Sabrina Hill continues her series with Rodney Davis on the legislative push to change the endangered species act and free up more water for farmers.
Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis is one of two congressmen to introduce a bill that would make changes to the endangered species act, to protect humans who also rely on natural resources. He said it’s because of the drought here in California, and the water that’s being kept from agriculture, to protect the Delta smelt.
“But I think it’s going to take an administration change that had a distinct philosophical different philosophical thought process on the endangered species act on when it can be relaxed to deal with an emergency situation,” he said. “I’m sure it can be relaxed to deal with an emergency situation to build more solar panels. But maybe not to have water to grow 99 percent of the produce that we get in our grocery stores. I mean, I don’t know.”
Davis pointed out, water problems are something Californians have dealt with for some time.
“This isn’t new for California. This isn’t a new issue,” he continued. “These regulatory and water battles have been fought for decades. So, it’s not going to change. It’s just it gets a little more difficult with an administration like this, especially who’s raising the bar on the regulatory environment seemingly on a daily basis when it comes to waters of the US and other issues.”
He said change may not come until there’s a change in Washington.
“I think this administration, the president, he’s from my home state,” he said. “His legacy, he wants it to be, how he changed government through the regulatory process. Which means, we in Washington have to continue to fight that battle, on a far too frequent basis.”
For the first part in this series, see Illinois Congressman on California Smelt and Water Use.