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Governor Jerry Brown

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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Delta group reveals Brown water bond is not 'tunnels neutral'

by: Dan Bacher

Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 16:50:50 PM PDT

California Governor Jerry Brown earlier this week discussed with state legislators his outline for a $6 billion water bond to replace the $11.1 billion bond currently on the November ballot.

His outline for the "Water Action Plan Financing Act of 2014" included $2 billion for storage, $1.5 billion for watershed protection, watershed ecosystem restoration and state settlements, $1.5 billion for water quality and water supply reliability, $500 million for the Delta and $500 million for statewide flood management.

Brown's proposed bond would be "BDCP (Bay Delta Conservation Plan) neutral," according to an outline that was circulated to legislators, some stakeholders and the media.

Responding to Brown's claim, Restore the Delta (RTD), leading opponents of Governor Brown's rush to build massive water export tunnels that mainly serve corporate agribusiness interests in that Westlands and Kern Water Districts, today rejected the Governor's assertion that his proposed state water bond principles are "tunnel neutral." They released proposed bond language that would have taxpayers foot the bill for the damage from the tunnels project.

The group said the tunnels cannot be built without hundreds of millions of dollars to fund "mitigation" of the project's damage, damage the water-takers refuse to pay, and are foisting onto taxpayers.

"The governor's water bond is not 'tunnels neutral,' and his declaring it so does not make it true," said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, RTD executive director. "Much in the same way the proponents of the tunnels project named it the 'Bay Delta Conservation Plan,' (BDCP) and classified construction of the massive 35-mile long tunnels their primary 'conservation measure,' the governor is perverting the meaning of the English language. We are not fooled, and neither will the taxpayers who will pay the bill be fooled. This tunnels-enabling provision would doom the water bond we all need to address our water crisis."

RTD released language from the Governor's bond proposal exposing that his bond is not "tunnel neutral."

The governor's proposed Chapter X. Watershed Protection and Ecosystem Restoration, Section 79735 B, provides that funds will be made available for 'habitat restoration' that is part of the BDCP plan, and for moving water from willing sellers to habitat areas, a program that would have taxpayers pay to replace the required water flows exported by the BDCP tunnels.

RTD released BDCP records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act showing that the BDCP plans to use bond funds to help fund purchases over the next 50 years of up to 1.3 million acre feet of water annually from upstream areas, such as the Sacramento Valley.

"These purchases are needed to make up for over-pumping by the new water export Tunnels," said RTD consultant Steve Hopcraft. "Having taxpayers fund the replacement of Sacramento River and other water taken by the tunnels is an underhanded, back-door program required to mitigate the damage the tunnels would cause."

"They can't get the needed permits without the mitigation. How is that 'tunnels neutral?' The governor's own poll shows that the water bond will lose if it is a referendum on the tunnels project. This provision would be a poison pill and would undermine an otherwise valuable bond measure," said Hopcraft.

"We don't want to campaign against the water bond, because we need to put in place sustainable water policies. But we won't sit by and let the governor mislead taxpayers and pretend this funding is not part of the tunnels financing plan. Just read the language being proposed in his bond and put 1 + 1 together. The tunnels are not worth tubing the entire bond, and we urge the legislature to remove this provision and leave the fight over the Delta tunnels for another day," he stated.

In bond provisions labelled as BDCP 'restoration' and 'habitat' funding, the public would pay to purchase so-called 'enhanced environmental flow' water from previously identified districts in the Upper Sacramento River Basin. This would devastate their groundwater supplies. That same water would be diverted into the new BDCP Tunnels before it flows into the heart of the Delta.

RTD also released a document obtained through a Public Information Act request prepared by the State Water Contractors Authority entitled "Stradling Yocca Carlson and Rauthm." The February 2014 document spells out that at this time, there is no financing plan for the BDCP-DHCCP peripheral water tunnels project.

According to the BDCP-DHCCP public draft, "[s]eparate financing plans, funding agreements, legislative authority, and other documents will be needed to enable the use of certain funding sources." The success of the project relies on as yet unfunded $4.1 billion dollars from the California State General Fund [17%] and $3.6 billion from federal taxpayers [14%].

Hopcraft said, "BDCP proponents need this water bond to begin putting the pieces in place to secure the financing for the project. The Brown administration knows this, and is trying to bury this funding in their proposed bond under watershed protection and is misleading the public describing a 'tunnel neutral' bond."

"What can be worse for Californians than not being able to trust the Governor to tell us the truth about what funds will be used for in his proposed water bond during a period of extreme drought?" asked Barrigan-Parrilla.

I have a call into the Governor's Press Office and am currently waiting for a response to Restore the Delta's contention that the Governor's water bond is not "tunnels neutral."

The Governor's Office has to date declined to comment on the specifics of the proposal.

"The Governor is concerned about ongoing debt service and its impact on future budgets," Brown spokesman Jim Evans said in a statement Monday.  

From the governor's proposed water bond:

Chapter X. Watershed Protection and Ecosystem Restoration

79731. This chapter implements activities in action numbers 4 and 9 of the California Water Action Plan.

79732. The sum of one billion four hundred fifty million dollars ($1,450,000,000) shall be available for the purposes of this chapter.

79733. Projects eligible for funds provided in Section 79732 shall be available upon appropriation by the Legislature for projects that protect and restore rivers, lakes and streams, their watersheds and associated land, water, and other natural resources.

79734. Of the funds provided in Section 79732, six hundred fifty million dollars ($650,000,000) shall be available for appropriation to the Natural Resources Agency.

79735. (a) The secretary may directly grant such funds in 79734 to any nonprofit organization, conservancy, public agency, or any tribal government or community for activities and programs that are consistent with and would further existing obligations in state settlement agreements or any authorized amendment thereto that achieve the ecological goals described in the California Water Action Plan.

(b) Funds may be used for projects that help fulfill state obligations to wildlife refuges and wildlife habitat areas under Section 3406(d) of Title 34 of Public Law 102-575, including the construction, retrofitting, and maintenance of water supply infrastructure and the acquisition and conveyance of water supply from willing sellers for water transfers of not less than 20 years, purchases of water rights, or other agreements that result in long-term enhancement of habitat conditions.

79736. (a) Of the funds provided in Section 79732, eight hundred million dollars ($800,000,000) shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to the State Board and the Department of Fish and Wildlife for vital species, habitat, or ecosystem restoration activities statewide and to achieve the protection of water related species and water quality. The State Board or the Department of Fish and Wildlife may directly grant to any nonprofit organization, conservancy, public agency, or any tribal government or community for activities under this section.

