000, the Western Growers Service Association donated $250,000 and the California Cotton Alliance contributed $200,000 to the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign.

Resnick and his wife, Lynda, have been instrumental in promoting campaigns to eviscerate Endangered Species Act protections for Central Valley Chinook salmon and Delta smelt populations and to build the fish-killing peripheral tunnels - and have made millions off resellling environmental water to the public. Prop. 1 opponents recently held a "mock reception" outside the Resnick mansion in Beverly Hills to expose the Resnicks, who stand to benefit from the two dams funded by the latest state water bond. (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/09/28/18762178.php)

Opponents of Proposition 1 criticized Governor Jerry Brown and the backers of Prop. 1 for taking $850,000 in contributions to date from big agribusiness donors to pass public funding for water transfers to enrich them - and to enable the biggest dam-building program in California history.

Adam Scow from Food and Water Watch said, "Corporate agribusiness giants, including Stewart Resnick, are spending big to pass Proposition 1, a bloated $7.5 billion bond measure that would funnel more water to big agribusinesses at taxpayer expense. Prop 1 is a measure to quench their greed-it will not solve California's water problems."

He also noted that the Western Growers Association, the California Farm Bureau Federation, and the California Cotton Alliance have contributed a total of $700,000 to the Prop. 1 campaign to ensure the construction of Sites Reservoir on the west side of the Sacramento Valley and Temperance Flat Dam on the San Joaquin River.

"Proposition 1 burdens taxpayers with debt to build projects for billion-dollar farming conglomerates that make up groups like Western Growers and the California Cotton Alliance," said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla of Restore the Delta, who is the No on Prop. 1 field director.

"It includes the largest appropriation for new dams in California's history that will benefit these corporate farmers who refuse to fund the dam projects themselves. Prop 1 will drive California and its taxpayers even further into debt for illusory and largely bogus 'environmental benefits'. Prop. 1 shifts the financial burden from those who directly benefit from building new dams to the taxpayers," said Barrigan-Parrilla.

These groups are making large contributions as an investment to make sure that their pet projects are passed through the California Water Commission, according to Prop. 1 opponents.

"Prop. 1 will not 'save water' as Gov. Brown claims in ads paid for by these special interests. It's a boondoggle to enrich his big ag contributors," said Barrigan-Parrilla.

The following are the donors who contributed $150,000 or more to the Yes on Prop. 1 and 2 campaign as of October 6, 2014:

Sean Parker $1,000,000
California Alliance for Jobs - Rebuild California Committee $500,000
Health Net $445,600
Laborers Pacific Southwest Regional Organizing Coalition PAC $400,000
California American Council of Engineering Companies $250,000
California Farm Bureau Federation $250,000
California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems $250,000
Northern California Carpenters Regional Council Issues PAC $250,000
Reed Hastings $250,000
SW Regional Council Of Carpenters $250,000
Western Growers Service Corporation $250,000
Doris F. Fisher $245,000
John J. Fisher $245,000
Robert J. Fisher $245,000
William S. Fisher $245,000
California Cotton Alliance $200,000
Northern California District Council Of Laborers Issues PAC $200,000
Stewart A. Resnick $150,000
The State Building And Construction Trades Council of CA $150,000

Organizations backing Proposition 1 include the following:
California Democratic Party
California Republican Party
California Farm Bureau Federation
Trout Unlimited
California Trout
The Nature Conservancy
Audubon California
California Chamber of Commerce
Delta Counties Coalition
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
Ducks Unlimited
American Rivers
Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Natural Resources Defense Council
California League of Conservation Voters
Northern California Water Association
State Building and Construction Trades Council of California
Association of California Water Agencies
Western Growers
League of California Cities
California State Association of Counties
California Citrus Mutual

Water districts and boards:
Fresno Irrigation District
Friant Water Authority
Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
San Diego Water Authority

No on Prop. 1: Water bond enriches speculators

The campaign against the measure is led by Vote NO on Proposition 1, a grassroots coalition of fishermen, environmental groups, consumer organizations, two Indian Tribes, family farmers and Delta water agencies.

Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, summed up why it is so important for people concerned about the future of salmon, the Delta and California to vote against the water bond: "Prop. 1 is a poster-child of why California is in a water crisis: it enriches water speculators but accomplishes little in addressing the drought, solving California's long-term water needs, reducing reliance on The Delta, or protecting our rivers and fisheries."

The following are the donors who contributed $2,500 or more to the No on 1 campaign as of October 6, 2014:
Dante Nomellini $12,500
Jack Klein Partnership $7,500
Conrad Silva Farms $5,000
Del Carlo Farms, Inc. $5,000
Thomas Zuckerman $5,000
Ferguson Farms, Inc. $2,500
George Perry & Sons, Inc. $2,500
Lory & Victoria Mussi $2,500
R&M Ranch $2,500
Rudy and Toni Mussi $2,500
San Joaquin Delta Farms, Inc. $2,500
V and A Lagorio $2,500

Opponents of Prop. 1 include the following:
AFSCME District Council
Ballona Institute
Butte Environmental Council
California Sportfishing Protection Alliance
California Striped Bass Association
California Water Impact Network
Coast Action Group
Center for Biological Diversity
Central Delta Water Agency
Concerned Citizens Coalition of Stockton
Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC)
Environmental Water Caucus
Factory Farm Awareness Coalition
Friends Committee on Legislation of California
Friends of the Eel River
Friends of the River
Food and Water Watch
Foothill Conservancy
Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations
Potrero Hill Democratic Club
Pulga Rancheria Concow Maidu Indians
Restore the Delta
Sacramento River Preservation Trust
San Francisco Baykeeper
San Francisco Crab Boat Association
Save the American River Association
Small Boat Commercial Salmon Fishermen's Association
Sherman Island Duck Hunters Association
Sonoma County Conservation Action
South Delta Water Agency
Southern California Watershed Alliance
Tar Sands Action
Wetlands Defense Fund
Wild Heritage Planners
Winnemem Wintu Tribe

Save the American River Association urges No vote on Prop. 1

Are you still not convinced yet on how to vote on Proposition 1? Well, the Save the American River Association (SARA) Board of Directors has compiled a handy list of reasons of why everybody who cares about the future of fish, rivers, the environment, the economy and the people of California should vote NO on the water bond:

• Prop. 1 does nothing to address drought relief in the near future.

