July 3, 2009

Earth Justice criticizes relief for the Central Valley

By Joshua P. Thompson Senior Attorney

This week Earth Justice bloggers contended that the "conservative, anti-environmental operation known as the Pacific Legal Foundation is pushing Governor Schwarzenegger to ask Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to remove protections of California’s native fish species."  We'll respond in greater detail next week, but suffice it to say for now:  Earth Justice assumes the posture that the God Squad should never be convened, and that's plain wrong.  After all, why did Congress amend the ESA to provide for the God Squad?  Clearly, to provide project-specific relief when social and economic values far outweigh environmental values.  If the water crisis in the San Joaquin Valley doesn't qualify as an economic and social crisis of the first rank, justifying some relief from environmental regulation (don't forget that state laws also protect the delta smelt and other species), then what does?

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