(1) Of the funds provided for in this section, at least $200 million shall be made available for the enhancement of water flows in stream systems statewide. These funds may be used to acquire water if (i) the acquisition involves a long-term water transfer for a term of not less than 20 years, a purchase of water for instream use, or other agreement that results in enhanced stream flow such as reservoir
reoperation or conjunctive use programs, and (ii) the Department of Fish and Wildlife determines that the acquisition, purchase, or agreement and the use of funds will provide fisheries or ecosystem benefits or improvements that are greater than required environmental mitigation measures or compliance obligations. The department shall consult with the State Board prior to making such a determination.

(2) Of the funds provided for in this section, at least $200 million shall be made available for ecosystem restoration for projects statewide. These funds may be used to fund coastal wetland habitat, watershed restoration, including activities to improve forest health, restore mountain meadows, modernize stream crossings, reconnect historical flood plains, install or improve fish screens, provide fish passages, restore river channels, restore or enhance riparian habitat, and remove sediment or trash. In allocating funds for projects pursuant to this paragraph, the State Board and Department of Fish and Wildlife shall consider the location of projects such that funded projects are geographically distributed throughout the state.

(b) Where it will either limit the cost of administering an activity under this chapter, increase the efficiency and effectiveness of an activity under this chapter, or will prevent unnecessary delay in its implementation, the Department of Fish and Wildlife shall use existing programs or procedures when implementing this section, and shall contract with the State Board for technical assistance and to aid in implementation of this chapter.  

Urgent Action Alert: Tell Jerry Brown Not One Penny for Tunnels Mitigation:

We need to tell Governor Brown we will not sit by and let him mislead taxpayers.Tell him that we do not want ONE PENNY of taxpayer money used for the  environmental water account to be funded for billionaire farmers like Stewart Resnick and Westlands mega-growers.

Tell him that we do NOT ONE PENNY of taxpayer money used for "habitat" that the BDCP admits is experimental and that independent science groups agree will not save fish without sufficient fresh water flows.  

Tell Governor Brown, no tunnels and NOT ONE PENNY for BDCP mitigation.

PLEASE CALL NOW!  916-445-2841!  And keep calling the next seven days if the phone is busy!

SAVE THE DATE!  July 29, 2014 "No Delta Tunnels Rally" on the West Steps of the Capitol! at 11:30 a.m.  Let us know if your group would like a table.  Watch for details!  Buses will be available!

For more information, go to: http://restorethedelta.org/

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Even BDCP-hired economist wouldn't sign off on Brown's tunnel plan

by: Dan Bacher

Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 12:11:54 PM PDT

In the latest episode in the sordid saga of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan "BDCP" to build the peripheral tunnels, two environmental groups revealed on June 20 that even an economist hired by BDCP officials won't sign off on the controversial project.

Dr. David Sunding, an economist on the faculty of the University of California-Berkeley and a principal with The Brattle Group, said at the recent Continuing Legal Education Water Law Conference in San Diego that "given the financial uncertainties if he were a water agency, he would not sign off" on the BDCP, according to a news release from Restore the Delta (RTD). (http://us3.campaign-archive2.com/?u=06887fa70084fef8e939fef63&id=b6d32e645b&e=120d0c2b69)

RTD and the Southern California Watershed Alliance responded to the Brown Administration's latest claims of alleged benefits from the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and its huge water export tunnels.

"The recently released statements and documents from BDCP on the costs, and who will pay, are more of the same disingenuous statements that they have been making throughout the life of the project," said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta (RTD). "These unsubstantiated claims show how desperate BDCP officials are to greenwash this project for the public. Documents from public record requests, and statements from their own officials and water agency officials, reveal that the project will be closer to $67 billion in today's dollars, before cost over-runs."

Independent University of the Pacific economist Dr. Jeff Michael concludes that the average water ratepayer will end up paying between $40 and $80 per person per year.

"Los Angeles will not receive an additional drop of water, as 2/3 of the water taken from the Delta goes to mega-growers in the Westlands and Kern County Water Districts," said Barrigan-Parrilla.

"Work by the Pacific Institute's Dr. Peter Gleick shows the millions of acre feet of water can be made through conservation, recycling, and storm water capture," said Conner Everts, executive director of the So. California Watershed Alliance. "The truth is that the Metropolitan Water District cannot make money except through reselling water, and thus is the strongest proponent of the BDCP. They will continue to find reasons why conservation measures won't work, and to delay aggressive development of local water projects.

"Dr. David Sunding of the Brattle Group said at the recent Continuing Legal Education Water Law Conference in San Diego that 'given the financial uncertainties, if he were a water agency, he would not sign off' on the BDCP. Neither should we," said Everts.

In other BDCP news, Jerry Cadagan, water activist, pointed out that the most recent BDCP newsletter starts off with a canard in the very first sentence (".... improving how water moves through the" Delta). (http://baydeltaconservationplan.com/Libraries/Dynamic_Document_Library/BCDP_ENewsletter_6_18_2014_FINAL.sflb.ashx)

"Isn't one of the fundamental criticisms that BDCP precludes necessary water from moving through the Delta? According to my Funk & Wagnalls, 'through' and 'under' have distinctly different meanings," Cadagan said.  

The BDCP staff responded to Restore the Delta's news release by claiming, "Opponents of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) grossly misquoted BDCP consultant Dr. David Sunding." Ironically, in their effort to "set the record straight," the BDCP staff repeats their prior canard that that BDCP is about "improving how water moves through" the Delta, when in fact the purpose of the twin tunnels is to move Sacramento River water under the Delta, not through the estuary! (http://baydeltaconservationplan.com/news/news/14-06-20/Setting_the_Record_Straight_on_Sunding_Quotes.aspx)

It is seems that Bay Delta Conservation officials can't get anything "straight." There is no doubt that Governor Jerry Brown's Bay Delta Conservation Plan has no basis in logic, science or fiscal realities. It is nothing other than a "legacy" project for Governor Brown to build as a giant monument to his ego.  

While the BDCP won't create one single new drop of water, the tunnels will take water from Northern California farms, fish and people and give it to corporate agribusiness interests irrigating drainage-impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, Southern California water agencies and oil companies conducting fracking and steam injection operations in Kern County.

