Feinstein Offers Pact with Water Devil

Yesterday U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., responded to a Republican-backed water bill stalled in the U.S. Senate with a deal that might end up as a pact with the water devil for farmers and water agencies.

Feinstein included provisions in an amended Senate Appropriations agriculture and energy bill to possibly provide more certainty of water supplies for Central Valley farmers.

Feinstein also surprisingly dangled the carrot of an expedited federal review for approval of the proposed Sites Reservoir in Colusa County. Water for the Sites Reservoir would be diverted from the Sacramento River.

Stalled House Bill Would Repeal Feinstein’s 2009 Water Bill

The House bill that is stalled in the U.S. Senate, H.R. 1837 by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Visalia., would have repealed Feinstein’s 2009 San Joaquin River Restoration Act, H.R. 146.

Feinstein’s 2009 bill took water allocations from farmers and transferred them to commercial fishing, recreational and real estate interests in northern California under the guise of environmental restoration.

Her 2009 bill also required future renewal of agricultural water contracts to go through an environmental review process. That would be like farmers and water agencies having to deal with the water devil by having to pay for contrived environmental mitigations payouts to so-called “stakeholders.”

The Apparent Deal at Hand

What is apparently on the bargaining table now is a trade of expedited federal review of a new proposed water storage reservoir and possible greater certainty of farm water in return for keeping the provisions of Feinstein’s 2009 bill intact. As it is often said, the devil is in the details.

Feinstein’s amendments to the Senate’s appropriations bill would:

* Provide for a six-month study by the Department of the Interior on ways to bring about additional farm water deliveries;

* “Urge” the Department of Interior to “facilitate and expedite” transfers of federal Central Valley Project water to farmers; and

* Expedite the Federal review for the new proposed Sites Reservoir.

A Deal with the Devil? 

The critical question with such a deal: Is it a pact made with the Water Devil — a bargain done for present gain without regard to future cost or consequences?

Would farmers and water agencies be willing to incur huge future environmental liabilities on the flimsy promise that federal agencies would comply with being “urged” to fast-track water transfers and review of a new proposed reservoir?  Why would federal agencies need “urging” to fast track review of a new dam when California only has a half-year of water storage capacity in its present water system?  Wouldn’t California’s thin water storage capacity be enough of an emergency to rush reviews?

And what would prevent such guarantees included in an agricultural and energy bill from being easily overturned? What would hold both parties to their part of the bargain in the long term?  California water history indicates that water deals obtained by “force and/or fraud” are bound to unravel while those obtained by “consent of the governed” are more lasting.

And why would farmers and water agencies be willing to deal with the Water Devil of environmental reviews of their water contract renewals when the outcome of the Department of Interior study six months down the road is uncertain?

Even Democratic Congressman Jim Costa of agricultural Fresno is cited as a backer of the “more aggressive House proposal,” HR 1837, rather than Feinstein’s deal.  However, Costa also said Feinstein’s deal was “helpful.”

Nunes said he would not reject Feinstein’s deal on its face but wanted greater assurances.

Maybe a deal can be struck now that negotiations have been re-opened.  But it is an election year for Feinstein. And that may mean floating up a deal for farmers and water agencies that is meant to buy votes.  Feinstein’s deal would not repeal her one-sided 2009 water bill that was ramrodded through Congress by force and fraud instead of consent of the governed.

‘Force, Fraud or Consent of the Governed?’

The Sacramento Bee described the pending Senate agricultural and energy appropriations bill as a “must pass” piece of legislation to keep the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation funded for 2013.  The 2013 fiscal year begins July 1.

It appears that Feinstein is back to the devilish use of “force and fraud” rather than obtaining the “consent of the governed.”  But there still is a small window of time to cut a deal for mutual benefit.

(Wayne Lusvardi is a political commentator and writes for CalWatchdog. Originally posted on CalWatchdog.)


  1. UpChuck.Liberals says

    I wouldn’t trust anything that Lady Di comes up with, she’s a millimeter behind Reid in the race to Dementia. Babs Boxer and Queen Nan are already there, as are Mikey Honda, Waxman, Waters.

  2. it’s an election year, and people are angry that the most fertile land in the world is being wasted and thrown into a dust bowl condition by politics… She knows her job depends on votes, and the votes are endangered by the lack of water SHE created. No big surprise here.. self-serving as always with Pelosi…

  3. Wild Bill says

    Well, she is planting the seeds of her dumping by the voters. Hopfully she does not get re-elected. If you ever write to her to express your opinion, you get a “canned” message in return. She does not listen to the people of California. Instead she does as she is ordered by the Dummocrap party.

  4. She’s another commie/marxist Devil……….I wouldn’t trust that hag as far as I could throw a Sherman tank………..She and Boxer are flat azzed EVIL…….PERIOD……BURN THEM BOTH……….

  5. Al Metcalf says

    If you want to straighten out the water mess in California get the Federal Government out of the State. It is time to kill the EPA and each state to take care of its own problems with no Federal interferrence. No
    California Rivers flow into other States with single exception of the Truckee River, so what in hell is the Fed doing here anyway. It is time for a Constitutional Convention where the States and the people thereof rewrite the Constitution to what it is supposed to be. Back to States Rights and a noose around the neck of the Federal Government.

  6. I agree with most posts here. she may be elected by the people but she doesn’t work for the people. what our state/states problem is ,is that it was changed from a constitutional Republic ,remember the old state flag “California Republic” to a corporation as is our central govt. She works for the Corporation. And if you have voluntarily gotten a social security card,you have entered into a trust with a govt agency, Corporations can’t sue Corporations)that’s why it is so hard to sue the govt’s either state or federal. it’s hard to explain , i suggest you visit this site http://teamlaw.net/ Don’t worry no one will call or fill your email box …

    • Roy Hogue says

      OK, so I went to http://teamlaw.net/ and looked around. It looks like many such sites where they claim only they have a “lock” on the truth. If you look you’ll find them claiming that the U.S. Government, among other things was responsible for bombing the Federal Building in Oklahoma City and 9/11. Please don’t insult me by recommending such people. They are part of the problem not the solution.

      If you want to help anything research the candidates opposing Feinstein and vote for a better senator.


  1. […] this ruling would have any bearing on the provision in Democratic Calif. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s H.R. 146, the San Joaquin River Restoration Act of 2009, to “mandate” agricultural water contractors to go through an environmental clearance process […]

Speak Your Mind