Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Nunes’ Top Ten Christmas Wish List

Congressman Nunes' Christmas list for 2009...

1) For Ray Appleton, a hat like Paul Rodriguez.

2) For Paul Rodriguez, a new hat.

Perhaps a bowler?

3) For the Fresno Bee’s Mark Grossi, a cruise ship for his next trip down the San Joaquin River.

4) For Fresno Bee reporter Mike Doyle, one of Gary Condit’s Baskin Robbins in Arizona.

5) For Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one of Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner’s for those long trips home to San Francisco.

6) A solar powered plane to replace his fuel guzzling private jet for Governor Schwarzenegger’s next climate summit trip.

7) The addition of Central Valley farmers and farm workers to the endangered species list.

8) A new environmental think tank in Mendota for George Miller and his political allies in Congress.

(maybe some of the radical environmentalists who protested in Copenhagen can help run the center)

9) For Sean Hannity of FOX News, a salmon fishing trip with bailout recipients who will explain how the $250 million salmon disaster payments are being spent.

10) Hip boots for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar – his current boots aren’t high enough for his rhetoric.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Obama Administration: Federal Action Plan for Water Crisis in California

In case you missed it, please see the latest news from the Department of Interior detailing the President's response to our water crisis (it speaks for itself).

December 22, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Obama Administration today released a coordinated interim action plan to address the water crisis in California. In accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by six federal agencies at the end of September, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Chair Nancy Sutley of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) joined the Department of Commerce, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of the Army and the Department of Agriculture to release a list of actions being taken by the six federal agencies.

“The California water crisis is a full-blown crisis that requires all hands on deck to help those who are suffering. We are moving aggressively to do our part to address the urgent need to provide reliable water supplies for 25 million Californians, while also protecting the Bay-Delta ecosystem upon which the supplies depend,” Secretary Salazar said. “Everything we do will be done in close partnership with the State of California and will build upon the path-breaking legislation recently enacted by the State.”

"The Obama Administration is committed to robust reengagement in restoring the Bay-Delta ecosystem and addressing California’s water needs,” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “The actions that Federal agencies announce today will have real, on-the-ground impacts in 2010 and will complement the State of California’s ongoing response.”

The coordinated federal action plan will:

• strengthen the federal government’s coordination of actions with the state – especially its commitment to more fully engage federal agencies in the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the most significant effort currently underway to address critical long-term water issues in California.

• help to meet water needs through actions that promote smarter water supply and use such as constructing projects that increase flexibility in the water supply system; enhancing water transfers; ensuring that the best science is applied to water supply decisions; and intensifying and aligning Federal water conservation efforts with those of the state.

• help ensure healthy ecosystems and improved water quality through independent reviews of key scientific questions, including a review of all factors that are contributing to the decline of the Bay-Delta ecosystem; investigation and mitigation of other stressors affecting water quality in the Bay-Delta and impacts to its imperiled species; advancing ecosystem restoration projects, including near-term habitat projects in the Bay-Delta; accelerating the restoration and propagation of Delta smelt and other aquatic species; continuing construction of fish screens; and addressing climate change impacts on the Bay-Delta.

• call for agencies to help deliver drought relief services and ensure integrated flood risk management, including the prioritization of projects and activities for flood risk management and related levee stabilization projects and navigation.

Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes today noted that the federal officials reviewed and considered public comments in preparing this interim plan. “This plan was produced on an expedited basis due to the crisis, and it will remain a living document that is updated and revised on a going-forward basis.”

The federal agencies will now begin to implement the actions contained in this plan, working in close partnership with the State of California to advance their shared priorities.

To view the draft plan, go here:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Turn on the Pumps Act

Afterreceiving news from California that the State Water Project allocationfor 2010 would be the lowest in history, a mere 5%, I began circulating a discharge petition for my bill, "The Turn onthe Pumps Act" (H.R.3105). The legislation would restore the flow ofwater in California by waiving the Endangered Species Act (ESA)provisions responsible for Delta pumping restrictions. A dischargepetition requires 218 signatures and would move my bill out of the House Committee on Natural Resources to the House Floor for debate. If enacted, "The Turn onthe Pumps Act" would immediately restore the flow of water to dryCalifornia communities. 

I have fought for nearly two years to gain passage of a temporaryESA waiver that would restore the flow of water to San Joaquin Valleycommunities while California’s long-term water supply challenges areaddressed. My proposal to help the people of the San Joaquin Valley,as well as Southern California residents, is virtually identical tolegislation that passed Congress without controversy in 2003.

Theaction by Congress in 2003 was bipartisan and swift. Water supplies inNew Mexico were threatened due to ESA rules related to the silveryminnow – a three inch bait fish. In order to protect the water supplyof Albuquerque, as well as other communities dependent on the RioGrande River, a temporary ESA waiver was enacted.

Currentwater shortages in California, including the announcement of a 5%allocation for 2010, are the direct result of ESA protections relatedto the Delta smelt – a three inch bait fish. Federal and state pumpingfrom the Delta have been severely restricted thanks to the flawedimplementation of the ESA. This has resulted in the transformation ofour nation’s most fertile farmland into desert and driven unemploymentto historic levels.

Overthe past several years, we have witnessed the hypocrisy ofCongressional leaders, including the Speaker, California’s senators andother senior Democrats, who supported the 2003 New Mexico language butrefuse to do the same for their own constituents. The dischargepetition I am circulating will highlight our supporters and expose ouropponents. It will clearly show who in the House favors fish overfamilies.