The peripheral tunnels under the Delta will hasten the extinction of Central Valley Chinook salmon and steelhead, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species, as well as pose an enormous threat to salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.

Caleen Audrey Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, urged people to "please take a minute and add your response to STOP the Brown Water Plans" by going to the Food and Water Watch website: https://secure3.convio.net/fww...

"California should be a salmon state....a state that feeds the world with healthy wild salmon and not water draining MegaAg Monsanto crops that are not healthy," said Sisk.  

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Even BDCP-hired economist wouldn't sign off on Brown's tunnel plan

by: Dan Bacher

Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 12:11:54 PM PDT

In the latest episode in the sordid saga of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan "BDCP" to build the peripheral tunnels, two environmental groups revealed on June 20 that even an economist hired by BDCP officials won't sign off on the controversial project.

Dr. David Sunding, an economist on the faculty of the University of California-Berkeley and a principal with The Brattle Group, said at the recent Continuing Legal Education Water Law Conference in San Diego that "given the financial uncertainties if he were a water agency, he would not sign off" on the BDCP, according to a news release from Restore the Delta (RTD). (http://us3.campaign-archive2.com/?u=06887fa70084fef8e939fef63&id=b6d32e645b&e=120d0c2b69)

RTD and the Southern California Watershed Alliance responded to the Brown Administration's latest claims of alleged benefits from the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and its huge water export tunnels.

"The recently released statements and documents from BDCP on the costs, and who will pay, are more of the same disingenuous statements that they have been making throughout the life of the project," said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta (RTD). "These unsubstantiated claims show how desperate BDCP officials are to greenwash this project for the public. Documents from public record requests, and statements from their own officials and water agency officials, reveal that the project will be closer to $67 billion in today's dollars, before cost over-runs."

Independent University of the Pacific economist Dr. Jeff Michael concludes that the average water ratepayer will end up paying between $40 and $80 per person per year.

"Los Angeles will not receive an additional drop of water, as 2/3 of the water taken from the Delta goes to mega-growers in the Westlands and Kern County Water Districts," said Barrigan-Parrilla.

"Work by the Pacific Institute's Dr. Peter Gleick shows the millions of acre feet of water can be made through conservation, recycling, and storm water capture," said Conner Everts, executive director of the So. California Watershed Alliance. "The truth is that the Metropolitan Water District cannot make money except through reselling water, and thus is the strongest proponent of the BDCP. They will continue to find reasons why conservation measures won't work, and to delay aggressive development of local water projects.

"Dr. David Sunding of the Brattle Group said at the recent Continuing Legal Education Water Law Conference in San Diego that 'given the financial uncertainties, if he were a water agency, he would not sign off' on the BDCP. Neither should we," said Everts.

In other BDCP news, Jerry Cadagan, water activist, pointed out that the most recent BDCP newsletter starts off with a canard in the very first sentence (".... improving how water moves through the" Delta). (http://baydeltaconservationplan.com/Libraries/Dynamic_Document_Library/BCDP_ENewsletter_6_18_2014_FINAL.sflb.ashx)

"Isn't one of the fundamental criticisms that BDCP precludes necessary water from moving through the Delta? According to my Funk & Wagnalls, 'through' and 'under' have distinctly different meanings," Cadagan said.  

The BDCP staff responded to Restore the Delta's news release by claiming, "Opponents of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) grossly misquoted BDCP consultant Dr. David Sunding." Ironically, in their effort to "set the record straight," the BDCP staff repeats their prior canard that that BDCP is about "improving how water moves through" the Delta, when in fact the purpose of the twin tunnels is to move Sacramento River water under the Delta, not through the estuary! (http://baydeltaconservationplan.com/news/news/14-06-20/Setting_the_Record_Straight_on_Sunding_Quotes.aspx)

It is seems that Bay Delta Conservation officials can't get anything "straight." There is no doubt that Governor Jerry Brown's Bay Delta Conservation Plan has no basis in logic, science or fiscal realities. It is nothing other than a "legacy" project for Governor Brown to build as a giant monument to his ego.  

While the BDCP won't create one single new drop of water, the tunnels will take water from Northern California farms, fish and people and give it to corporate agribusiness interests irrigating drainage-impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, Southern California water agencies and oil companies conducting fracking and steam injection operations in Kern County.

The peripheral tunnels under the Delta will hasten the extinction of Central Valley Chinook salmon and steelhead, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species, as well as pose an enormous threat to salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.

Caleen Audrey Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, urged people to "please take a minute and add your response to STOP the Brown Water Plans" by going to the Food and Water Watch website: https://secure3.convio.net/fww...

"California should be a salmon state....a state that feeds the world with healthy wild salmon and not water draining MegaAg Monsanto crops that are not healthy," said Sisk.  

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FPPC complaint against Jerry Meral filed amidst culture of corruption

by: Dan Bacher

Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 07:29:05 AM PDT

Remember Jerry Meral, the guy who claimed the "Delta cannot be saved" while he was working for the Brown administration on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels? (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/04/26/1205064/-Five-Congressional-Democrats-call-for-Brown-administration-official-s-resignation)

Well, it appears that Meral has run afoul of the state's laws governing lobbying activities at a time when corruption and conflicts of interest are mushrooming in California politics.

Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Governor Jerry Brown's rush to build the Peripheral Tunnels to drain the California Delta, on June 13 filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) charging former Brown Administration Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) point man, Jerry Meral, with "illegal lobbying."

"Meral appears to be violating the law prohibiting former administration officials from lobbying within one year and one day of leaving office," according to a statement from Restore the Delta. "Since January 2014, Meral has authored several versions of a Natural Heritage Institute-promoted (NHI) water bond for legislative consideration in 2014, and made direct contacts with staff in numerous legislators' offices to influence legislation."

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of RTD, said, "Our complaint charges Jerry Meral with illegal lobbying during the period when former administration officials are barred from doing so. The revolving door between the Brown Administration, water exporters and groups that would benefit from the tunnels project and its habitat programs just keeps turning."

Meral's attempt to lobby and otherwise influence the state legislature and the agency, and the activities that he managed the day before leaving state employment, is illegal under the following statutes and regulations, according to Barrigan-Parrilla:

• Lobbying within one year of leaving a position in state service violates §87406, Regulations 18746.1 and 18746.2 of the Political Reform Act.

