Sen. Feinstein’s Amendment to the Senate Jobs Bill

RE: Sen. Feinstein’s Amendment to the Senate Jobs Bill that has stunned her constituents in the Delta

Just when we think we’re making progress on 2-Gates and getting better focus for the Delta and environment, Feb. 11, 2010 press reports that Sen. Feinstein is authoring an Amendment to the Senate Jobs Bill to suspend the Environmental Species Act (ESA) protections for Chinook salmon and mandate certain pumping regimes from the Delta.

The water export mandate is being done under the Senate Jobs Bill reportedly because of the jobs lost in the San Joaquin Delta. But we learned at the League of Women Voters Water Panel last month from Delta representatives and from the Farm Bureau that the job loss numbers are relatively small and a recent report believes much more of the Central Valley job loss was caused more by the housing economy rather than lack of water and more jobs have been lost due to the salmon industry. Plus now is not the time to remove ESA protections. The reservoirs are currently in good shape – now’s not the time to kill our remaining salmon. Before we jump to take steps that will cause even more damage to the Delta already in crisis, such as those in this new Amendment, it seems we need to make sure those steps are needed.

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