Proposition 3 is an irresponsible approach to California’s water problems. The nearly $8.9 billion bond was crafted behind-the-scenes, contains critical elements that could directly harm the environment and turns important water policies on their head. The bond substantially benefits billionaire stakeholders and is a bad water deal for Californians. Bond proposals are best created through a legislative process that is transparent and open to the public. Instead, the Proposition 3 authors have taken a clandestine approach from the start.
Archive for date: September 15th, 2018
You are now in California and the U.S. Media Coverage category.
California farmers are laboring under a daunting edict: They must stop over-pumping groundwater from beneath their ranches. The saving grace is that state law gives them more than 20 years to do it. Now, however, a landmark court ruling could force many farmers to curb their groundwater consumption much sooner than that, landing like a bombshell in the contentious world of California water. For the first time, a California court has said state and county governments have a duty to regulate groundwater usage when it’s clear that the pumping drains water from adjacent rivers.
Proposition 3 would issue $8.9 billion in general obligation bonds for a range of water infrastructure projects. The funding breakdown includes $2.4 billion to restore and protect watersheds and another $4.1 billion for disadvantaged communities seeking to improve their water infrastructure. Prop. 3 would also allocate $640 million for groundwater improvements and $500 million for safe, affordable drinking water. Yes: Initiative’s main backer says Prop. 3 will meet state needs as population grows and climate changes. No: Sierra Club leader says Prop. 3 benefits billionaire stakeholders and could harm the environment.
For years, presidents and prime ministers have been the public face of the fight against climate change, gathering at United Nations summit meetings and pressuring each other to reduce emissions. The results have often been lackluster. A climate conference in California this week tried something different. The meeting, organized by the state’s governor, Jerry Brown, had far fewer national leaders present. Instead, an array of governors, mayors and business executives from around the globe met to promote their successes in cutting greenhouse gas emissions locally and to encourage one another to do more.
One would hope that with the profound foolishness associated with California’s infamous High Speed Rail (HSR) project that our elected leadership would have learned a thing or two. But this is California. Because we do things bigger and better than anyone else, it’s apparent that one massive boondoggle isn’t enough — we need two. Let’s recap what we’ll call Boondoggle, Senior. The complete dysfunction of HSR is no longer in dispute. Missed deadlines for the business plans, lack of transparency, massive cost overruns, engineering hurdles that make the project virtually impossible to complete and a lack of funding are tops on the list.