• Leaving state employment and being hired by NHI the following day begs the question of Influencing Prospective Employment (See Section 87407; Regulation 18747). "The legal issue of if he had prior contact with this prospective employer regarding an interview or discussion of an offer of employment seems self-evident and otherwise inexplicable given the timing," she stated.

Barrigan-Parrilla said Meral has been observed visiting the Legislature to "promote" his versions of the bond and the BDCP. Meral's bond includes specific funding for BDCP-related San Joaquin Delta conservation projects. Meral wants funding removed and restricted from levee projects, which constitutes lobbying to change the outcome of existing proposed legislation for the benefit of BDCP.

"It appears that Meral did not renew his lobbying certification, complete his ethics training, and has failed to timely file disclosures. Given that Meral is aware of these procedures from his previous two-year stint as a lobbyist, immediate corrective action and the maximum penalty should occur," said Barrigan-Parrilla.

The potential financial incentive for NHI's ability to successfully lobby or influence Resources, DWR and the Legislature is massive. Billions of dollars are at stake with the BDCP for NHI and other non-profit organizations as defined in the NHI proposed water bond, she noted.

NHI proposed Sections 79740 and 79742 provide for direct and indirect funding for potential NHI-affiliated habitat projects of no more than $1.2 billion, directly to non-profits through grants and through pass through monies managed and distributed by Resources/DWR, and the Delta Conservancy; and, even more funding from DWR's California Water Commission, according to the group.

In his February 23, 2014 letter from NHI, Meral specifically directs that the Delta Protection Commission "follow the provisions described in this letter" regarding wildlife habitat and levee funding from a proposed new special district, which have historically received significant funding from DWR under the subventions program.

Barrigan-Parrilla said Meral appears to be demanding a de facto "cut of the action" from the new district for his BDCP habitat projects. Meral also lobbies for the state water contractors (SWC) to be paid back from supposed overpayments under the Davis-Dohlwig Act, also in an effort to promote the ability of the SWC to pay for BDCP.

Jerry Meral served as Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources for the State of California from 2011 to December 31, 2013. He acted as Director of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the twin tunnels during this time.

On January 1, 2014, Meral accepted a position as Director of the California Water Program for the Natural Heritage Institute (NHI).

"The NHI currently has direct ties to the BDCP, direct and indirect financial benefit from its completion, and continues to lobby for its funding and implementation, as evidenced by the documentation that can be found at http://restorethedelta.org/?p=... according to RTD.

Upon his acceptance of the position, NHI issued a statement on their website announcing that Meral was representing NHI on California water issues, specifically including the BDCP. In this statement, the NGO touted itself as "an early and strenuous proponent of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan" (http://yubanet.com/california/Natural-Heritage-Institute-Hires-Jerry-Meral.php#.U6G2i93DyRo)

"NHI finds the evidence overwhelming that the delta cannot serve the dual functions of maintaining endangered species and water supply reliability without a massive habitat restoration program and improvements to the water diversion and conveyance infrastructure that can reduce the conflicts between these uses," the NHI stated.

Not only has the NHI has been an "early and strenuous" cheerleader of the BDCP, but the organization has long championed water markets and water transfers that have privatized water and transformed a public trust asset, belonging to all citizens, into a "profit center to enrich special interests," according to Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA). 



"NHI also developed the concept that became the Environmental Water Account, which enabled water speculators to sell public trust water back to the public at vast profit," said Jennings

This is not the first time that Mr. Meral has engaged in questionable practices. In 2002, Meral authored Proposition 51, an initiative that the Sacramento Bee called "California's most corrupt initiative." The Bee also called Meral's group "a morally bankrupt environmental lobby." (Editorial: No on Proposition 51: stop California's most corrupt initiative, September 29, 2002). (http://digital.library.ucla.edu/websites/2002_998_063/beeed.htm)

The Bee editors wrote, "But financial irresponsibility is the least of this measure's sins. It is fundamentally corrupt. It's an unapologetic example of 'pay to play.' To get this measure on the ballot and pass it, Gerald Meral, executive director of PCL, studded it with projects for developers and groups willing to contribute to the campaign."

"For example, Tejon Ranch Co. would get $5 million in improvements on an Interstate 5 interchange to support its distribution center in Kern County; it contributed $65,000. Hillwood Development Corp. would get $30 million worth of railroad grade crossings near its proposed distribution center at former Norton Air Force Base in San Bernadino; it has given $150,000. The list of projects tied to contributions goes on and on. We'll be detailing some of the scummiest deals here in coming days," they added.

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

The revolving door between corporations, government and NGOs

The FPPC complaint against Jerry Meral takes place in context of the larger picture of the corruption of California environmental politics in recent years.

The revolving door between corporate interests, water contractors and state government swung wide-open last September when Governor Jerry Brown appointed Laura King Moon of Woodland, a lobbyist for the state's water exporters, as chief deputy director of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR).

Moon was a project manager for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan since 2011 while "on loan" from the State Water Contractors, a non-profit association of 27 public agencies from Northern, Central and Southern California that purchase water under contract from the California State Water Project.

And Moon's appointment was just one of the many examples of the revolving door between corporations and state government that have infested politics in California during the Schwarzenegger and Brown administrations. These examples include:

• The resignation of State Senator Michael J. Rubio in February 2013 to go work in a "government affairs" position for Chevron. Rubio, who was leading the charge to weaken the landmark California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and make it more friendly to corporations, claimed he resigned in order to spend more time with his family. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/02/23/1189354/-Senator-Michael-Rubio-resigns-to-take-job-with-Chevron)

• DWR's hiring of Susan Ramos "on loan" from the Westlands Water District, the "Darth Vader" of California water politics, to serve as "a liaison between all relevant parties" surrounding the Delta Habitat Conservation and Conveyance Program (DHCCP) and provide "technical and strategic assistance" to DWR. (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/12/14/18702762.php)

Documents obtained by this reporter under the California Public Records Act revealed that Ramos, Deputy General Manager of the Westlands Water District, was hired in an "inter-jurisdictional personal exchange agreement" between the Department of Water Resources and Westlands Water District from November 15, 2009 through December 31, 2010. The contract was extended to run through December 31, 2011 and again to continue through December 31, 2012.

