California Republican Delegation Statement on Biden Administration Politicizing Water Deliveries for Struggling Communities


Yesterday, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced it is reinitiating consultation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) 2019 biological opinions related to the coordinated long-term operation of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP). Representatives McCarthy, Calvert, Garcia, Issa, Kim, LaMalfa, McClintock, Nunes, Obernolte, Steel, and Valadao issued the following statement opposing the Biden Administration's action:

"We strongly oppose the Biden administration's reckless, anti-scientific, and politically-motivated attempt to rewrite the 2019 biological opinions.

"The 2019 opinions reflect years of work by career staff experts at the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Commerce to incorporate the best available science and latest data to ensure a reliable water supply for California's families, farms, and communities while protecting listed species and their environment in our state. Just as important, multiple rigorous peer reviews confirmed the scientific findings on which the 2019 opinions are based.

"Yet, the opinions are adamantly opposed by most California Democrats, the Newsom administration, and radical environmental groups. This opposition is particularly shocking given that those most impacted by the lack of water supply are disadvantaged, rural minority communities. Moreover, these opinions are less than two years old -- salmon have a three-year life cycle -- so the federal government has not been able to fully evaluate their effectiveness.

"We call on the Biden administration to defend the 2019 opinions in court against radical lawsuits while continuing to work with water contractors and state officials to address the State's concerns through implementation, not reconsultation. But as the Biden administration bulldozes ahead with this process, we expect that Section 4004 of the WIIN Act will be fully complied with.

"At a time when Californians are burdened with high gas prices at the pump and unreliable electricity for their homes, California Democrats and the Biden administration now want to deprive them of water supplies. It is time for Democrats to abandon their penchant for generating man-made crises to appease the radical environmental lobby and instead support policies that protect our State's families, farms, and communities."