My colleague Roger Phillips interviewed Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly today.
Here’s a transcript of what Donnelly had to say about the drought, endangered fish, and — first of all — the twin tunnels:
“Hate ‘em. Stupid. You’re going to tunnel underneath a wetland? You lost me right there. I think the stability of what you’re going to tunnel through is in severe question. And of course, as soon as you try to do something that shouldn’t be done, it costs a tremendous — multiple what you thought it was going to cost. We’ve already seen the estimates double and almost triple. It’s so far out in time that it’s too little too late.
“We have a crisis right now where we’re literally burning through groundwater. We’ve got rivers running at full capacity in order to sustain fish but we’re going to wipe out the most significant industry in the state of California. We’re also going to destroy the land by destroying the groundwater. This isn’t just here, it’s not just the entire Central Valley. It’s all along the coast.
“We need a governor who understands that human beings were made in God’s image and they have more rights than the fish or the fowl. If we have to go grind up four buckets of minnows in order to feed the world, so be it. Let them not die in vain, let’s get them out there on the field and spread them out as fertilizer.
“But right now the greatest threat to the agricultural industry in the state of California is the federal government with its Endangered Species Act, with the way they maintain the forest, with too many trees per acre. It’s holding all the water up there. If they had a healthy forest a lot of that water would be down her at a moment we really need it.
“And then this nonsense of letting water run out of sea to either A) Flush out the delta because they won’t put in sewage treatment plants and things they need there in Sacramento and some of the other cities. It’s irresponsible. These are things that can be reversed and they should be.
“The last thing, of course, we need desalinization. We need to be supplying our own water. We have a massive source of it that is just sitting there, untapped for the most part. That would help in Southern California, it would help along the central coast… I think that’s going to be an important part of a statewide water plan that has some vision.”