• The hijacking of "marine protection" in California by Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA). Reheis-Boyd chaired the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create alleged "marine protected areas" in Southern California and served on the task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast. (http://yubanet.com/california/Dan-Bacher-Top-Censored-Environmental-Story-of-2012-Marine-guardian-lobbies-for-offshore-oil-drilling-fracking.php)

• The failure of Katherine Hart Johns, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board member, to report her husband's separate property interest in his lobbying firm, California Resource Strategies, Inc., on her 2006, 2007, and 2008 annual Statements of Economic Interests. The California Fair Political Practices Commission fined Hart Johns only $600 for this overt conflict of interest, in a classic example of how violators of state ethics and environmental laws often get off with a mere "slap on the wrist." (http://www.sacbee.com/2010/03/21/2622315/water-pollution-regulator-failed.html).

And of course, we can't forget the three Senators - Leland Yee of San Francisco, Ron Calderon of Montebello and Rod Wright of Inglewood - who were suspended from the State Senate with pay this March. Senators Yee and Calderon were indicted in separate federal corruption cases, while Senator Wright will be sentenced on July 21 on criminal charges that he lied about where he lived when he ran for office in 2008. (http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/rod-wright/#storylink=cpy)

Nor can we overlook one of the greatest scandals to hit environmental politics in recent years - the 10 month federal prison sentence that a federal judge in May imposed upon Ron LeValley of Mad River Biologists, the former co-chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Science Advisory Team for the North Coast, for his role in a conspiracy to embezzle over $852,000 in federal funds from the Yurok Tribe.

In February, LeValley pleaded guilty to a single federal charge of conspiracy to commit embezzlement and theft from an Indian Tribal Organization (18U.S.C §§ 371 and 1163) in the complex scheme in collaboration with former Yurok Forestry Director Roland Raymond. According to court documents, LeValley submitted more than 75 false invoices between 2007 and 2010 in payment for "work" on northern spotted owl surveys that was never performed. The link to the indictment is available at: http://noyonews.net/wp-content...

Restore the Delta's FPPC complaint proceeds forward as the Brown administration fast-tracks the $67 billion Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build twin tunnels to export water to corporate agribusiness interests irrigating drainage-impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

The peripheral tunnels under the Delta will hasten the extinction of Central Valley Chinook salmon and steelhead, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, green sturgeon and fish species, as well as pose an enormous threat to salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.

Background on Meral and the BDCP 


Jerry Meral became the focus of a huge controversy when he acknowledged on April 15, 2013 that "BDCP is not about, and has never been about saving the Delta.The Delta cannot be saved."

He made his controversial comments while speaking with Tom Stokely of the California Water Impact Network (C-WIN) in a private conversation after a meeting with Northern California Indian Tribes, according to Restore the Delta's "Delta Flows" newsletter (http://www.restorethedelta.org/or-is-it-the-point/) 



After Meral made the revealing, candid comments, five Congressional Democrats - George Miller, Mike Thompson, Jerry McNerney, Doris Matsui and Anna Eshoo - called for Meral's immediate resignation. (http://www.fishsniffer.com/blogs/details/congressional-democrats-call-for-brown-administration-officials-resignation/) 


"Meral's statement, if accurately reported, suggests the Brown Administration intends to explicitly violate the established statutory co-equal goals of ecosystem restoration in the Bay-Delta and water reliability throughout the state," according to the Representatives' statement. "This fuels speculation that the Administration's plan, if unchanged, will devastate the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and the communities that rely on it, a concern that Northern California Lawmakers and other stakeholders have voiced throughout the process." 



The widely-criticized plan proposes to construct three new intakes in the north Delta along the Sacramento River about 35 miles north of the existing South Delta pumping plants. Two 35-mile long twin tunnels would carry the water underground to the existing pumping plants that feed canals stretching hundreds of miles to the south and west. 



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From Governor Moonbeam to "Big Oil Brown"

by: Dan Bacher

Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:40:50 AM PDT

Jerry Brown, once known as "Governor Moonbeam" for his quirkiness and eccentricities during his first two administrations from 1975 to 1983, has in his third administration transformed himself into "Big Oil Brown."

According to Jessie McKinley in the New York Times, The "Governor Moonbeam" nickname "was coined by Mike Royko, the famed Chicago columnist, who in 1976 said that Mr. Brown appeared to be attracting 'the moonbeam vote; which in Chicago political parlance meant young, idealistic and nontraditional." (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/weekinreview/07mckinley.html)

Thirty-eight years later, Oil Change International, a research, communication, and advocacy organization focused on "exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the coming transition towards clean energy" has given Brown a new nickname, "Big Oil Brown," for the large contributions he has received from oil companies and his support of fracking. The web page dedicated to "Big Oil Brown" features Jerry attired in a suit and cowboy hat like a Texas oil baron right next to an oil rig (http://www.bigoilbrown.org/)

"California's Governor Jerry Brown has a problem: he wants to be seen as a climate champion who understands the science and takes this crisis seriously. At the same time, he just proposed new fracking rules in California that would amount to a gift to Big Oil. He can't have it both ways," according to the web page.

The group has also created a spoof ad about "Jerry Brown's Frackwater Cologne."

Leaders of environmental organizations, Indian Tribes and fishing groups are upset that Brown signed 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 last minute amendments to the bill by the oil industry were so odious that they spurred the League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense Fund to withdraw their support at the last minute for the already weak legislation.

The bill made California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review of fracking permits optional and prevents imposing a moratorium on fracking for 15 months.

Big Oil strongly supported the amended version of Senate Bill 4 that Brown signed. Just ask Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association and former chair of the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force for the South Coast, who praised the governor's signing of Senate Bill 4 for creating the "environmental" platform to expand fracking in California. (http://www.wspa.org/blog/post/statement-wspa-president-catherine-reheis-boyd-signing-sb-4)

"With the signing of Senate Bill 4, California has the toughest regulations of hydraulic fracturing and other energy production technologies in the country," said Reheis-Boyd. "While SB 4's requirements went significantly farther than the petroleum industry felt was necessary, we now have 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
Brown signed the bill after receiving at least $2,014,570.22 from fossil fuel interests since his race for Attorney General in 2006. (http://www.bigoilbrown.org/frackwater/)

In the 2014 election cycle, four oil companies have contributed a total of $161,000 to the Brown campaign to date, according to Oil Change Internation. 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. 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.

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.

Brown backs carbon trading, Delta death tunnels

But the Governor's signing of the green light to fracking bill is just one of the many attacks on the environment that Brown has engaged in.

