PLF Laments That Schwarzenegger, Obama Haven’t Summoned ESA “God Squad.”
Meanwhile, it’s "full steam ahead" with PLF’s Delta smelt lawsuit, reported in today’s Wall Street Journal
Pacific Legal Foundation’s emergency “Save Our Water” petition drive, which concluded on August 19, collected more than 12,750 signatures of people asking that the “God Squad” be convened to deal with California’s government-caused water crisis.
SACRAMENTO, CA; August 19, 2009: Today marked the deadline for Gov. Schwarzenegger and any relevant federal agency, such as the Bureau of Reclamation, to submit a formal petition to trigger the convening of the Endangered Species Committee – a high level federal panel nicknamed the “God Squad” – to deal with the extreme federal environmental regulations that threaten to create an even worse government-caused drought in the Central Valley. As of today, no action to convene the God Squad has been taken by either the Schwarzenegger Administration or the Obama Administration.
Today, Pacific Legal Foundation President Rob Rivett issued this statement, in response to the failure of the governor and the Obama administration to take action to convene the God Squad: “California is suffering from a government-caused water emergency, so an emergency response is needed. It is extremely disappointing that action hasn’t been taken to summon the federal Endangered Species Committee, because that panel has authority to overrule radical environmental regulations that starve farms, businesses, and families of water in the San Joaquin Valley. Despite this setback, PLF is determined to push forward in our fight against the federal government’s job-killing regulations. On behalf of Central Valley farmers, workers, and communities, PLF attorneys are fighting, in federal court, against the government’s water cutoffs and fish-before-people regulations, because those policies are immoral and illegal.
PLF’s litigation was reported on in today’s lead editorial in The Wall Street Journal, an editorial that indicts the federal government’s radical policy for starving San Joaquin Valley farms, businesses, and communities of water and destroying tens of thousands of jobs in the Central Valley.
Titled, “California’s Man-Made Drought,” the Journal editorial reports: “The Pacific Legal Foundation has filed a lawsuit on behalf of three farmers in the valley, calling the federal [Delta smelt] regulations ‘immoral and unconstitutional.’ Because the delta smelt is only found in California, the Foundation says, it does not fall under the regulatory powers provided by the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. On a statutory basis, the Fish and Wildlife Service also neglected to appropriately consider the economic devastation the pumping restrictions would bring.”
PLF’s lawsuit is titled Stewart & Jasper Orchards, et. al. v. Salazar. The complaint is available at PLF’s Web site: www.pacificlegal.org.
About Pacific Legal Foundation
Pacific Legal Foundation (www.pacificlegal.org) is the leading legal watchdog for limited government, property rights, and a balanced approach to environmental regulation.
On May 21, 2009, PLF attorneys filed a lawsuit on behalf of several Central Valley farmers against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, challenging federal authority to regulate for the Delta smelt, which has led to sharply reduced pumping from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
A brief video about PLF’s history and mission, including comments by former U.S. Attorney General Edwin J. Meese III, can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnBSlRQwxKU.