Thursday February 23, 2023

Spectrum News

In an interview with Spectrum News, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., blasted California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s water storage policies and accused him of driving half a million people out of the Golden State in the last two years.

“All his actions have been wrong,” McCarthy said of Newsom, adding: “Just like they’ve been wrong in almost every single policy in this state.”

McCarthy often says, “Whiskey’s for drinking, water’s for fighting,” and that’s certainly the case when it comes to the governor’s water policies in California’s agriculturally rich Central Valley.

Under the state’s environmental rules, much stormwater in the region flows out to sea, rather than being pumped into reservoirs to help ease the state’s drought concerns.

Those rules are intended to protect endangered species of fish and better preserve the ecology of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta — which has the side-effect of reducing water exports to surrounding areas. More than 98% of the delta’s historic wetlands, along with about half of its freshwater inflow, have been lost according to the Public Policy Institue of California. Native species are in danger of extinction, including the delta smelt, which has reportedly declined in population by more than 90%.

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