Friday, October 1, 2010

Statement from the No on the Water Bond Coalition in Reaction to Brown v. Whitman Debate

For Immediate Release
October 1, 2010
Contact: Jim Metropulos, Sierra Club California
916-557-1100 x 109

Meg Whitman’s Love of Texas Includes an Embrace of the Texas Sized Pork in the Water Bond

Sacramento – In this week’s first debate between the candidates for governor, California’s water woes were featured prominently, as was the $11.14 billion water bond slated for the November 2012 ballot. The two candidates were in stark contrast as they laid out their vision for solving California’s daunting water challenges.

Jerry Brown state that the central focus of any plan to build new water infrastructure should be based on the beneficiary pays principles. The proposed November 2012 water bond, instead, dumps the cost of building new water infrastructure on all California taxpayers. He echoed the No on the Bond coalition’s call that all parties, including Delta voices, be brought to the table.
Brown said: “As far as the peripheral canal, of course I in 1981 brought the Legislature together and had a peripheral canal bill that would have brought water to Southern California.
Unfortunately, Northern California didn’t like that and there was a referendum and my proposal, even though it went through the Legislature, was voted down by the people. What that shows you, you’ve got to negotiate, you’ve got to bring in all parties. So here’s my proposal on the water… The beneficiary has to pay, if they get the water, not the taxpayer…. If it’s for habitat protection or building the levees, that’s something the public ought to pay for. And I think if we increase our water recycling, if we work with local communities on groundwater management, do better there. If we make it easier for water transfers, and we build the conveyances that make sense, than I think we can deal with the water… one other thing you have to deal with safe drinking water. There are kids in the Central Valley with birth defects… Safe water, water conservation, the beneficiary pays, and the taxpayer then supports the general benefits that will accrue.”
Meg Whitman, on the other hand, again embraced the bloated water bond, this time clearly stating that the bond enabled a peripheral canal and new destructive dams. In previous statements Whitman also acknowledged the billions of dollars of pork projects that would be funded by this bond.
Whitman stated: “I was a proponent of the water bond that was just kicked to 2012 and I think that was wrong. I was a supporter of that bond…. It had all the elements, it had, above and below ground storage, it had an outline for the peripheral canal”

No on the Water Bond is a coalition of consumer, education, environmental, fishing, farming, tribal, community and social justice organizations opposed to the water bond that will be on the statewide ballot in November.
Coalition members include the Sierra Club California, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, Friends of the River, Food & Water Watch, the Planning and Conservation League, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, Southern California Watershed Alliance, Restore the Delta, and Urban Semillas.
Computer Generated ~ No on Prop 18, No on the Water Bond, Sponsored by a Coalition of Environmental Organizations, FPPC ID# 1324820

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