I started the morning on the phone with Mindy McIntyre, Water Programs Manager for the Planning and Conservation League. She is sending me their latest position on Schwarzenegger's proposals. I will work with that.
The special session will start when Speaker Nuñez says it starts. So far, he has not said "go." However, he has taken a few actions. To begin with, we know which members of the Assembly Nuñez named to be working on this: (according to the web site of Assm. John Laird.
- John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) - Lead
- Lois Wolk (D-Davis)
- Juan Arambula (D-Fresno)
- Mary Salas (D-Chula Vista)
- Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael)
- Paul Krekorian (D-Burbank)
- Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles)
- Mike Eng (D-Monterey Park)
Let me note three important facts.
- There are more users of Metropolitan Water District water (Salas, Krekorian, Feuer, Eng) than any other. Since we know that the water district favors new dams, this fact will have a large say in the outcome.
- There are no Republicans in this working group. This could be a major problem if a supermajority is needed for anything.
- With the exception of Arambula(known to have been in Nuñez's dog house over the Temperance Flat Dam which Arambula supports) and Wolk, there are no representatives from the Central Valley and they are split between North (Davis) and South (Fresno).
This is not the time for business as usual solutions. The Delta is a New Orleans in waiting. We have a finite resource (water) and a growing demand from increased urbanization. We must have sustainable solutions this time and that is not business as usual.
Here is what Fish Snffer Editor Dan Bacher says of the Schwarzenegger proposal.
The measure provides for $5.1 billion in surface storage and identifies three sites for this storage - Sites, Temperance Flat Reservoir and the Los Vaqueros Expansion Project. The Sites Reservoir in the Sacramento Valley and Temperance Flat Reservoir in the San Joaquin Valley are included in the bond, in spite of the fact that the water would cost $1,000 to $2,000 per acre foot. Who is going to buy this water?
I think that Nunez has tried to stack the deck and hopes to decide the outcome by the choice of who works on the legislation. The only ones I trust are Wolk and Huffman and that is not enough.