Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 3 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Scrap, don't delay, Proposition 18

By Mark Schlosberg  Posted by Anna Ghosh (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   No comments
Message Anna Ghosh
By Mark Schlosberg

On Tuesday, Governor Schwarzenegger announced his intention to push Proposition 18 the massive $11 billion water bond to the 2012 ballot. This delay will not lessen the water bond's impact on our budget. It won't reduce its wasteful spending or lessen its impact on the environment, and it certainly won't increase its chance of passing. Rather than move it to 2012, the legislature should scrap it all together.

Last year, the legislature, at Governor Schwarzenegger's behest, passed the water bond to be voted on by Californians this November. Rather than being a finely tuned measure for these austere times, the bond is larded up with pork projects and will largely benefit large agribusiness and billionaire developers, at the expense of California's basic services.

What is wrong with the bond? Almost everything. First, the bond prioritizes spending $3 billion on new dams in the Central Valley. Water from these dams will largely benefit large agribusiness, which, if additional water is ever gained from the dams, could turn around and sell it for a massive profit to developers. In fact, this is just what happened last year when a San Joaquin Valley farm water district sold rights to 14,000 acre-feet of water to the Mojave Water Agency in San Bernardino County for $73 million.

Second, the bond spends up to a billion dollars for desalination projects an incredibly expensive and energy intensive process of turning salt water into drinking water that has adverse environmental impacts. There is no restriction on how this money could be spent, and all of it could go to large corporations who seek to build desalination plants so they can sell water back to the same communities who will be paying for this bond for years to come.

Third, the bond contains $1.5 billion that is viewed by most as a down payment for a peripheral canal a giant canal to route water from the Sacramento river to the aqueducts that bring water to the Central Valley and Southern California. Cost estimates for the peripheral canal run as high as $50 billion. The beneficiaries? Billionaire agribusiness and development tycoons like Stewart and Lynda Resnick who own Paramount Farms, Fiji Water, and a host of other businesses.

Fourth, even the bonds strongest supporters like Meg Whitman, admit the bond contains $2-3 billion in pork -- the cost of which will be passed on to all Californians.

With California facing a $19 billion budget deficit and cuts to education, health, public safety and other basic services, its no wonder recent polling shows only 34% of Californians support the water bond while 55% oppose it.

Governor Schwarzenegger is seeking to move the measure to 2012 in light of the "economic situation." News flash: California's economy and budget are unlikely to look much rosier in two years and the fatally flawed package cobbled together by the Governor and members of the legislature is unlikely to look any better to California voters.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Anna Ghosh Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Food & Water Watch is a non-profit organization that advocates for common sense policies that will result in healthy, safe food and access to safe and affordable drinking water. Everyone is dependent on shared resources like clean water, safe food (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact EditorContact Editor
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Fool Me Once: The Perils of Supporting Prop 18

AB 301: Schwarzenegger's Last Chance to Have a Positive Impact on California's Water Future

Water bond delay: When a loss is still a victory

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend