The Energy 202: How the Trump administration uses water policy to help this California Republican


MODESTO, CALIF. – Although it is a hotbed of political opposition to President Trump, the state of California is sending more than a dozen Republicans to the House of Representatives.

So the Democrats hope to get about half a dozen of those seats to recapture the House. And no Republican-based person here in the Central Valley in California is more vulnerable to the flow of democratic enthusiasm than Jeff Denham.

At the same time, no vital resource in the tenth district of California is more important than water.

That is why I reported on the weekend the administration has spared no effort to show its support to Denham through the water policy.

From a presidential note to multiple visits at cabinet level, Trump and his delegates have undertaken a flood of activities in recent months to deliver more water to farms in California's basket and nuts – and in the near future the prospects of House Republicans here .

For decades, farmers have taken the knot in tug-of-war with coastal residents about how much of the finite water supply in California must be divided among sating city dwellers, providing habitat for river bugs and cultivating crops. The drought state of emergency, which Gov. Jerry Brown (D) only officially declared in 2017, made those tensions worse.

With the state government of California firmly controlled by urban democrats, Californian almond, walnut, dairy and grape growers increasingly turned to the federal government for help after the Republicans captured the White House in 2017.

Both Denham and his democratic opponent, Josh Harder, are against a state plan to flush more water through Central Valley rivers to help preserve endangered river fish. Both are also against another proposal to build two huge tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to deliver water to the south, including Los Angeles.

But prior to the election, it was the California Republican delegation in Congress that summons the power of the federal government to try to bring more water to the Central Valley.

  • In October, 18 days before the election day, Trump promised to "eliminate all unnecessary burdens" on the water supply in California and other western states. The president signed a memorandum informing federal authorities about cutting rules and quickly approving environmental assessments for the canals and dams that supply water to the Central Valley. During the signing ceremony next to Trump were five Californian home republicans, including Denham.
  • Denham helped three cabinet managers from Trump – Minister of Internal Affairs Ryan Zinke, agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue and acting Environmental Protection Agency head Andrew Wheeler – the past few months to the Central Valley to tour reservoirs and talk with growers. During a visit to the Don Pedro reservoir in July, Zinke praised the & # 39; great leadership & # 39; of the Congressman in the field of water.
  • The final blow to Denham was the signature of Trump in October on a bill for water infrastructure that helped the congressman write. The bill authorized financing for new water storage projects in the western United States. Again, Denham was on Trump's side while drawing.

Denham both supported the two farm offices of the district, support for the incumbent is not universal among farmers in the provinces of Stanislaus and San Joaquin:

  • "Finally, after all these years, he has gone through a mandate to provide water infrastructure in the western United States," says David Phippen, a third generation almond grower in Manteca who supports Denham. "We have been waiting for that for a long time."
  • But Bob and Margo Cushing, almond farmers about 20 miles to the east, emphasized what they and others see as an even greater threat: the Brown government's proposal to build two huge tunnels under the delta to bring water to the south. She and other supporters of the Democratic nominee are worried about Denham's vote for a bill with a ban on filing lawsuits against the controversial tunnels. "That did not help us at all," said Bob Cushing.

Read my entire message here from Modesto:


– The Supreme Court allows a juvenile case to continue: Late Friday, the Supreme Court refused a lawsuit against climate change in Oregon by stopping young people against the federal government, and rejected the request from the Trump government to stop the suit before the trial.

Stem analysis: "Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch would have dropped the suit", Robert Barnes and Brady Dennis of The Post reported. "The other judges did not indicate how they voted on the government's request."

What is this lawsuit about: Twenty-one young people claim that "the failure of government leaders to combat climate change violates their constitutional right to a clean environment".

More from SCOTUS: The Supreme Court will consider a case of Virginia uranium that "has the right of a state to regulate the industry against the authority of the federal government to oversee matters of national importance." The high court will determine whether one of the largest untapped uranium deposits from a Virginia family can be in the country. "Locally the problem causes the tensions in a community that urgently needs work," Gregory S. Schneider and Robert Barnes of The Post report. "But others fear that destruction of the environment or the hint of radioactive waste may discourage new companies from coming in. A group of neighborhood economic development and government agencies have signed a legal memorandum against the mine. & # 39;

– The most popular and expensive campaign in Arizona: It is not the Senate contest between Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) and Martha McSally (R). It's actually a solar ballot initiative, which already costs $ 54.7 million, or about $ 11.50 for every eligible voter, according to Steven Mufson of The Post.

What the voting initiative will do: If the electorate passes the measure, it will change the state constitution to require electricity companies that 50 percent of their power comes from renewable energy by the year 2035. "With its abundance of sunshine, that should be an easy reach for Arizona. the state gets only 6 percent of its energy from the sun ", says Mufson writes.

Largest picture: "Under the noise, the struggle is more than two fundamental questions: are proponents of more solar energy to deliver too much of the good? Or is a recalcitrant utility in the way of competitiveness and sensible climate policy?"

– Florida, again: Several races in the nation's largest swing state will again be crucial to the hopes of both Democrats and Republicans for this midterm, and voters in the state are motivated prior to the elections "by a year of natural and man-made Florida- based disasters, "reports Joel Achenbach of the Post.