• Prop. 1 adds $7.12 billion to California's debt, debt that will cost taxpayers $14.4 billion when the principal and interest is paid.

• Prop. 1 dedicates only 13% of its funding for conservation, stormwater capture and treatment, and recycling.

• Prop. 1 allocates $2.7 billion for three dams that would increase the state's water supply by only 1%. The money would flow under the provision that allows "continuous funding," meaning there would be no legislative oversight. A number of dam projects that had been abandoned because of low water yield or would not be cost-effective are now being revived.

• When the State Water Project was approved in 1960, it provided that beneficiaries of water projects -- not taxpayers statewide -- would pay for new projects. Prop. 1 reverses that principle. Taxpayers would pay the lion's share of new projects. Taxpayers, for example, would pay 73% of the cost of the proposed Temperance Flat Dam on the San Joaquin River while the beneficiaries -- agribusiness and the City of Fresno -- would pay most of the balance.

• Prop. 1 requires taxpayers to buy water the public already owns to protect fish. It's a retread of programs in force for years that allow speculators to reap huge profits by selling the public's water back to the public. And it will have the additional impact of making more water available to export from the Delta.

• Prop. 1 does nothing to address factors that have worsened the water crisis in California during the current drought: the overdrafting of major reservoirs in Northern California, inequitable distribution of limited water supplies and the failure to balance the Public Trust.

• Prop. 1 contains $1.5 billion for "conservancies" without any language governing how the money is to be spent. Nothing would prevent the conservancies from spending the money on projects that have no impact on water supplies such as bike trails or administrative costs. Critics are calling it "pork."

• Promoters of Prop. 1 note that about 6.9% of the bond will spent to provide safe drinking water and clean water programs to disadvantaged communities. That long overdue initiative should have been presented to the voters years ago as a stand-alone proposition. It is shameful that California government has never addressed the water problems of disadvantaged communities.

For more information on Proposition 1, go to: http://www.noonprop1.org

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Corporate agribusiness dumps $850,000 into Prop. 1!

by: Dan Bacher

Thu Oct 09, 2014 at 17:38:29 PM PDT

Opponents of Proposition 1, the controversial State Water Bond, today blasted Governor Jerry Brown and the backers of Prop. 1 for taking $850,000 in contributions from big agribusiness donors to pass public funding for water transfers to enrich them - and to enable the biggest dam-building program in California history.

Stewart Resnick, the Beverly Hills billionaire "farmer" who has made millions off of reselling environmental water to the public, has donated $150,000 to the Yes on Prop 1 campaign. Resnick and his wife, Lynda, have been instrumental in promoting campaigns to eviscerate Endangered Species Act protections for Central Valley Chinook salmon and Delta smelt populations and to build the fish-killing peripheral tunnels. (http://www.fishsniffer.com/blogs/details/rally-outside-the-resnick-mansion-on-october-2-luncheon-with-the-koch-broth/)

Adam Scow from Food and Water Watch noted, "Corporate agribusiness giants, including Stewart Resnick, are spending big to pass Proposition 1, a bloated $7.5 billion bond measure that would funnel more water to big agribusinesses at taxpayer expense. Prop 1 is a measure to quench their greed-it will not solve California's water problems."

The Western Growers Association, the California Farm Bureau Federation, and the California Cotton Alliance have contributed a total of $700,000 to the Prop. 1 campaign to ensure the construction of Sites Reservoir and Temperance Flat dam.  

"Proposition 1 burdens taxpayers with debt to build projects for billion-dollar farming conglomerates that make up groups like Western Growers and the California Cotton Alliance," said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla of Restore the Delta, who is the No on Prop 1 field director. "It includes the largest appropriation for new dams in California's history that will benefit these corporate farmers who refuse to fund the dam projects themselves. Prop 1 will drive California and its taxpayers even further into debt for illusory and largely bogus 'environmental benefits'. Prop. 1 shifts the financial burden from those who directly benefit from building new dams to the taxpayers."

These groups are making large contributions as an investment to make sure that their pet projects are passed through the California Water Commission, according to Prop. 1 opponents.

"Prop 1 will not 'save water' as Gov. Brown claims in ads paid for by these special interests. It's a boondoggle to enrich his big ag contributors," said Barrigan-Parrilla.

Governor Jerry Brown's Proposition 1 and 2 campaign has raised $6,621,946 and spent $817,276 as of October 6, 2014, according to Ballotpedia:
http://ballotpedia.org/Califor...

The following are the donors who contributed $150,000 or more to the Yes on Prop. 1 and 2 campaign:

Sean Parker  $1,000,000
California Alliance for Jobs - Rebuild California Committee  $500,000
Health Net  $445,600
Laborers Pacific Southwest Regional Organizing Coalition PAC  $400,000
California American Council of Engineering Companies  $250,000
California Farm Bureau Federation  $250,000
California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems  $250,000
Northern California Carpenters Regional Council Issues PAC  $250,000
Reed Hastings  $250,000
SW Regional Council Of Carpenters  $250,000
Western Growers Service Corporation  $250,000
Doris F. Fisher  $245,000
John J. Fisher  $245,000
Robert J. Fisher  $245,000
William S. Fisher  $245,000
California Cotton Alliance  $200,000
Northern California District Council Of Laborers Issues PAC  $200,000
Stewart A. Resnick  $150,000
The State Building And Construction Trades Council of CA   $150,000  

For more information go to http://www.noonprop1.org

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Walton Family Foundation gave $9,234,866 to NGOs backing water bond in 2013

by: Dan Bacher

Sun Oct 05, 2014 at 18:24:15 PM PDT

An analysis of environmental grants that the Walton Family Foundation gave to conservation organizations in 2013 reveals that NGOs supporting Proposition 1, the water bond on California's November ballot, received $9,234,866 in grants while opponents of the controversial measure received none.

