The California Water Shortage - Citizens versus Special Interests

The California Water Shortage - Citizens versus Special Interests

Drought.jpg

The special interests who shape the decisions of California’s legislators by paying for their election have no concern for the well-being of the average California citizen. 

The special interests who shape the decisions of California’s legislators by paying for their election have no concern for the well-being of the average California citizen. 

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As we documented in a report on the Princeton University study of the political power of Elites, Interest Groups and Average citizens, there is zero alignment between the policy preferences of the interest groups and the average citizen.

A perfect demonstration that they don't want what citizens want is provided by the decisions around the current California drought. The extreme water shortage that threatens California citizens’ livelihoods and quality of life has been brought about exclusively by policy decisions paid for by the environmentalists and liberal elites.

Consider these policy decisions and their implications:

  • They have stopped most new dam construction in California, in spite of the tremendous growth in population that requires new infrastructure to support it.
  • They have diverted contracted irrigation and municipal water from established reservoirs, letting it run into the ocean (to “protect fish”).
  • They have frozen water storage resources at 1970’s levels.
  • They have insisted that the state divert water away from agricultural usage.
  • They have arranged for a $7.5 billion water bond to be spent primarily on new bureaucracies to regulate access to groundwater, allowing only a minority of the funds to go to reservoir construction.
  • They oppose construction of desalination plants that could supply 100% of the fresh water needs of Southern California’s urban water users, despite the fact that the cost $20 billion) would be a tiny fraction of the cost of the bullet train ($500 billion) that virtually no-one will use.

Who suffers as a result of the elite’s obsession with environmental regulation and the special interest groups’ diversion of money to pension plans that invest out-of-state rather than to in-state infrastructure investment? Regular citizens. California’s $30 billion per year agricultural export industry is in peril. The jobs and economic livelihoods that go with hit will disappear. The failure to invest in infrastructure results in higher electricity bills, higher food costs, fewer jobs and fewer economic opportunities. The quality of life goes down, and many people will be driven out of the state.

These issues will be much better handled at the local level. Farmers in the Central Valley will make better decisions for the agricultural industry. Citizens in coastal neighborhoods in San Diego County and Orange County will make better decisions about water supply. Neighborhood Legislature representatives will listen to their friends and neighbors who elect them, and carry their influence to Sacramento and make better legislation. Join us at www.neighborhoodlegislature.com.

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