OROVILLE – Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale), Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama), and Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) joined forces today at Lake Oroville to demand urgent action to address the gross mismanagement of the state’s water, power, and wildlands. The lawmakers spoke to the media above the Hyatt Power Plant, which will soon stop generating electricity for the first time in history due to low water levels at Lake Oroville.
California has squandered its ample resources,” said LaMalfa. “By failing to observe the most obvious thing, that we didn’t get much rain or snow this year, the State and the Governor continued to direct his bureaucracy to expend a limited water supply throughout the winter and spring and did nothing to save critical water for this fall. Now salmon lack the water they need, the state is taking farmers water mid growing season, starving the water needed by food crops before they reach harvest. Even household wells are going dry across the state. By failing to act, failing to invest and failing to lead, Governor Newsom has left our state short of electric power, short of water, burning up our lands, and in a lot of trouble.”
“California has gone back to the policy of sharing scarcity, particularly with water and power, rather than planning for the future. In 2014, voters approved a $2.75 billion bond to build large aboveground water storage, like the proposed Sites Reservoir in Colusa County. Seven years later, not a gallon of water has been stored,” said Nielsen. “So here we are today: no additional water storage to help with the drought crisis and not enough water to help generate needed electricity. The governor needs to ‘meet this moment’ and cut the red tape.”
“Californians are witnessing the effects of government mismanagement and misplaced priorities, and it’s not pretty,” said Gallagher. “Everything is backwards in Gavin Newsom’s California. Instead of storing water for dry years, California flushes it out to sea in the name of saving a 3-inch long fish that hasn’t been spotted for years. And even when the state knows it’s facing one of the worst fire seasons in history, the Governor and his pals in the Legislature cut funding for wildfire prevention efforts and reject reforms to fast-track fire prevention projects. My heart goes out to the residents of California who will become victim to one of these fires or lose their livelihood due to a lack of water. Remember: It didn’t have to be this way.”
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