The Walton Family Foundation is governed by the descendants of Sam and Helen Walton, the founders of retail giant Walmart.  

"The Walton Family Foundation continues a philanthropic vision begun by Walmart founders Sam and Helen Walton," according to the Foundation website. "Across diverse areas of giving that include education reform, freshwater and marine conservation and community and economic development, Walton family members carry forward the timeless Walton value of creating opportunity so that individuals and communities can live better in today's world."

Supporters of the water bond getting money from the Walton Family Foundation in 2013 include the Nature Conservancy, National Audubon Society (the parent organization of Audubon California, a bond backer), Trout Unlimited, American Rivers, Defenders of Wildlife and Ducks Unlimited. The Foundation lists their environmental contributions in three categories: freshwater conservation, marine conservation and other conservation grants. (http://www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org/2013-environment-grants)

The Nature Conservancy received a total of $5,482,699 from the Walton Family Foundation in 2013. This includes $1,545,963 for freshwater conservation on the Colorado River, $1,437,986 for freshwater conservation on the Mississippi River. $475,000 for marine conservation, and $2,023,750 for other conservation grants.  

National Audubon Society, the parent organization of Audubon California, received $2,570,767, including $312,100 for freshwater conservation on the Colorado River,  $2,058,667 for freshwater conservation on the Mississippi River and $200,000 for marine conservation.

Trout Unlimited was awarded $610,650 for freshwater conservation on the Colorado River.

American Rivers received $424,400 for freshwater conservation on the Colorado River.

Defenders of Wildlife got $100,058 for freshwater conservation on the Mississippi River.

Finally, Ducks Unlimited, Inc. received $46,292 for freshwater conservation on the Mississippi River from the Walton Family Foundation.

On the other side, opponents of the water bond include the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, California Striped Bass Association, California Water Impact Network (C-WIN), Center for Biological Diversity, Central Delta Water Agency, Concerned Citizens Coalition of Stockton, Factory Farm Awareness Coalition, Friends of the River, Food and Water Watch, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, Restore the Delta, San Francisco Crab Boat Association, Sherman Island Duck Hunters Association, Small Boat Commercial Salmon Fishermens' Association, South Delta Water Agency, Southern California Watershed Alliance and the Winnemem Wintu Tribe.

Guess how much money the Walton Family donated to these organizations in 2013? Zero.

Zeke Grader, Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's  Associations, said, "It is highly troubling to see the impact that Walmart and a few big foundations are having on the conservation of our resources, as well as the protection of our artisanal and traditional fisheries including tribal fisheries."

The Walton Family Foundation is known for dumping millions of dollars every year into corporate environmental NGOs, including the Environmental Defense Fund, Conservation International, Nature Conservancy and the Ocean Conservancy, that promote the privatization of the oceans through "catch shares," questionable "marine protected areas" and other projects.

For more information about the Walton Family Foundation and the environmental NGOs that it funds, go to: http://www.counterpunch.org/20...

About Proposition 1:  

California Proposition 1, the Water Bond (Assembly Bill 1471), is on the November 4, 2014, ballot in California as a legislatively-referred bond act. This measure replaced a previous measure known as Proposition 43.[1]

The measure, upon voter approval, would enact the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014.

Proposal 1, if approved, would:

Authorize $7.12 billion in general obligation bonds for state water supply infrastructure projects, such as public water system improvements, surface and groundwater storage, drinking water protection, water recycling and advanced water treatment technology, water supply management and conveyance, wastewater treatment, drought relief, emergency water supplies, and ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration.

Appropriate money from the General Fund to pay off bonds.

Require certain projects to provide matching funds from non-state sources in order to receive bond funds.

For more information about the water bond including arguments pro and con, go to: http://www.cavotes.org/vote/el...

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Dam The Indians Anyway - War Dance at Shasta Dam

by: Dan Bacher

Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 14:59:52 PM PDT

Shasta Dam, on the Sacramento River north of Redding, will be the site of a "War Dance" held by the Winnemem (McCloud River) Wintu Tribe from September 11 through September 15.  

The War Dance is in response to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's proposal to raise the dam that threatens to submerge many Winnemem sacred sites and village areas, according to a news release from the Tribe, The Winnemem lost much of their homelands and their salmon when the giant federal Central Valley Project dam was first constructed.

"Any raising of the dam, even a few feet, will flood some of our last remaining sacred sites on the McCloud River - sites we still use today," said Caleen Sisk , Winnemem Chief and Spiritual Leader. "We can't be Winnemem any place else but the McCloud River. The dam raise is a form of cultural genocide."

The Winnemem invoked the War Dance in 1887 against a fish hatchery, the Baird U.S. Fish Hatchery, on the McCloud River that threatened the salmon and the Winnemem way of life, according to the Tribe. Again the Winnemem held a War Dance at the dam in 2004 to commit themselves to the protection of their land and their salmon. Now, the Winnemem face even more of their sacred sites and culture being submerged by the dam.

"In 2004, we held a War Dance on Shasta Dam, because that's the Weapon of Mass Destruction," said Chief Sisk. "That's the weapon that took our lands, flooded our sacred places, covered up our burials - everything. And left us with nothing."

