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McCarthy, Nunes, Calvert, McClintock, LaMalfa, and Cook Denounce Newsom Administration Lawsuit That Will Reduce California Water Supplies

May 6, 2020
Press Release


This morning, Representatives Kevin McCarthy, Devin Nunes (CA-22), Ken Calvert (CA-42), Tom McClintock (CA-04), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), and Paul Cook (CA-08) sent a letter to California Governor Newsom calling on him to withdraw the state’s lawsuit against the recently finalized Federal biological opinions, including a pending preliminary injunction designed to block implementation of the biological opinions.

The Representatives urged the Governor to instead issue a consistency determination under the California Endangered Species Act so the State Water Project (SWP) and Federal Central Valley Project (CVP) can operate in a coordinated manner as they have for decades.

The letter follows a previous letter the Representatives sent Governor Newsom in early April that he has ignored.

Highlights of the new letter are below or you can read it in its entirety here:

“The preliminary injunction that your Administration is pursuing, if successful, will deny tens of millions of Californians, including those who live in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, and San Diego, the water they depend on to live and thrive. [This will] also deny the water needed to keep the fertile San Joaquin Valley producing the agricultural products that we all eat, ultimately jeopardizing a keystone in our nation’s food supply…

"[It] is our understanding that your Administration ignored proposals from SWP contractors designed to address the State’s concerns with the new Federal biological opinions and that there has been no substantive dialogue with the Federal government since mid-February, when your Administration filed suit against the United States, regarding the State’s concerns with the new biological opinions…

“Make no mistake – if your Administration is successful with its motion for a preliminary injunction this week, it will have singlehandedly undone years of work – started by the Obama Administration – to bring new science and data to bear on California water policy decision-making that will directly adversely impact the Californians we all represent by denying them the water they need…

“[W]e again call on you to drop your Administration’s pending litigation, including the motion for a preliminary injunction, against the new Federal biological opinions in order to “turn the page on old binaries,” as two of your cabinet members said last November, and to issue a consistency determination for the SWP so the SWP and CVP can once against be operated in harmony to fulfill our State’s water needs. Without changing course, your Administration’s actions will ensure years of litigation and water supply uncertainty.”