by Katy Grimes, E&E Legal Senior Media Fellow and California Globe Editor
As Appearing in the California Globe
Rep. Doug LaMalfa: Power Plant at Lake Oroville stopped making power
Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale), Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), and Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Marysville) met this week at the top of the Oroville Dam to decry Governor Gavin Newsom’s “lack of leadership and gross mismanagement of the state’s water, power and forests/wildlands.” They demanded urgent action because Californians are suffering, and it’s about to get worse.
The wells that rural communities depend on – which LaMalfa, Nielsen and Gallagher represent – are running dry, and farmers are being denied water to grow food. Currently there are weekly threats of rolling blackouts and Public Safety Power Shutoffs, as hundreds of thousands of acres burn throughout the state, threatening lives, property and wildlife.
It was only in April when California Gov. Gavin Newsom held a press event in Oroville, with a 60% empty Oroville Dam Reservoir as his backdrop, and said he was not ready to declare an official drought emergency – despite that the previous two weeks 91% of Delta inflow went to the sea, state pumps were at -97%, federal pumps at -85%, and outflows showed 6,060,828,600 gallons. Since April, Oroville has been drained almost dry.