"We gave up a lot of our homeland for the sake of the California people, and got nothing in return. Now the government wants to take our sacred places, and again we get nothing in return. How is this fair, over and over again?" she asked.

"This is not right," Chief Sisk said. "This is too much to ask of a people."

On September 11, 2014 at a site near Shasta Dam, just before dusk, a sacred ceremonial fire will be lit, and the Winnemem War Dancers will fast for the full four days of the ceremony. For the next 4 days, the fire, the drum, the songs and the dance will carry the prayers of the Winnemem people.

The dance is being held under a permit issued by The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR). The Tribe has held numerous meetings with the BOR to raise questions about the feasibility of the BOR's plans, the impacts it will have on the tribe and their way of life, and the troubled history between the tribe and the BOR.

"Yet, BOR is going ahead with plans to raise the dam and will submit its final EIS/EIR to the Secretary of Interior in December, and anticipates the final project plan will be submitted to Congress for approval no later than March 2015," according to the Tribe.

"When Shasta Dam was first proposed, Congress passed a law (55 Stat 612) authorizing the federal government to take the lands and burial grounds that the Winnemem had for a thousand years, the Tribe said. "Promises were made to the Tribe in 55 Stat 612 that still have not been kept. The Tribe is asking that the BOR fulfill 55 Stat 612 to resolve these long standing debts as well as fully comply with NEPA, NHPA, and other laws that protect sacred and historic sites."

The Tribe has consistently requested that the BOR, study alternatives to raising the dam such as better management practices for existing reservoirs and conservation options, as well as better protection of the fish populations. "Raising the dam will damage, destroy and inundate cultural resources along the McCloud River, sites that are vital to future generations and are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places as Traditional Cultural Properties," the Tribe stated.

The Shasta Dam raise takes place in tandem with the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and the proposal to build Sites Reservoir on the west side of the Sacramento Valley. The BDCP is an environmentally destructive $67 billion project that will export massive quantities of northern California water for use by San Joaquin Valley corporate agribusiness interests, Southern California water agencies and oil companies conducting fracking and steam injecting operations,

The construction of the twin tunnels will hasten the extinction of Sacramento River Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species, as well as imperil the steelhead and salmon populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers. The project will also take vast tracts of Delta farmland, among the most fertile on the planet, out of production in order irrigate toxic, drainage-impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

"I'm still appalled that a lot of people don't make the connections between the Shasta Dam raise, the BDCP and Sites Reservoir, which is in the water bond (Proposition 1)," said Chief Sisk. "There is not going to be more water for the tunnels if Sites Reservoir isn't built and Sites can't be filled unless the Shasta Dam is raised."

"The BDCP can't exist without the Shasta Dam raise and the construction of Sites Reservoir to store water for the tunnels. It's all one project - I don't know where people think the water is going to come from," she concluded.

The Winnemem Wintu Tribe over the past 10 years has played a key leadership role in the campaign to oppose the peripheral tunnels and the water bond. The Tribe is also working on a plan to return native winter run Chinook salmon, now thriving in the Rakaira River in New Zealand, to the McCloud River above Shasta Dam. They are researching and developing a proposal for a passageway around Shasta Dam for the returning spawning salmon and the outgoing ocean bound salmon fingerlings.

For more information, visit http://www.winnememwintu.us.
Media Contact: Charlotte Berta
Cell: 916-207-2378
Email: char [at] ranchriver.com

War Dance Location Information:
Shasta Dam Bureau of Reclamation
16349 Shasta Dam Boulevard
Shasta Lake, California 96019
Lat/Long 40.7140, -122.4176

Action Alert: Urge Your Congress Member to vote against the Shasta Dam raise!

Representative Jim Costa, of Fresno, has introduced a bill, co-signed by a number of California Democratic Congressmen, to raise Shasta Dam. "There is no mention of the standing debt to our people or the destruction it will cause to our way of life.

Please contact your Senators and Congresspeople (http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml), in any state you're in, to remind them that a debt is still owed by the United States to the Winnemem Wintu people, and ask them to vote NO on any proposal to raise Shasta Dam.

Also, tell the Bureau's Commission Michael Connor to not submit his plan to raise Shasta Dam. Tell him to support Winnemem cultural survival - Michael Connor - comments [at] usbr.gov; (202) 513-0501

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Most voters don't support Prop. 1's $15 billion debt for dams, agribusiness subsidies

by: Dan Bacher

Mon Sep 08, 2014 at 13:19:03 PM PDT

The survey of 600 likely November voters found that Prop. 1, Governor Jerry Brown's Water Bond Festival of Pork, fails to attract majority support, with just 42% of voters saying they'd vote yes, 24% no, and 34% undecided. Voters understand the State of California is a staggering $770 billion in debt - and Prop. 1 will add to that debt, costing taxpayers $360 million per year for the next 40 years, all to pay for dams, bike trails in conservancies and huge subsidies for already heavily subsidized corporate agribusiness interests.

Opponents of Proposition 1 include the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA), the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, San Francisco Crab Boat Association, Restore the Delta, Center for Biological Diversity, California Water Impact Network, Food & Water Watch, Southern California Watershed Alliance, South Delta Water Agency, Central Delta Water Agency, Concerned Citizens Coalition of Stockton, Winnemem Wintu Tribe, Small Boat Commercial Salmon Fisherman's Association and numerous other fishing, environmental, water and civic organizations. Below is the news release from the No on Prop. 1 Campaign:

No on Prop. 1 Poll: Majority of Voters Don't Support $15 Billion Debt for Dams, Conservancies, Subsidies for Huge Agribusiness

Sacramento - Opponents of Proposition 1, the State Water Bond, today released results of a statewide poll finding that the $15 billion spending package for dams, bike trails in conservancies, and subsidies for huge agribusiness water-takers "has a tenuous path to passage."

