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Congressman Garamendi Opposes California Water Theft Legislation

February 5, 2014
Press Release

Presents Alternative to Destructive House Republican Bill

Garamendi speaks against this Groundhog Day water grab bill and in favor of real solutions for California’s water shortage. Click to watch the video.

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), a former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, led opposition to H.R. 3964, a California water grab bill. The legislation would completely overturn state water law, cause massive economic upheaval, and divert water to junior water rights holders in the Southern San Joaquin Valley. The bill passed the House of Representatives 229-191.

Garamendi issued the following statement:

“Today feels like groundhog day. Once again, the House of Representatives is wasting time on a bill that validates water theft. It rips up California water contracts and state law. If enacted, this extreme bill would cause an ecological disaster for the San Francisco Bay and an economic crisis for California.

“This drought is caused by nature – something so painfully obvious, it can be seen from space. Despite the availability of federal assistance, the entire Central Valley – Sacramento and San Joaquin – is suffering. We must find ways to add to our water supply instead of taking water from one group to another for political gain.

“To provide a more sustainable path forward, I have introduced a Water Plan for All of California that would create new water through water storage, conservation, and recycling. Using this blueprint, I have and will continue to work with Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, so that all residents of the Golden State can have the water they need.”

The Congressman offered an amendment on the House Floor that would have prevented any action in the bill to undermine state, county, or local laws that prohibit the export of water from one community to other areas and also protected tribal sovereignty over their water supplies. Click here to watch the video of Garamendi speaking against this water grab and click here to watch him warn against another water war.

Garamendi also offered an amendment based on his water plan that would add to California’s water supply. The House Rules Committee failed to adopt this commonsense proposal.

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