Governor Brown is an avid supporter of the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation+) that allows Northern Hemisphere polluters to buy forest carbon offset credits from the global South. Brown is trying to link an agreement among Chiapas, Mexico; Acre, Brazil; and California, to AB32, which commits to a 25% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for 2020, and an 80% reduction for 2050).

Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, exposed the impact of Brown's REDD policies on the environment and Indigenous Peoples when he spoke at a protest against Brown's failed environmental policies in San Francisco on October 17, 2013 when Brown was slated to receive environmental leadership award by the Blue Green Alliance. Brown didn't show up, probably because of those, including Goldtooch and Michael Preston of the Winnemem Wintu tribe, who gathered outside to protest the event. (http://www.ienearth.org/press-statement-tom-goldtooth-behind-the-backs-of-the-people-of-california/:

"Despite being awarded, as I speak, for his supposed environmentalism, Governor Brown is moving ahead with a policy that grabs land, clear-cuts forests, destroys biodiversity, abuses Mother Earth, pimps Father Sky and threatens the cultural survival of Indigenous Peoples

This policy privatizes the air we breathe. Commodifies the clouds. Buy and sells the atmosphere. Corrupts the Sacred.

This policy is called carbon trading and REDD. REDD stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. But REDD really means Reaping profits from Evictions, land grabs, Deforestation and Destruction of biodiversity. REDD does nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at source. And REDD may result in the biggest land grab of the last 500 years."

Brown has also rushed the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels, a $67 billion boondoggle that will hasten the extinction of Central Valley Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt and numerous other fish species, as well as imperiing salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath Rivers. The plan would take large tracts of fertile Delta farmland out of production in order to irrigate drainage impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, all under the guise of "habitat restoration."

Every scientific panel, ranging from the Independent Delta Science Board to the National Academy of Sciences, has criticized the flawed "science" behind the twin tunnel plan. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/05/20/1300714/-Delta-Independent-Science-Board-Slams-Brown-s-Tunnel-Plan)

Brown administration exported record amounts of Delta water

The Brown administration also authorized the export of record water amounts of water from the Delta in 2011 - 6,520,000 acre-feet, 217,000 acre feet more than the previous record of 6,303,000 acre feet set in 2005 under Schwarzenegger. Most of this water went to corporate agribusiness, including mega-farmers irrigating unsustainable, selenium-laced land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

The record water exports spurred massive fish kills at the state and federal Delta pumps. The Brown administration "salvaged" a record of nearly 9 million Sacramento splittail and over 2 million salmon, steelhead, striped bass, largemouth bass, threadfin shad, white catfish and sturgeon in the Delta export pumping facilities in 2011. Since the actual number of fish killed in the pumps is at least 5 to 10 times those reported, the actual number of fish killed is probably 55 million to 110 million.

More recently, Governor and the Obama administration oversaw the systematic emptying of Folsom and other northern California reservoirs last year during a record drought, imperiling struggling salmon and steelhead populations and local water supplies. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/07/1275862/-The-Emptying-of-Northern-California-Reservoirs)

And if that wasn't bad enough, the Brown and Obama administration's anti-fish and pro-agribusiness policies have resulted in pushing Delta fish populations closer to extinction. A Delta fish survey released by the California Department of Wildlife in January 2014 confirms the continuing collapse of the ecosystem of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas.

The 2013 indices (a relative number of abundance) for Delta smelt, a federal and state endangered species, and American shad were the second lowest in the 46 years of the survey. The striped bass index was tied for third lowest, while the longfin smelt and threadfin shad indices were the eighth and fifth lowest, respectively, according to Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance. (http://truth-out.org/speakout/item/21219-delta-fish-survey-reveals-an-ecosystem-in-collapse

Oil lobbyist-overseen marine "protection"

Brown has also forged ahead with one of the worst environmental programs of the Schwarzenegger regime, the privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative. In one of the most egregious conflicts of interests in modern California history, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), chaired the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force for the South Coast, as well as serving on the task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast. (http://intercontinentalcry.org/the-five-inconvenient-truths-about-the-mlpa-initiative/)

It is no surprise that the alleged "marine protected areas" fast-tracked under the Schwarzenegger and Brown administrations fail to protect the ocean from pollution, fracking, offshore oil drilling, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering.

In fact, a Freedom of Information Act and Associated Press investigation last year revealed that Southern California marine waters were fracked at least 203 times in the past 20 years. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/10/19/calif-finds-more-instances-of-offshore-fracking/3045721/)

Much of the fracking took place while the Western States Petroleum Association president was overseeing the creation of the oil industry-friendly "marine protected areas." Does anybody think there might have been a conflict of interest here?

Brown's relentless march to environmental destruction

Other abysmal environmental policies of the "Green Energy Governor" include the following:

• Department of Conservation Shake-Up: Brown fired Acting Director Derk Chernow and Oil and Gas Supervisor Elena Miller and appointed oil industry-friendly Mark Nechodom in 2011, amidst claims by the oil industry and their political allies that the two officials weren't granting permits quickly and easily enough. As a result, risky injection oil drilling permits increased by 18 percent. (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/12/30/18703640.php)

• California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA): Brown is trying to weaken or even eliminate CEQA, one of California's greatest environmental laws, to fast-track big developments for giant corporations like Walmart, Berkshire Hathaway, General Electric, Valero and Chevron.

• Clear cutting in the Sierra Nevada: Brown is doing nothing to stop Sierra Pacific Industries from clear cutting forests, destroying wildlife habitat, and contributing to climate change.

• "Theme Park" Wetlands: The Department of Fish and Wildlife under the Jerry Brown administration is working with the Annenberg Foundation to bulldoze a section of the Ballona Wetlands to build an interpretive center and help with the "restoration" of the land around the center.

As I have documented in article after article, Brown, rather than a being an "environmental leader" as some proclaim, appears to be on a relentless march to the destruction of fish, water and the environment. He has definitely earned the nickname of "Big Oil Brown."

For more information about Brown's abysmal environmental policies, go to: http://www.counterpunch.org/20... or http://www.alternet.org/enviro...  

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Fracking moratorium bill defeated by oil industry lobby

by: Dan Bacher

Fri May 30, 2014 at 12:40:33 PM PDT

The California State Senate failed to pass SB 1132, legislation authored by Senators Holly Mitchell and Mark Leno that would have stopped hydraulic fracturing and other dangerous well stimulation methods while the state studied their risks.  

