Valadao’s take on Biden’s Valley water grab: Where’s the beef?

Rep. David Valadao has plenty of questions for the Biden administration over plans to limit water flow to the Valley. Team Biden has no answers.

The Biden administration’s move to throw out the Trump-era biological opinions that govern California’s water flow is nothing more than a political move to Rep. David Valadao (R–Hanford). 

In an upcoming interview on Sunrise FM, Valadao discussed the history of the biological opinions and the Congressional investigation into the Biden administration’s decision. 


The backstory: The latest biological opinions which govern the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project were signed by President Donald Trump in 2019, capping the process of formulating the new opinions that started under President Barack Obama. 

  • When President Joe Biden took office two years ago, his administration quickly began the process of removing the 2019 biological opinions to revert back to the previous opinions issued in 2008 and 2009. 
  • The biological opinions determine how to operate the state’s pumps in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to maximize environmental protection. 

The big picture: With the 2019 opinions in place, the Central Valley benefited from reduced pumping restrictions that allowed for more water to be sent to farms and communities. 

  • Another major factor in the most recent biological opinions is that it changed the pumping system over to real time monitoring instead of simply operating on a set calendar schedule annually. 

State of play: Earlier in the year, Valadao and the entire California Republican delegation penned a letter to Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland seeking answers as to why the administration is trying to throw out the Trump-era rules. 

  • So far the administration has remained mum to the multiple queries sent by Valadao and his fellow Republicans. 
  • The House Committee on Natural Resources is conducting an investigation into the administration’s actions. 

What they’re saying: Valadao told The Sun that he believes the administration’s reconsultation of the biological opinions was simply for political reasons because both Biden and California Gov. Gavin Newsom are opposed to the 2019 rules. 

  • “We found no basis for this reconsultation, and they’re not responding to any of our questions,” Valadao said. “So that tells us that they also have no basis for it or else they would tell us what the basis was for making that decision.”
Related Posts