  • In the panhandle: Residents "are still recovering from hurricane Michael, which destroyed coastal communities and a military base.
  • In the center of the state: There is "an influx of thousands of Puerto Ricans – possibly new voters – since Hurricane Maria destroyed their island last year," writes Achenbach.
  • And on the coast: Toxic red tide algae bloomed, relieving the tourist sector of the state and the chances of government leader Rick Scott (R), who spent on environmental protection, Sen Sen Bill Nelson (D).

– "Will it change? Probably": In an interview with Axios, Trump rejected his own report from the federal government on climate change and suggested that the effect of the warming planet is "probably" reversible.

What Trump said: "Well, I think we contributed, we certainly contribute, I mean, there are certain pollutants that go up and there are certain things that happen," the president said. He added: "Is there a climate change?" "Yes, will it go back, I mean, will it change again?" Probably, "Trump said, making a wave motion with his hand, according to Axios.

What scientists say: The federally mandated report concluded that "there is no convincing alternative explanation" for the changing climate other than that it was driven by people.

– Bloomberg's last push is for the Democrats (and himself): Michael R. Bloomberg launched a $ 5 million national advertising effort that encourages voters to vote for the Democrats and also calls on the billionaire himself, with an emphasis on his centrist policy as opposed to Trump's. In the ad, the former mayor of New York City "who has been a Republican, independent and democrat in his political career, also raised other issues when he becomes president: fervent support for arms control, a focus on climate change. and frustration about dysfunction in Congress and the increasing federal deficit ", reports Robert Costa of The Post.

– Zinke watch: Minister of Internal Affairs Ryan Zinke finds more and more of his former allies who distance himself from him, in the midst of emerging ethics investigations and declining popularity, reports Politico. Many also predict that Zinke will step aside and Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt, a former lobbyist and experienced bureaucratic infiltrator, will fill the top slot of the agency, "per report.

– Trump vs. California: In a victory for the Trump government, a federal judge ruled that a California law restricting the federal government's ability to sell or transfer federal land to private entities is unconstitutional, Reuters reports. "Supporters hoped that the law would prevent the Trump administration from selling land that could later be used for oil drilling, mining or project development," the report said. "US Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the decision a" firm rejection "of California's" stunning claim of constitutional power "to dictate how and when the federal government created its own can sell land. & # 39;

More: The former governor of the state, Arnold Schwarzenegger, criticized environmental lawyers because they did not adequately warn people across the country of the warming world. "Environmentalists have done a terrible job of selling this," said Schwarzenegger during CNN's "The Ax Files", hosted by David Axelrod, former Obama's top ambassador. "Because the more they talk about global climate change, what nobody understands, they talk about what will happen in twenty years, and the sea level rises and the polar bear and all these things."


– Research suggests that non-whites are more vulnerable to forest fires: A new study showed that people with a color during forest fires are more vulnerable to risks than whites. The study at the University of Washington, published in the journal PLoS, said this month: "People with the greatest vulnerability were disproportionately colored people, but it was not because these people lived in places that would burn in a fire", reports New York Times. "Instead, the factors include things like access to a car – crucial for evacuations – and whether people have spoken fluent English."

– Another echo of Flint: In Wisconsin and other states in the Midwest, rural communities face an "insidious water crisis related to industrial farms and slack regulations that have affected thousands of homes in the Midwest and beyond for years," reports the New York Times. "Now fears and frustrations about water quality and contamination have become a powerful election year problem that looms up in split-rock races here in Wisconsin to chemically polluted wells in New Hampshire for dwindling water reserves in Arizona." Also intensified by the actions of the Trump government to weaken clean water regulations and the actions of Republican lawmakers in some states in the Midwest, where "environmental groups say politicians have reduced budgets for environmental enforcement and inspection and weakened pollution rules."

– Election Day stormwatch: In parts of central and eastern United States, a storm will develop from Monday to Tuesday, meaning "countless states can be hit by heavy rainfall and even some tornadoes," reports Ian Livingston of The Post . "The polling day of the election day is already on the threshold of the Pacific Northwest: it dives into the adjacent United States during the weekend … Outside the potential for heavy storms on election day, heavy rains could discourage voters from the Great Lakes. via the Valleys of Tennessee and Ohio and to the northeast, and the winds over a large area of ​​the south-central United States by the Great Lakes will be very windless when the storm rises. "


– The road for Tesla: The electric car manufacturer revealed federal regulators issued subpoenas regarding the public guarantees of the company on the production of its Model 3 sedan. "The announcement, tucked away in a 141 page & # 39; s quarterly report that Tesla filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, confirms that the SEC issued summons as part of a deepening investigation into the company's production series for its Model. 3 sedan last year, "The Post Drew Harwell's messages. "These numbers were generally regarded as a make-or-break problem for Tesla because it tried to traverse the chaos in the factory, slow down the cash burn and prove to investors that it could survive." The Ministry of Justice also requested documents. as part of a similar investigation, but those investigators have not issued subpoenas or made other formal requests. "



  • The Heritage Foundation is organizing an event on Tuesday about renewed sanctions and American policy in Iran.
  • The American Enterprise Institute is organizing an event on the conservative case for a CO2 tax on Wednesday.
  • The United States Energy Association is organizing an event on Thursday in the Energy Department's Office of Fossil Energy Solid Oxide Fuel Program.
  • The National Regulatory Commission will hold a webinar on Thursday at the San Onofre nuclear production station.


– Fireball: The air in Arkansas illuminated the weekend as part of the annual Taurid meteor shower.