Alyssa Burgin, Executive Director, Texas Drought Project wrote the following opinion about Proposition 6. And, if anyone knows the ins and outs of drought, it’s Alyssa.
The Texas Drought Project opposes Proposition 6, which takes $2 billion from the Rainy Day fund to ‘salt’ loans managed by the Texas Water Development Board. Twenty percent is presumably allotted for conservation, and conservation is a good thing, but–in the two-and-a-half-inch thick Texas Water plan, only one paragraph is devoted to conservation, and the language, which states that the Water Board “shall undertake to apply” funds to conservation rather than “shall apply”–is not a typo.
Consider who’s funding the PR campaign–Dow Chemical, the Koch brothers, O&G–profiteers who would drain Texas dry for a tidy fortune. The new TWDB board reflects their influence–all Perry cronies, including the co-owner of Perry’s O&G company. These high-salaried newcomers will decide where the money is spent.
Remember–all the money in the world won’t fill reservoirs that sit at 0.0% (Lake Meredith), 4.2% (Medina), 5.6% (Palo Duro) or Travis (32%). Areas in which reservoirs suffer high evaporation rates will lose even more water as temperatures rise with climate change. Logically, the only places where it would be of benefit to build reservoirs would be in areas where they’re already full. And what would be the purpose, other than to build them for the specific intention of piping water to other areas–thirsty big cities where elected officials have been unable to institute real conservation or implement serious drought restrictions. Why should we as taxpayers bear the cost of more water for “addicts” whose addiction to cheap water is out of control? Should the TWDB pick winners and losers? Don’t small towns and rural areas, bays and rural ecosystems ‘deserve’ to keep their own water, without profiteers piping it to sprawling population centers–for big dollars–or using it for their own enterprises?
We strongly urge a “no” vote on Proposition 6.
From the Texas Drought Project Voter Guide:
- First, please see the “pro” and “con” arguments offered by Speaker of the House Joe Straus and Independent Texans’ director Linda Curtis, as presented in the San Antonio Express-News:
- Then peruse a list of contributors to the Proposition 6 public relations campaign, compiled by Lobby Watch.
- View the arguments for Proposition 6 by Environment Texas
- And the Lone Star Sierra Club
- And see an article in the Dallas Morning News which poses the question, why do we need more funding for water projects, when 6 billion has already been approved, and not spent?
- Take a look at the statement issued by Save our Springs, our respected allies in Austin, who have done so much to fight back against the efforts of developers to destroy Austin’s natural beauty. They oppose Proposition 6, for reasons which have everything to do with preserving our ecosystem.
- And last but not least, view Greg Harman’s reporting on Proposition 6, which speaks to the allies of the plan and the new triumvirate which has been appointed to head the Texas Water Development Board And another Harman report.
Information about Perry’s crony appointments to the TWDB and about the water used for fracking:
Earthworks does not have a position on Prop 6 but I will be voting against it.
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The Save Our Springs Alliance in Austin opposes Prop 6.
The following support Prop6 (notice any difference?)
Abilene Chamber of Commerce
ACEC Central Texas
Alan Plummer Associates. Inc.
Allen Fairview Chamber of Commerce
Alliance of Energy Producers
American Council of Engineering Companies of Texas
Annex VenturesAqua Water Supply CorporationArlington Chamber of CommerceAssociation of Electric Companies of Texas
Association of Water Board Directors
Austin Chamber of Commerce
Averitt & Associates
Baer Engineering and Environmental Consulting
Balanced Energy for Texas
The Beer Alliance of Texas
BPBrown & Gay Engineers, Inc.Center
CJ Parham Treadway
Clear Water Renewal
Dallas Regional Chamber
The Dow Chemical Company
El Paso Chamber of Commerce
Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
Freese & Nichols
Garland Chamber of Commerce
Grapevine Chamber of Commerce
Greater Fort Worth Real Estate Council
Greater Houston Partnership
Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce
Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce
The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
Guadalupe Basin Coalition
HALFF Associates, Inc
Houston Real Estate Council
Houstonians For Responsible Growth
Independent Bankers Association of Texas
Independent Electrical Contractors of Texas
Jackson WalkerJones-Heroy Associates, Inc.
Jones-Heroy Associates, Inc.
League of Women Voters of Texas
Licensed Beverage Distributors
Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend
Metropolitan Water Company, LP
MetroTex Association of Realtors
Mexican American Democrats
North American Coal Corporation
North Dallas Chamber of Commerce
North Texas Commission
Northwest Tarrant Chamber of Commerce
Oak Hill Chamber of Commerce
Patrick, Miller & Kropf
Revolution Spirits Distilling Co.
