Posted on Categories Sustainable Living, WaterTags , , , , , Leave a comment on Pacific Institute report provides insights on California’s Proposition 1: The Water Bond

Pacific Institute report provides insights on California’s Proposition 1: The Water Bond

With the state facing serious and deepening water challenges, voters on November 4th will be asked whether to approve Proposition 1, the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014. The ballot measure would raise $7.12 billion in new general obligation bonds along with reallocating an additional $425 million of previously authorized, but unissued, bonds to fund a wide range of water-related actions and infrastructures. When the full costs of the bond are assessed, including interest payments, Proposition 1 will cost over $14 billion and be the fourth largest water bond in California history.
The Pacific Institute, an internationally-renowned independent think tank focused on water issues, has released a report that helps voters untangle the complexities of the water bond measure. The Pacific Institute is taking no formal position for or against Proposition 1.
The report, Insights into Proposition 1: The 2014 California Water Bond, and its executive summary, notes that California’s pressing water troubles require expanded investment, changes in policy and institutions, and in some cases fundamentally new technologies, policies, laws, and behavior. The water bond is only one solution – and perhaps an imperfect one at that – when many are needed.
“California voters are faced with a difficult decision on the water bond,” says Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute. “Our new report looks at the subtleties along with the complexities of the bond measure to help voters make wise decisions at the polls.”
With the goal of informing voters, the report analyzes the bond’s key provisions and their potential impacts. The report explains how funds would be allocated, including how the water storage funds may be divided among competing projects. It also describes how the bond addresses the needs of disadvantaged communities and ecosystems.
via New Report Provides Insights on California’s Proposition 1 – Pacific Institute.

Posted on Categories WaterTags , , Leave a comment on Big oil company donates $250,000 to Yes on Prop. 1 campaign

Big oil company donates $250,000 to Yes on Prop. 1 campaign


Billionaires and corporate agribusiness fund Water Bond campaign

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) revealed on October 17 that Aera Energy LLC, a company jointly owned by affiliates of Shell and ExxonMobil, has contributed $250,000 to the Yes on Proposition 1 and 2 campaign.
The total of money donated by top contributors for Governor Brown Prop. 1 and 2 campaign has risen to $8,026,015 to date, according to the FPPC.
Aera Energy LLC is one of California’s largest oil and gas producers, accounting for nearly 25 percent of the state’s production, according to the company’s website.
“Formed in June 1997 and jointly owned by affiliates of Shell and ExxonMobil, we are operated as a stand-alone company through our own board of managers,” the website stated.
“We are industry leaders that specialize in tapping heavy oil and other unconventional light reservoirs. With headquarters in Bakersfield, most of our production is centered in the San Joaquin Valley. We also have oil field operations in Ventura and Monterey counties. Aera produces about 131,000 barrels of oil and 36 million cubic feet of natural gas each day and has proved oil and gas reserves equivalent to approximately 712 million barrels of oil,” the website said.
Opponents of Proposition 1 say Governor Jerry Brown’s $7.5 billion water bond is an expensive and unfair taxpayer giveaway to special interests, including Big Oil and Big Ag, that won’t solve the drought or help secure California’s water future. They see the latest contribution as one of many by powerful corporate interests to pay for slick campaign ads to trick the voters into approving the controversial measure.
The Con argument in the California Progressive Voter Guide states: “It allocates over $3.6 billion, without oversight by the legislature, to build dams and pay for water transfers for corporate agribusiness. Prop 1 with interest will cost CA taxpayers $14.4 billion or $360 million per year for 40 years out of our State’s general fund, money that could be used for other needs like education and healthcare.”
Read more via Big Oil Company Donates $250,000 to Yes on Prop. 1 campaign.

Posted on Categories WaterTags , Leave a comment on Opinion: Dams are not the answer to long-term water woes

Opinion: Dams are not the answer to long-term water woes

Kathryn Phillips, THE SACRAMENTO BEE
The Bee’s editorial praising bipartisanship on the updated water bond (“A rare sighting of bipartisanship – on water no less,” Aug. 15) rightly saluted state Sen. Lois Wolk for her good work in trying to keep bond funds away from the ill-conceived Delta tunnels. But the piece got it wrong when it implied that the Delta tunnels issue was the only part of the bond that created concerns for Sierra Club and other environmental groups.
The new bond, like the one it replaced, is written to enable extraordinarily expensive dams that will provide negligible benefit to the public, won’t resolve our water supply problems and will irreparably damage the environment. It was written this way because the Legislature’s Republicans and San Joaquin Valley Democrats threatened to withhold votes needed to get the bond bill passed unless they got money for the dams.
Sierra Club was founded by John Muir in 1892. Muir formed the organization to advocate for the preservation of the natural treasures that dot our great nation. He fought hard against the damming of one of California’s most breathtaking wild areas – Hetch Hetchy Valley – which was drowned by water bound for San Francisco’s urban dwellers in 1923.
Since that time, Sierra Club has stood for a common-sense approach to resource management that respects and works in concert with nature’s majesty, not against it.
We recognize that the final bond package has many positive elements for Californians and our state’s natural areas. But spending $2.7 billion — more than one-third – of the $7.5 billion bond funds on an old-school, unsustainable approach to water management just doesn’t make sense.
The world is much different today than during the dam-building heyday in the 20th century. Climate disruption has begun and precipitation patterns are already changing. New dams won’t respond to that. The sooner the special interests that drive dam development in this state recognize this 21st-century reality and focus instead on moving aggressively to enable regional resiliency through conservation, efficiency, recycling, stormwater capture, groundwater management and the like, the better off we will all be.
Kathryn Phillips is director of Sierra Club California.
via Another View: Dams are not the answer to long-term water woes – Viewpoints – The Sacramento Bee.