URGENT calls needed through Friday!
Both public (@SAWS) and private partners of the Vista Ridge/San Antone Hose got a well deserved spanking yesterday at the Natural Resources Committee hearing on House Bill 1066. Judith McGeary, Milam County landowner and Executive Director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA), came to ask for these modest amendments in the bill to prevent the rules from being changed midstream, and to guarantee what Gov. Abbott's veto in 2017 of the very same bill asked for -- a public process.
And despite claims that the bill is for the benefit of groundwater districts, the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District, which permitted Vista Ridge years ago, sent this letter opposing it!
HB 1066 provides that export permits must be extended without a public hearing in order to match up to the permittee’s operating permit. For Vista Ridge, that would mean a 10-year extension – which Vista Ridge has been asking happen immediately.
LIV volunteer representative, James Murphy, Esq., a self-described 30-year Texas water bureaucrat, lambasted the "consultants" (lobbyists) at SAWS pushing for a handout to the private partners of Vista Ridge through HB 1066. Murphy's 3-minute testimony is well worth reading here. Here's but one choice Murphy quote:
HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY -- by THIS Friday, March 8!!!
1. Call your state rep and state senator no later than 5 pm Friday! Ask them to file these two groundwater reform bills; The Sustainable Groundwater Development Act and The LCRA Reform bill. Visit our new Water Bills 2019 page here.
2. Ask them to reach Natural Resource Committee Chairman, Rep. Lyle Larson, to urge amendments to HB 1066 already suggested at the hearing by McGeary and Murphy. Find your reps here.
You can watch the video of 35-minutes of testimony here starting at 1:24:27. LIV San Antonio Board Member, Ellen Berky, continued the spanking for SAWS ratepayers. Stan Mitchell of San Antonian Making Bureaucracies Accountable (SAMBA) was allowed to submit this testimony and back up information into the record, though not allowed to speak. BTW, first termer, Rep. Ramos (D-Dallas) asked great questions.
Thanks to you all who came, watched and are catching up today on the Our Land, Our Water, Our Democracy Lobby Day yesterday!
Make those calls, y'all. Gridzilla is no conspiracy, she's just a cartoon to make our point about water grabbing lobbyists, public and private.
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