Monday, April 02, 2012

My closest approach to an "anti-environment" vote, for what it's worth

On Tuesday, the Water District considered what position it should take on H.R. 1837, a piece of ridiculous, environment-destroying legislation that would ruin the Sacramento River Delta ecosystem in favor of Central Valley farmers.  It contradicts the "co-equal goals" that have driven attempts to manage the main water supply for California, that environmental restoration and stable water supply are to be on the same footing.  Our District is fairly uniquely situated because we have a strong environmental commitment and we get a lot of water from the Delta.

The thing is, it's not going anywhere - the legislation was written without any Democratic input and has been sent to die in the Senate.  We could take an oppose position, but that would hurt our ability to work on other legislation with Republicans that is currently in the House.

The staff recommendation was to take a "watch" stance instead of "oppose".  So here's our discussion ("aqua", btw, is the ACWA Association of California Water Agencies and a heavyweight in political discussions of water issues):

Get Microsoft Silverlight

(If as often happens the video doesn't work, go here, click on March 27 video, then click on the Item 3.7 on the far left.)

Essence of my position in favor of watch instead of oppose, said a little over 20 minutes in, "My best understanding is that it's symbolic, it's political theater, and I don't want to take a hit on substantive legislation just in order to make a point."

I added a few things to make us ready to oppose it if it turns out to be more than political theater.  My position won 5-2, with the two wanting to take an oppose position.  The chair and I are the known enviros and we both supported the watch position.  The three "old guard" directors split, with one of them taking our side.  An interesting split.

I just was told today that ACWA's advisory committee retained a "watch" position, so we didn't blow it there, so far.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

This is a textbook example of the 2 sides having the same set of facts but coming to different analysis.

While Eli makes wild emotional appeals using code terms such as "co-equal goals", I would suggest that he is trying to uphold penalizing taxes. There a lot of government projects that the noble Mr. Nunes is trying to send to the trash bin where they belong.

I frankly hate salmon and believe it is the worse tasting fish and I also haven't heard of any population problems with the salmon. Given that it is on every single restaurant menu in the country, my point is proven.

Anonymous said...

It seems your name needs to be a little more prominent (again) Brian. Some people just can't read, especially those with phd in their monickers it seems.

As to salmon, the UK is improving but the West Coast seems to have problems. Perhaps you have different numbers.

Cymraeg llygoden

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

@ Cymraeg llygoden

I would just say that perhaps there are areas where salmon are having problems but my challenge to you would be to name a fish that is more prevalent on menus in the United States. I feel like flounder use to be the "it" fish, at least on the East coast, but in the past decade it has been all salmon.

Brian said...

If we decide the future of salmon based on whether we like its taste, then I'm all for it. I love its taste as do most people I know. I'd love to see the Calfornia wild salmon get back to something like the prominence it had, instead of the incredibly wasteful farmed salmon that is mostly available now.

owlbrudder said...

The only thing less useful than the Chocolate Blockhead is Micro$oft [insert name of application here] on a pristine Linux box. M$ has not infected my realm yet, except in close captivity, and I am thus free of M$ virii, so I am unable/unwilling to install SilverLight just to watch a video. Of course, if the producer wishes to reformat the video into a more industry-standard file type, I will be delighted to watch it. I believe this blog is the only place I encounter M$-oriented posts.

Just my $0.02