Since Gov. Brown’s Wednesday announcement reaffirming his commitment to building a pair of tunnels circumventing the Delta, my inbox has filling up with statements about the announcement from labor, business, engineers, water authorities and members of Congress.
Among them, was a release from Rhodesia Ransom, who is running against Bob Elliott for the District 5 seat on the Board of Supervisors.
Like others in the county, she came out against fast-tracking the construction of the tunnel: “I want water in my kitchen, not filling Hollywood swimming pools. I want jobs that build San Joaquin County, not help destroy it.”
Here’s the entire statement:
Blasting the decision to move fast trackthe Peripheral Canal/Tunnel without environmental review, District 5 Supervisor candidate Rhodesia Ransom today strongly condemned the plan as “a pipe dream from the LA Chamber of Commerce” that will waste taxpayer money and would likely further deplete water availability in San Joaquin County.
“Experts say the project will likely cost more than twice as much as the benefits. No wonder it has such strong support in Washington” she stated.
The bypassing of environmental review is at the heart of her opposition. “The lack of a coherent state water policy is obvious, and we all know that what exists now doesn’t work. To plow ahead with the project without environmental review is tunnel vision, a roll of the dice San Joaquin County will not accept,” she said.
Ransom noted, “restoring flows to the San Joaquin takes years of environmental analysis, but the multi-billion dollar Peripheral Canal gets a pass. Exactly what sense does that make?”
Studies from the University of Pacific actually show the costs to be 2.5 times the benefits, with an ultimate price tag as high as 50 billion dollars. The principal beneficiaries of the Peripheral project will be cities in Southern California, and some of the largest corporate farming operations in the country. “This is gang violence of a different sort,” she said.
Ransom expressed strong concern over dropping water levels in San Joaquin County, saying that drinking water for communities in her district are already at risk. “I want water in my kitchen, not filling Hollywood swimming pools. I want jobs that build San Joaquin County, not help destroy it.”
“Agriculture is our economic backbone, and it depends on reliable water supplies. We saw what happened to the Owens Valley. Special interests and politicians will steal our water if we let them, and lay waste to our farmland and our economy. I do not intend to let that happen.”