San Antonio River Authority
Sarah and Jason McElvaney
SouthWest Water Company
State Bar of Texas—Environmental SectionTexas Alliance of Water Providers
Texas Association of Builders
Texas Association of Business
Texas Association of Manufacturers
Texas Association of Realtors
Texas Business Leadership Council
Texas Chemical Council
Texas Corn Producers
Texas Electric Cooperatives
Texas Farm Bureau
Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners
Texas Medical Association
Texas Mining and Reclamation Association
Texas Nature Conservancy
Texas Oil & Gas Association
Texas Outdoor Partners
Texas Pipeline Association PAC
Texas Seed Trade Association
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association
Texas State Association of Firefighters
Texas Westmoreland Coal Company
Texas Wildlife Association
The Real Estate Council of Austin
The Real Estate Council of San Antonio
The Real Estate Council
The Wimberly Valley Republican Group
Trinity Improvement Association
Tyler Chamber of Commerce
Tim Ruggiero says
Forgot one: Texas Railroad Commission. Okay, maybe not the actual Commission itself, but every Commissioner is tweeting out their support. Same same.
They have a lot of people hoodwinked with this one. I’m sure it will pass and a lot of water and money will go down the drain.
Tim Ruggiero says
I fear you’re right about that. Perhaps retaining this list and bringing it out later when the water dries up might be in order. When any of these companies or people associated with them start crying, that’s when we get to stick up our hand and say, “You supported this Proposition with your vote and money, there’s no crying from you about it now.”
I voted AGAINST this proposition–in fact, I voted against every one of them.
Folks, get out and vote against the propositions.
TEXAS ENVIRONMENT WRITES>>>>>the confusion about the relationship between the $6 billion in TWDB bonding authority and the $2 billion commitment in Proposition 6 has come up several times, both during session and since. The $6 billion authorization is simply capacity for local entities to borrow through the TWDB, while the $2 billion is actual direct assistance from the state to help fund the cost of the projects these local entities undertake.
A good analogy would be between having a line of credit at a store (the $6 billion authorization) and actual cash to buy things at the store (the $2 billion). In order to fund the state’s water needs as envisioned in the State Water Plan, both the bond capacity and the state’s assistance need to work together.
Why the $6 billion in authority has not been tapped yet: a major part of the reason is that because of the budget situation in 2011, the state committed very little general revenue to support new projects. That is part of problem with relying on general revenue to support projects: it has usually been a relatively small amount, and has always been sporadic and subject to competing demands in the budget. The lack of funds in 2011 slowed the pace of projects, because there wasn’t as much value in borrowing through TWDB, particularly for larger entities. But the $6 billion will still be used, as soon as the other authorizations for TWDB debt are exhausted.
None of that changes the fact that the plan is flawed and will be a slush fund for Perry cronies. This is not the way to fix our water problems.
Matthew Lehman says
You had me until the global warming claim.
Just think of it as “global un-cooling”, if the lexicon is the problem. The issues here are still: we need water now, we’ll need water in the future, we’ll likely have problems getting more water, we need a comprehensive plan to manage our water, and Prop 6 just sets up a piggy bank for the hogs to wallow in, at your and my expense. Even worse, it puts a band-aid over the gash in Texas’ current water policy, lulling Texans into thinking that we’ve begun addressing our long term needs.
If you buck at the global warming claim, and not at the political corruption that makes policy and action so difficult here in Texas, I submit that you’re looking at the wrong end of the telescope.
Take that “global warming claim” out – actually it was “temperatures rise with climate change”, but I don’t want to quibble about that – and the question comes down to: what are you suggesting we do to address our systemic water problems?
I wish I could like your comment.
I agree that it shouldn’t be used as a slush fund for anyone’s cronies, but I also agree with Matthew. Label it however you want, but that whole “temperature rise with climate change” is just another way of saying “global warming.” Or maybe you simply prefer the new euphemism “climate change.” Either one is garbage science that has been debunked for a while now, and using it in this argument only makes your case weaker. Especially with those of us who are sick and tired of people changing a word or a phrase to make it more “politically acceptable.” Kind of like changing the word “gay” to mean homosexual, because it’s less offensive.
What do we do to address our water problem? Well, in places like Dallas, Houston, Austin, and other liberal infested areas, you’re outta luck, aren’t you? Because those selfish little so and so’s will NEVER abide by anything that hinders what they consider to be their rights. Prop 6 will probably pass. This information just hit my news feed TODAY, and up until TODAY I hadn’t heard anything about it! Thanks for the late warning though. At least when I hit the voter booth later today I can still say no to it. Not that it will do a whole lot of good.
Congratulations, Scott. Your comment wins for the most uninformed. I thought I’d seen some crazy comments on this blog but yours is prize winning.