The poll of 600 likely November voters was conducted by the respected national firm of Lake Research Partners at the end of August. The survey found that Prop. 1 fails to attract majority support, with just 42% of voters saying they'd vote yes, 24% no, and 34% undecided.

No on Prop. 1 consultant Steve Hopcraft said, "Our findings show voters strongly doubt Prop. 1's misplaced spending, and taking on billions more in debt. Voters understand that spending Prop. 1's $15 billion on building dams that don't pencil out, and funding bike trails and hiking trails, takes that money away from education, public safety and health care. Prop. 1 has already squeezed education by pushing a school construction bond off the ballot. Prop. 1 is the wrong investment."

Lake Research Partners' Joshua Ulibarri told a news teleconference "Proposition 1 is by no means a sure thing and has a tenuous path to passage. The proposition fails to meet the usual threshold for initial strength in polling, serious doubts can be raised among voters, and Prop. 1 faces opposition from credible messengers."

"Voters are very concerned that Prop. 1's cost is too high, much of the spending is misplaced, and spending on those things takes away funding from sustainable water investments, including fixing our leaking urban water systems, and squeezes funding from education and public safety," said No on Prop. 1's Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla. "Voters understand the State of California is a staggering $770 billion in debt, and Prop. 1 will add to that debt, costing taxpayers $360 million per year for the next 40 years. Passing Prop. 1 will expand our debt. Prop. 1 would build projects that will not solve our water problems, but will benefit wealthy agriculture corporations who want more access to California's water. California taxpayers should not go into debt to build projects for billion-dollar farming conglomerates."

For poll results, 9/5/14 media teleconference recording and more information
about Prop. 1's flaws, please visit http://www.noonprop1.org/news-...

For Immediate Release: Friday, Sept. 5, 2014
Contact: Steve Hopcraft 916/457-5546; steve [at] hopcraft.com; Twitter: @shopcraft  

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Big Oil has spent $63 million on lobbying in Sacramento since 2009

by: Dan Bacher

Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 19:33:20 PM PDT

While there are many powerful industries based in California, ranging from the computer and high tech industry to corporate agribusiness, no industry has more influence over the state's environmental policies than Big Oil.

An ongoing analysis of reports filed with the California Secretary of State shows that the oil industry, the largest and most powerful corporate lobby in Sacramento, collectively spent over $63 million lobbying California policymakers between January 1, 2009 and June 30, 2014.

The Western States Petroleum Association, led by President Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the former chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create so-called "marine protected areas" in Southern California, topped the oil industry lobby spending with $26,969,861.

"The oil industry is spending over $1 million per month lobbying Sacramento, with the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) as the second overall leading spender so far in 2014 with almost $3 million spent in the past six months," according to Stop Fooling California (http://www.stopfoolingca.org), an online and social media public education and awareness campaign that highlights oil companies efforts to mislead and confuse Californians. "Chevron, with $1.3 million spent so far in 2014, is also among the top five. If money speaks, Big Oil has the loudest voice in politics."

WSPA was California's second overall leading lobbyist spender, with $1.5 million spent in the second quarter of 2014. This is the second largest quarter going back to January 2009.

WSPA is on pace to exceed the previous annual (2012) total in 2014. So far this session, WSPA has paid over $2 million to KP Public Affairs, the state's highest paid lobbying firm, during the current (2013-14) legislative session, according to the group. WSPA spent $4,670,010 on lobbying in 2013 and $5,698,917 in 2012.

Chevron is the fifth overall spender in California through the second quarter of 2014, having spent $784,757 over the past quarter, an increase of nearly $300,000 over the prior quarter.

Since 2009, WSPA ($27 million) and Chevron ($14.7 million) accounted for $42 million, two-thirds of the industry total.

The other "Dirty Dozen" spenders in the oil industry since 2009 were:
• BP - $3,407,467
• AERA Energy - $2,678,910
• Occidental - $2,678,910
• ConocoPhillips - $2,352,767
• Exxon - $2,297,452
• Shell - $2,258,610
• CIPA - $1,916,231
• Phillips66 - $1,715,416
• Fueling CA - $669,049
• CIOMA - $523,069

The money that the Western States Petroleum Association and other members of the oil lobby spend is well spent, since it has allowed Big Oil to sabotage state and federal laws protecting the air, water and environment. In 2013, the oil industry added poison pill amendments to gut an already weak fracking bill, Senator Fran Pavley's Senate Bill 4, in order to clear the path to the expansion of fracking operations in California.

WSPA and other oil industry interests also were able to defeat a bill, sponsored by Senators Holly Mitchell and Mark Leno, to impose a moratorium on fracking in the state. In fact, the Legislators who voted against the bill received 14 times the amount of money from Big Oil that those who voted yes received from the industry.

But oil industry influence extends behind the money it spends on lobbying and political campaigns. Oil industry officials have also sat on key panels crafting environmental regulations in California and the U.S.

For example, WSPA President Catherine Reheis-Boyd, in one of the biggest conflicts of interest in California history, chaired the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create alleged marine protected areas in Southern California. (http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/mpa/brtf_bios_sc.asp)

She also served on the task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast, as well as on a federal NOAA marine protected areas committee.

The "marine protected areas" that she and other task force members helped to create fail to protect the ocean from fracking, offshore oil drilling, pollution, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering.

While Reheis-Boyd served on the task forces to "protect" the ocean, the same oil industry that the "marine guardian" represents was conducting environmentally destructive hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations off the Southern California coast. Documents recently obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and media investigations by Associated Press and truthout.org reveal that the ocean has been fracked at least 203 times in the past 20 years, including the period from 2004 to 2012 that Reheis-Boyd served as a "marine guardian."

Stop Fooling California recently pointed out that the former Chair of the MLPA Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force opposes a ban on offshore drilling in the Vandenberg State Marine Reserve.