The vote failed with a tie of 16 to 16, with 8 votes not recorded. The 16 aye votes were Beall, Corbett, De León, DeSaulnier, Evans, Hancock, Jackson, Leno, Lieu, Liu, Mitchell, Monning, Padilla, Pavley, Steinberg and Wolk

The 16 no votes were Anderson, Berryhill, Cannella, Correa, Fuller, Gaines, Galgiani, Hernandez, Huff, Knight, Morrell, Nielsen, Torres, Vidak, Walters, Wyland. The 8 votes not recorded include absentions by Block, Lara, Hill, Hueso and Roth. Three Senators - Calderon, Wright and Yee - can't and didn't vote because they are suspended and were not present for the vote.  

The defeat of the legislation was undoubtedly due to the huge amounts of money dumped into lobbying the Legislature by the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento, and oil companies.

WSPA alone spent a total of $5,331,493 in 2009, $4,013,813 in 2010, $4,273,664 in 2011, $5,698,917 in 2012 and $4,670,010 in 2013 on lobbying at the State Capitol - and spent $1,456,785 in just the first 3 months of 2014. (http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/23365-californias-big-oil-dirty-dozen) You can bet that a good chunk of this money spent so far this year was spent on stopping Senate Bill 1132.  

The statewide coalition Californians Against Fracking issued the following statement:

"Despite polls showing a majority of Californians in favor of banning fracking, today the California Senate failed to pass SB 1132 to place a moratorium on fracking. The vote is disappointing but not completely unexpected given that the oil industry has spent a whopping $15 million on lobbying activities to defeat the bill and buy influence in Sacramento.

State lawmakers will continue to face growing concern about fracking pollution from voters in their communities. Californians Against Fracking calls on Governor Brown to protect California's water, agriculture, public health and climate by declaring a moratorium on fracking now. If Governor Brown is serious about fighting climate change and its severe impacts, including droughts and fires, then he must show real leadership and stop the fracking now."

The statement was issued on behalf of Californians Against Fracking, 350.org, Center for Biological Diversity, Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, CREDO Action, Environment California, Food & Water Watch and Oil Change International.  

As the Friday deadline for moving legislation from California's Senate to the Assembly approaches, Senator Holly J. Mitchell's bill to set a moratorium on fracking for oil in the state still needed three votes to pass when the Senate recessed Wednesday night, according to a statement from Senator Mitchell's Office.

Mitchell said the SB 1132 elicited "spirited floor debate" before the failure of several senators to vote on the bill left it without the 21 votes needed to advance to the Assembly. Although a motion for reconsideration allows Mitchell to bring the bill up for vote again, unless at least three senators cast favorable votes by Friday, the bill dies for the current legislative session.

"Last year our efforts to enact a moratorium got as far as an Assembly committee, and this year to the floor of the Senate, with more 'yes' than 'no' votes," noted Senator Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), who carried a similar bill, AB 1323, while serving in the Assembly. "We have the momentum, this issue's gone viral nationally, and it's just a matter of time before the dangers of fracking prompt people to put it on pause until its safety can be established."  

"When the impacts on the public of a for-profit endeavor are unknown, we try it out first in minority neighborhoods - assuming low vigilance and the need to bring in jobs makes safety irrelevant," said the Senator. "But we've put big industry on notice: That ploy won't fly forever. People's neighborhoods aren't fodder for fracking, environmental justice must come, and one day soon the vote to refrain from polluting for profit will prevail!"  

Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association, celebrated the defeat of SB 1132, by stating, "With SB 1132 behind us, let's now focus on SB 4 implementation." (https://www.wspa.org/blog/post/sb-1132-behind-us-let's-now-focus-sb-4-implementation)

"Today's defeat of Senate Bill 1132, legislation that would have imposed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and other well stimulation technologies, clears a path for a concerted and collaborative effort to fully implement new statewide regulations embodied in Senate Bill 4," she said.

"The SB 4 regulations put into place a robust set of monitoring, disclosure, testing, land use and research requirements that ensure hydraulic fracturing in California is conducted safely and without harm to the environment.  But there is still much to be done to finalize these new regulations and the petroleum industry is going to be a constructive partner in getting them accomplished," Reheis-Boyd claimed.

The oil industry is most powerful corporate lobby in California. A ground breaking report released on April 1, 2014 by the ACCE Institute and Common Cause reveals that Big Oil's combined spending on lobbying and political campaigns in Sacramento amounts to a stunning $266.9 million over the past 15 years. This massive spending enables the oil industry to effectively buy the votes of many State Assembly Members and Senators.  (http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/14/how-big-oil-bought-sacramento/)

But the oil industry exerts its influence not just through spending enormous sums on lobbying and contributions to political campaigns, but by serving on state and federal government panels.

In one of the biggest conflicts of interest in California environmental history, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association, served as the Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Task Force to create so-called "marine protected areas" in Southern California, as well as sitting on the task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast.

It is no surprise that the alleged "Yosemites of the Sea" created under Reheis-Boyd's "leadership" 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 tribal gathering.

It is also no surprise that the oil industry was fracking like crazy in Southern California ocean waters at the same time that Reheis-Boyd and MLPA Initiative advocates were greenwashing one of the most corrupt environmental processes in California history.    

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Fracking moratorium bill defeated by oil industry lobby

by: Dan Bacher

Fri May 30, 2014 at 12:40:33 PM PDT

The California State Senate failed to pass SB 1132, legislation authored by Senators Holly Mitchell and Mark Leno that would have stopped hydraulic fracturing and other dangerous well stimulation methods while the state studied their risks.  

The vote failed with a tie of 16 to 16, with 8 votes not recorded. The 16 aye votes were Beall, Corbett, De León, DeSaulnier, Evans, Hancock, Jackson, Leno, Lieu, Liu, Mitchell, Monning, Padilla, Pavley, Steinberg and Wolk

The 16 no votes were Anderson, Berryhill, Cannella, Correa, Fuller, Gaines, Galgiani, Hernandez, Huff, Knight, Morrell, Nielsen, Torres, Vidak, Walters, Wyland. The 8 votes not recorded include absentions by Block, Lara, Hill, Hueso and Roth. Three Senators - Calderon, Wright and Yee - can't and didn't vote because they are suspended and were not present for the vote.  

The defeat of the legislation was undoubtedly due to the huge amounts of money dumped into lobbying the Legislature by the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento, and oil companies.

