STOCKTON – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger came to plug electric vehicles at a new manufacturing plant, but in the process he stunned local officials by saying that a water agreement by legislators early Wednesday will allow the state to “fix the Delta and to build a canal around the Delta.”
It’s well-known that Schwarzenegger supports a peripheral canal, but Wednesday’s comment – one of his most direct endorsements to date – stung in Stockton, the heart of anti-canal country.
He spoke at the grand opening for Electric Vehicles International, near the Port of Stockton.
“You don’t come in our backyard, where you could spit and hit the Delta, and tell us he’s going to put the canal in without really understanding the impacts,” said San Joaquin County Supervisor Leroy Ornellas, who was invited to Wednesday’s ceremony but had to cancel after it was delayed to accommodate the governor’s news conference in Sacramento.
The package of bills, finished by legislators at 6 a.m. Wednesday, does not explicitly authorize a canal to send water past, rather than through, the Delta. It would, however, delegate future Delta decisions – including a canal, which is already being studied – to a new seven-member council, with four members appointed by the governor.
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