From the Campaign Trail

posted Aug 28

Friends, I have an important message for you on climate change, and a request. I know you agree that we have an obligation to leave this world better than we found it. A more peaceful world, a strong and fair economy, a better quality of life – these are all part of that obligation. But we have yet to fully accept an essential element of our intergenerational responsibility: maintaining the health of our planet. After all, our economy, security, and quality of life all depend heavily on a healthy planet. And the reality is, our planet is in peril. That’s why I support President Obama’s groundbreaking Clean Power Plan: a comprehensive short- and long-term plan to greatly reduce carbon emissions from power plants, with flexibility to allow states to develop individualized emission reduction plans. Will you stand with me and President Obama in taking this important action to create a cleaner, healthier world for our children? Will you support the Clean Power Plan? If so, please sign your name to my online petition by following the link below.  Thank you!

posted Aug 26

Great news!  A Federal judge just rejected lawsuit by San Joaquin Valley irrigation groups.  The emergency cold water flows in the Trinity and Klamath will continue, and we will hopefully avoid an environmentally and economically devastating loss of salmon this year!

posted Aug 25

Here is my statement on the latest lawsuit filed by Westlands Water District to try and stop critically needed cold water flows for salmon in the Trinity and Klamath Rivers:  Here we go again.  As preposterous as it is for San Joaquin Valley irrigation districts to attempt to lay claim to Humboldt County’s desperately needed Trinity River water, it’s no surprise.  The Westlands Water District and their allies have been relentless in pursuing an agenda of stealing water from other regions and gutting vital protections for California’s economically and culturally vital salmon populations.  When courts or state and federal agencies uphold the laws that protect North Coast fisheries and the many people and jobs that depend on them, you can always expect a Westlands lawsuit—in addition to their never-ending lobbying in Washington and Sacramento and the constant drumbeat of distortions from their PR machine. The Department of Interior’s decision to make emergency releases of cold water from Trinity Lake to avoid an economically and environmentally devastating fish kill in the Trinity and lower Klamath Rivers is the right thing to do, and it will be upheld in court just as it was last year and the year before that.  This water does not belong to Westlands or the CVP.  As the Interior Department’s Solicitor acknowledged in a legal opinion last year, a 1955 Act of Congress and subsequent federal water contract guarantee Humboldt County and downstream water users the benefit of this water.  Our salmon fisheries are vital to the economy of the North Coast of California and to the traditions and subsistence needs of our native American tribes.  Releasing these cold water flows into the Trinity and lower Klamath Rivers will help prevent a potential disaster in the coming days.  The massive fish kill of 2002 should be a constant reminder of what happens when science, environmental laws and critical fishery requirements are ignored to placate powerful irrigation interests.  I commend the Interior Department for doing the right thing, following the law, and taking action to prevent a repeat of 2002.

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