Author: Brandon Middleton
Via Aquafornia, I came across this article from the Silicon Valley Mercury News. The article states that export restrictions "are the result of federal court rulings designed to protect endangered salmon and smelt in the delta."
This is not an accurate statement. While the federal judiciary has overseen some of the past restrictions due to lawsuits that have been filed by environmental groups, it is misleading to blame the courts and not fault those who are ultimately responsible for restricting pumping. The export restrictions are due to biological opinions written by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service. The agencies have written these biological opinions and the accompanying restrictions based on their regulatory authority under the Endangered Species Act, a law passed by your elected representatives in Congress.
I have an earlier blog post that addresses this subject in greater detail.