"Big Oil, we know you're no stranger to conflicts of interest. But you have outdone yourself this time!" the group stated.

The campaign was referring to WSPA's opposition to Senate Bill 1096, a bill to ban offshore oil drilling in state waters in the Santa Barbara Channel known as Tranquillon Ridge.

You can't make this stuff up. Only in the oil-soaked politics of "Green California" would an oil lobbyist charged with the task of creating "marine protected areas" go on record against protecting a "state marine reserve" from oil drilling!

However, the money Big Oil spends on lobbying and campaign contributions is just chump change for them, since the oil companies continue to post mind-boggling profits every year. The top five oil companies made over $93 billion in profits in 2013 and have made over $58 billion in profits this year to date. (http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/news/2014/02/10/83879/with-only-93-billion-in-profits-the-big-five-oil-companies-demand-to-keep-tax-breaks/)  

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Water bond includes $485 million to buy water for Brown's death tunnels

by: Dan Bacher

Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 13:47:23 PM PDT

Yesterday Governor Jerry Brown, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and over two dozen agricultural, water, environmental, labor and corporate representatives called for action on Brown's controversial revised water bond. Meanwhile, defenders of the Delta and its imperiled fish populations slammed the proposed measure for containing $485 million to buy water pumped into the Bay Delta Conservation Plan's peripheral tunnels.

Environmental NGOs backing the Governor's revised $7 million bond include the Community Water Center, Nature Conservancy, California Trout, American Rivers, Trout Unlimited, California Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). None of these groups, as opposed to the majority of grassroots environmental, fishing and consumer groups across the state, have gone on record against the construction of the twin tunnels, the most environmentally destructive proposed project in California history.

The Legislature is likely to approve the Governor's water bond this afternoon, although the new language has only been available for two days. On Monday, Brown signed legislation extending the deadline to place a new water bond on the ballot by 48 hours.

The Nature Conservancy Water Program Director Brian Stranko's statement of praise for the Governor's proposal was typical of those made by pro-bond NGO representatives.

"In this historic drought, our communities are suffering, our farms are suffering and the environment upon which we all depend is suffering. Our window to prepare for future droughts is now," said Stranko. "We need a well-structured Water Bond, one that invests in water infrastructure improvements and one that protects and restores our natural environment. That's what is necessary to get us through this drought and what is necessary to get a bond voters across the state will support in November."

The press release from the Governor's Office is available here: http://cert1.mail-west.com/anm...

The Governor and legislative leaders in recent weeks have claimed that the bond must be "tunnels neutral" to garner the support of voters, but there was no mention of "tunnel neutrality" in the statements released by the Governor's Office yesterday.

However, State Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) issued a statement claiming that the new bond proposal is "tunnels neutral."

"We fought hard to ensure this bond would be BDCP neutral and to ensure no funds will be used for the Delta Tunnels, including to pay for costs for their mitigation. We also won recognition and first time ever funding of $50 million for the Delta Conservancy, including their ability to fund important agriculture sustainability projects in the Delta. All told, it's a good deal for the Delta and Northern California," Wolk said.

Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Governor Brown's rush to build Peripheral Tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom sustainable farms, salmon and other Pacific fisheries, disagreed. The group called upon Delta and other legislators to vote against Governor Brown's water bond proposal, saying it is NOT "tunnels neutral," and contains $485 million to buy water to be pumped into the tunnels. RTD called upon Delta legislators to reject any bond with false protections.

"This bond proposal gives the Brown administration $485 million to buy water to be pumped into the tunnels," said RTD Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla. "It contains false protections for the Delta, and we call upon legislators, especially those representing the Delta, to vote against it. We are not fooled, and this bond will become a referendum on the tunnels. That is not going to advance the water solutions we need."

Barrigan-Parrilla said the governor's flow language would allow public funds to be used to purchase water that could be diverted into the Delta tunnels. The Department of Fish and Wildlife would use up to $485,000,000 from Sections 79733 and 79737 to buy water that would be dedicated under Water Code Section 1707 for instream use in waterways upstream of the Delta.

"However, once that water reached the tunnel intakes it could be diverted into the tunnels," said Barrigan-Parrilla. "The new wording does not prevent that. This water would be available for export from the Delta the same as any other water purchased by the exporters. The public would be paying for that benefit to the exporters."

Barrigan-Parrilla urged people to call Speaker Atkins and President pro Tem Steinberg and let their staff know you are against a water bond with environmental water account funds for water to fill the Delta tunnels and against money for habitat restoration that will pave the way for construction of the Delta tunnels. Their phone numbers are below:

Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg: 916-651-4006
Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins: 916-319-2078

Kathryn Phillips, Sierra Club California Director, also issued an action alert, "Stop the Free Ride for Dam Builders," about the water bond. She urged Club members and supporters to call Assembly Member Eggman at 916-319-2013 and ask their representatives to VOTE NO on AB 1471 and SB 866 unless they are amended to make sure that there is a level playing field for all California, no preference for Central Valley dams, and responsible legislative oversight of how the money is spent.

"This week, the legislature will vote on either of two bond bills, Senate Bill 866 and Assembly Bill 1471. The bills are identical and if either of them passes, it means that voters will face a $7.2 billion water bond ballot measure in November that will devote a third of its value to dam builders in the Central Valley. And the legislature will forfeit its traditional oversight role for this money for dams," said Phillips.

"Call Assembly Member Eggman at 916-319-2013 and urge your representative to VOTE NO on AB 1471 and SB SB 866. It's OK to call after hours and leave a message," she urged.

BDCP background: Jerry Brown's Death Tunnels

Governor Jerrry Brown's Bay Delta Delta Conservation Plan to build the 35-mile long peripheral tunnels won't create one drop of new water, but the project will lead to horrendous environmental degradation, according to tunnel critics. The construction of the tunnels, estimated to cost $67 billion, will hasten the extinction of Central Valley Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt and other fish species, as well as imperil the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.

