All Bark and No Bite: Governor Caves to Trump

Sep 30, 2019

Baykeeper is deeply disappointed that Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed SB1, which would have defended California’s waters and wildlife from the Trump administration’s radical anti-environmental agenda.

The state legislation was introduced by California legislators this year as a vital backstop to the Trump administration’s extensive dismantling of federal environmental protections.

“California’s representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill to protect our state from the president’s assault on the environment,” said Sejal Choksi-Chugh, Executive Director of San Francisco Baykeeper, one of the many public-interest groups supporting the bill. “It’s surprising that Governor Newsom caved to political pressure and undermined that effort.”

SB1 would have adopted, as state law, the level of protection provided under federal environmental laws before Donald Trump became US President.

Newsom’s veto puts San Francisco Bay and other California waters in danger, because Trump administration rollbacks of environmental protections are becoming more reckless and aggressive. 

For example, Trump’s EPA recently abolished a number of federal protections for wetlands and streams. Without stronger California protections, polluters could more easily get away with polluting some waterways that flow to the Bay.

The veto also threatens the Bay’s endangered species. SB1 would have helped defend the Bay from the Trump administration’s push to pump more water out of the Delta to Central Valley farms and Southern California cities.

The Bay is already starved for fresh water. Robbing the Bay of even more fresh water would jeopardize the Bay’s endangered salmon and steelhead.

“Given the recent attacks by the Trump administration on California’s environmental regulations and authority, we were feeling hopeful the Governor would reconsider and sign SB1," said Choksi-Chugh. “But despite Governor Newsom’s veto caving to the Trump administration, Baykeeper and others are going to keep fighting to strengthen our local laws in the face of this administration’s environmental rollbacks.” 

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