WSPA alone spent a total of $5,331,493 in 2009, $4,013,813 in 2010, $4,273,664 in 2011, $5,698,917 in 2012 and $4,670,010 in 2013 on lobbying at the State Capitol - and spent $1,456,785 in just the first 3 months of 2014. (http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/23365-californias-big-oil-dirty-dozen) You can bet that a good chunk of this money spent so far this year was spent on stopping Senate Bill 1132.  

The statewide coalition Californians Against Fracking issued the following statement:

"Despite polls showing a majority of Californians in favor of banning fracking, today the California Senate failed to pass SB 1132 to place a moratorium on fracking. The vote is disappointing but not completely unexpected given that the oil industry has spent a whopping $15 million on lobbying activities to defeat the bill and buy influence in Sacramento.

State lawmakers will continue to face growing concern about fracking pollution from voters in their communities. Californians Against Fracking calls on Governor Brown to protect California's water, agriculture, public health and climate by declaring a moratorium on fracking now. If Governor Brown is serious about fighting climate change and its severe impacts, including droughts and fires, then he must show real leadership and stop the fracking now."

The statement was issued on behalf of Californians Against Fracking, 350.org, Center for Biological Diversity, Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, CREDO Action, Environment California, Food & Water Watch and Oil Change International.  

As the Friday deadline for moving legislation from California's Senate to the Assembly approaches, Senator Holly J. Mitchell's bill to set a moratorium on fracking for oil in the state still needed three votes to pass when the Senate recessed Wednesday night, according to a statement from Senator Mitchell's Office.

Mitchell said the SB 1132 elicited "spirited floor debate" before the failure of several senators to vote on the bill left it without the 21 votes needed to advance to the Assembly. Although a motion for reconsideration allows Mitchell to bring the bill up for vote again, unless at least three senators cast favorable votes by Friday, the bill dies for the current legislative session.

"Last year our efforts to enact a moratorium got as far as an Assembly committee, and this year to the floor of the Senate, with more 'yes' than 'no' votes," noted Senator Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), who carried a similar bill, AB 1323, while serving in the Assembly. "We have the momentum, this issue's gone viral nationally, and it's just a matter of time before the dangers of fracking prompt people to put it on pause until its safety can be established."  

"When the impacts on the public of a for-profit endeavor are unknown, we try it out first in minority neighborhoods - assuming low vigilance and the need to bring in jobs makes safety irrelevant," said the Senator. "But we've put big industry on notice: That ploy won't fly forever. People's neighborhoods aren't fodder for fracking, environmental justice must come, and one day soon the vote to refrain from polluting for profit will prevail!"  

Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association, celebrated the defeat of SB 1132, by stating, "With SB 1132 behind us, let's now focus on SB 4 implementation." (https://www.wspa.org/blog/post/sb-1132-behind-us-let's-now-focus-sb-4-implementation)

"Today's defeat of Senate Bill 1132, legislation that would have imposed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and other well stimulation technologies, clears a path for a concerted and collaborative effort to fully implement new statewide regulations embodied in Senate Bill 4," she said.

"The SB 4 regulations put into place a robust set of monitoring, disclosure, testing, land use and research requirements that ensure hydraulic fracturing in California is conducted safely and without harm to the environment.  But there is still much to be done to finalize these new regulations and the petroleum industry is going to be a constructive partner in getting them accomplished," Reheis-Boyd claimed.

The oil industry is most powerful corporate lobby in California. A ground breaking report released on April 1, 2014 by the ACCE Institute and Common Cause reveals that Big Oil's combined spending on lobbying and political campaigns in Sacramento amounts to a stunning $266.9 million over the past 15 years. This massive spending enables the oil industry to effectively buy the votes of many State Assembly Members and Senators.  (http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/14/how-big-oil-bought-sacramento/)

But the oil industry exerts its influence not just through spending enormous sums on lobbying and contributions to political campaigns, but by serving on state and federal government panels.

In one of the biggest conflicts of interest in California environmental history, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association, served as the Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Task Force to create so-called "marine protected areas" in Southern California, as well as sitting on the task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast.

It is no surprise that the alleged "Yosemites of the Sea" created under Reheis-Boyd's "leadership" 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 tribal gathering.

It is also no surprise that the oil industry was fracking like crazy in Southern California ocean waters at the same time that Reheis-Boyd and MLPA Initiative advocates were greenwashing one of the most corrupt environmental processes in California history.    

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Delta Tunnels Opponents Offer Senator Feinstein A Better Water Solution

by: Dan Bacher

Tue May 20, 2014 at 15:40:47 PM PDT

In discussing her agribusiness-friendly drought relief legislation, S 2198, Senator Dianne Feinstein recently told the San Francisco Chronicle that environmentalists have "never been helpful to me in producing good water policy.'"

"I have not had a single constructive view from environmentalists of how to provide water when there is no snowpack," said Feinstein in her interview. (http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Feinstein-Environmentalists-no-help-on-5481560.php)

Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Governor Jerry Brown's Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build the peripheral tunnels, on Monday announced the release of  a new video in response to Feinstein's false claim that environmentalists have "never been helpful" to her in solving California's water resource challenges.

Restore the Delta's storyboard video, http://youtu.be/Ml_pCr2uMaE, describes what water efficiency would accomplish for the Delta and for meeting California's water and jobs needs. RTD, along with the Environmental Water Caucus in their Responsible Water Exports Plan, has long proposed  sustainable water water policies.

"Sen. Feinstein is carrying water in S 2198 for huge industrial mega-growers who  have planted thousands of additional acres of almonds on dry lands in Westlands  and Kern Water Districts in the midst of our three-year dry spell," said Barbara  Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of RTD. "Sen. Feinstein's response to this  unsustainable overplanting of permanent crops on unsustainable lands without their  own water supply is to strip sustainable farms and fisheries of protections so these  huge growers can water their unwise plantings."

"During times of drought, people think about big water projects as the solution because most people have seen large canals or dams that hold and convey  water," she said. "We decided to create a storyboard that shows what water efficiency looks like with easy to understand facts so that people can learn why water efficiency is  the better value for each dollar spent on water infrastructure."

"The water efficiency  story will be turned into a feature video in the months ahead -- and it will tell the  story of how water efficiency throughout California is the solution for the Delta  and the citizens of California," Barrigan-Parrilla concluded.

The video is here: http://youtu.be/Ml_pCr2uMaE
 

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