BDCP opponents say Brown's "legacy" project will lead to the death of the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas that provides a nursery for many species. It will harm salmon, halibut, leopard shark, soupfin shark, sevengill shark, anchovy, sardine, herring, groundfish and Dungeness crab populations stretching from Southern Washington to Southern California.

Under the guise of habitat restoration, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan will take vast tracts of Delta farmland, among the most fertile on the planet, out of production in order to irrigate toxic, drainage impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and provide Delta water to Southern California developers and oil companies conducting fracking and steam injection operations in Kern County.

The tunnels are being constructed in tandem with the federal government's plan to raise Shasta Dam, a project that will flood many of the remaining sacred sites of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe that weren't inundated by Shasta Dam.

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Department of Water Resources Faces $60 Million Shortfall

by: Dan Bacher

Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 15:11:33 PM PDT

Group says taxpayers and ratepayers are on the hook  

It appears that California is not only running out of water during the drought, but it is running out of money to move that water because of mismanagement, according to the California Water Impact Network (C-WIN).

The environmental group accused the California Department of Water Resources of facing a $60 million shortfall after failing to collect $125 million owed by water contractors.

"Even as it continues to promote the ruinously expensive, environmentally destructive and ultimately unworkable Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), the California Department of Water Resources has failed to collect $125 million for ongoing operations owed by water contractors, and now faces a $60 million shortfall," according to a C-WIN media release.

"The dearth of cash couldn't come at a worse time for the beleaguered agency," said Carolee Krieger, C-WIN Executive Director. "DWR now has only $50 million available, enough for about 60 days of operations, including meeting payroll."

The group said this shortfall required the agency to withdraw a $500 million bond proposal for BDCP planning costs because the measure's draft disclosure form did not cite the financing deficit.

While this shortfall is occurring, Krieger criticized Governor Jerry Brown and "his proxy, DWR," for continuing to promote the Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build two massive water conveyance tunnels beneath the Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta at a final cost to ratepayers and taxpayers of $ 67 billion or more, inclusive of interest and cost overruns.

"Ultimately, DWR cannot go broke because it has a default source for funding: property taxes and water rates," Krieger pointed out. "They believe property taxes can be increased to meet the agency's needs without a public vote."

The group said an increase in property taxes is planned for the Santa Clara Valley Water District and the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California, where officials claim the moves are exempt from Proposition 13 and Proposition 218 that restrict state government options on raising property assessments.

A memo from the Santa Clara Valley Water District, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, demonstrates that district officials believe they can raise property taxes to pay for the Twin Tunnels without a vote, according to Tom Stokely, Water Policy Analyst/Media Contact for the California Water Impact Network. (See http://www.c-win.org/webfm_sen...

"Staff financial modeling assumes that BDCP costs associated with conveyance of State Water Project supply (approximately 65 million out of the $228 million ten year total) would be paid for by the State Water Project tax. Consequently, the State Water Project tax for average single family residence would increase from $36/yr to $60/yr by FY 2023-24," the memo stated.

Stokely also cited a document submitted on March 19, 2014 by Goldman Sachs to the State Water Contractors' Project Authority that flat out says the bonds will be secured by "ad valorem tax" increases. For example, page 10 of the document, the "Goldman Sachs Request for Qualifications and Proposals for Underwriting Services," cites "The authority of DWR to adopt a new Indenture, finance and build BDCP projects and obligate contractors to levy ad valorem tax (if necessary)."  

Nancy Vogel, Director of Public Affairs for the Department of Water Resources, confirmed the shortfall that DWR now faces, attributing it to "cumulative underbilling" of $125 million in 2013 and 2014, and cited a number of reasons why the underbilling occurred.

"DWR is obligated to provide the State Water Project contractors with a projection of the following year's costs and bills by July 1," said Vogel. "We became aware in June that actual SWP operational costs for 2013 and 2014 have been higher than previously accounted for due to a number of factors, including unanticipated maintenance needs and compliance requirements, elimination of State government furloughs, salary increases for skilled project trades and crafts staff, new staff positions, and increases in overhead."

"Because these cost increases were not completely accounted for in 2013 and 2014 bills, a cumulative under-billing of about $125 million occurred over these two calendar years," she explained. "The under collection amounts to 6 percent of the cumulative billing in those two years."

She noted that the total State Water Project billing was $1.06 billion in 2013 and $1.03 billion in 2014 - and that they are working to reduce charges and operating expense in 2015 and to mitigate the "under-collection."

"We are working to reduce the charges for 2015," said Vogel. "For example, we have identified about two dozen projects at existing SWP facilities that were originally billed as operating expenses that could have been capitalized. And we are evaluating the deferral of certain non-critical SWP work for six to 18 months. We anticipate having a revised statement of charges for 2015 in the next few months that reflects a reduction."

She concluded, "No payments have been or are threatened to be missed on any SWP obligations. No compromise of safety has occurred, nor has SWP operational capability been impaired. We are working to reduce SWP operating expenses for 2014 and 2015 and otherwise mitigate the under-collection, and we are confident that the SWP water contractors will be able to absorb the increase without undue hardship."

Krieger called DWR's response "one of the most defensive spins I've ever heard to cover up blatant incompetence."

"If they go ahead with this twin tunnel boondoggle, they're on the verge of running out of money," said Krieger.

Krieger said DWR's quandary comes at a critical time for the BDCP. "The administration has yet to make a strong 'business case' for the Twin Tunnels. The lavishly expensive project is being pushed at a time of growing public resistance to gigantic infrastructure projects that have no palpable benefit," she stated.

"As the facts emerge about the BDCP, it is clear the plan will not increase the state's net supply of water, the Delta will be placed at great risk, and the beneficiaries will be a handful of corporate farms in the western San Joaquin Valley and Tulare Basin, not southern California urban ratepayers," Krieger emphasized.

She also said secure funding is becoming increasingly elusive. "A large water bond seems foredoomed to failure," noted Krieger. "Property owners are thus the only viable alternative."

'The $125 million dollars that ratepayers and taxpayers will cough up to pay for DWR's shortfall is just the beginning. It will take an additional $1.2 billion to complete the planning process for the Twin Tunnels," Krieger noted.

She said that if the project moves forward, many California residents will see their properties taxes and water rates rise to support the $67 billion Twin Tunnels.

"Few state citizens understand their properties can be so encumbered without a vote or even token input. Unfortunately, they may be about to receive an object lesson in property taxation without representation," she summed up.

The twin tunnels won't create one drop of new water, but they will lead to horrendous environmental degradation, according to tunnel critics. The construction of the tunnels will hasten the extinction of Central Valley Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt and other fish species, as well as imperil the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.

Tunnels Background: CWIN and other BDCP opponents say Brown's "legacy" project will destroy the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas that provides a nursery for many species. It will harm salmon, halibut, leopard shark, soupfin shark, sevengill shark, anchovy, sardine, herring, groundfish and Dungeness crab populations stretching from Southern Washington to Southern California.

Under the guise of habitat restoration, the BDCP will take vast tracts of Delta farmland, among the most fertile on the planet, out of production in order to irrigate toxic, drainage impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and provide Delta water to Southern California developers and oil companies conducting fracking and steam injection operations in Kern County.

The tunnels are being constructed in tandem with the federal government's plan to raise Shasta Dam, a project that will flood many of the remaining sacred sites of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe that weren't inundated by Shasta Dam.

Rally against the tunnels: Restore the Delta, C-WIN and other groups opposed to the construction of the twin tunnels will rally on July 29 at the West Steps of State Capitol, 10th St and Capitol Street, Sacramento at 11:30 AM. July 29 is the final day of the public comment period for the Bay Delta Conservation and the EIS/EIR. The rally will feature a variety of speakers and music.

To RSVP for the bus ride from Stockton or Oakley or if you have any questions relating to event, please contact Stina [at] restorethedelta.org or call (209) 475-9550. For more information, go to: http://restorethedelta.org/events  

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Board approves emergency water rules as Brown promotes tunnels and fracking

by: Dan Bacher

Wed Jul 16, 2014 at 18:09:07 PM PDT

As the State Water Resources Control Board approved new emergency regulations to fine residential "water hogs" up to $500 a day, Californians Against Fracking urged Governor Jerry Brown to ban the environmentally destructive, water intensive oil drilling practice known as hydraulic fracturing or "fracking."

A dozen activists rallied outside of the EPA building in Sacramento where the regulations were approved. They held signs including, "When in Drought Ban Fracking," "You Can't Have Your Water and Frack It Too," and "Save Our Water: Ban Fracking."

"It's critical to California's future that we conserve water in the face of the serious drought," according to a statement from Californians Against Fracking. "If the Governor and the State Water Board are really serious about protecting California's water supplies, the Governor needs to ban fracking and similar methods. These techniques permanently poison and remove millions of gallons of water from the water cycle. If the Governor stops fracking, not only will he save Californians' water from being wasted during this historic drought, but he'll also protect their health and climate as well."

"Big Oil is one of the state's largest and dirtiest water users," the group said. "If Gov. Jerry Brown wants to lead on climate change and effectively address our dwindling water supplies, he must ban fracking to protect and conserve water in California."

Californians Against Fracking is a coalition of environmental, business, health, agriculture, labor, political, and environmental justice organizations working to win a statewide ban on fracking in California. Find more information at http://www.CaliforniansAgainst...

The Board approved emergency regulations Tuesday that would allow water agencies to ask courts to impose a maximum $500-a-day fine on water wasters. On the same day, data released by the state revealed that water use statewide has increased 1 percent over the past three years, in spite of calls by Governor Jerry Brown for Californians to slash water use by 20 percent during the drought.

"The new conservation regulation is intended to reduce outdoor urban water use," according to a statement from the Board. "The regulation, adopted by the State Water Board, mandates minimum actions to conserve water supplies both for this year and into 2015. Most Californians use more water outdoors than indoors. In some areas, 50 percent or more of daily water use is for lawns and outdoor landscaping."

State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus said, "We are facing the worst drought impact that we or our grandparents have ever seen. And, more important, we have no idea when it will end. This drought's impacts are being felt by communities all over California. Fields are fallowed; communities are running out of water, fish and wildlife will be devastated.

The least that urban Californians can do is to not waste water on outdoor uses. It is in their self-interest to conserve more, now, to avoid far more harsh restrictions, if the drought lasts into the future. These regulations are meant to spark awareness of the seriousness of the situation, and could be expanded if the drought wears on and people do not act."

Ironically, the Board approved the regulations after a drought year, 2013, when the state and federal governments drained Shasta, Oroville and Folsom reservoirs to export water to "corporate water hogs" including corporate agribusiness interests farming toxic, drainage impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, Southern California water agencies, and oil companies conducting fracking and steam injections in Kern County. None of these "water hogs" were fined for draining northern California reservoirs to abysmally low levels - and leaving little carryover storage for 2014. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/07/1275862/-The-Emptying-of-Northern-California-Reservoirs)

Even more ironically, the same Brown administration that supports fining residential "water hogs" is fast-tracking the biggest and most environmentally devastating public works project in California history, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build the peripheral tunnels under the California Delta. The tunnels won't create one drop of new water, but they will hasten the extinction of Central Valley Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other species. The project will also imperil the salmon and steelhead populations of the Trinity and Klamath rivers.

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