May 8, 2019
Honorable Senator Richard Roth Capitol Office
State Capitol, Room 2080 Sacramento, CA 95814
Honorable Senator Anthony Portantino Capitol Office
State Capitol, Room 3086 Sacramento, CA 95814
SUBJECT: Vet Voice Foundation Strong Support of SB 307
Dear Senators Roth and Portantino,
I am Paul Eaton, Major General (Ret.), U.S. Army, who served more than 30 years in the United States Army, including combat and post-combat assignments in Iraq, Bosnia and Somalia, and Senior Advisor for the Vet Voice Foundation (VVF). The VVF serves as a platform for veterans to influence policy outcomes and has over 500,000 members with over 17,000 living in California. We write to thank you for your leadership on SB 307, serving as author and principal co-author respectively. We strongly support your legislation and urge its quick adoption.
Our support of SB 307 is based on our intent to protect our public lands as well as a lack of credible science from Cadiz Inc. to demonstrate that its project can move forward without causing significant harm to the environment, communities, and recreational opportunities cherished by veterans. We also consider the rights of our Native American neighbors and the impact this project will have on their future, based on their expressed concerns and opposition to the project.
Our current Federal Administration has recently eliminated application of key environmental laws and policies governing this project, including the requirement that the project undergo federal NEPA review. That requirement was important to ensure that the project would be studied by government agencies that hold these lands in trust for the benefit of all Americans.
Questions and concerns have been raised by both the National Park Service and the United States Geological Survey, in particular about the recharge rate of this aquifer and the connection that this project has to surface springs in the region. Considering this skepticism from two of our nation’s most respected science-focused agencies, we believe government review of the project is absolutely required to understand impacts before the project moves forward.
We thank you for your timely efforts to protect lands and resources crucial to veterans and all Californians. We look forward to supporting your efforts to pass SB 307 this session.
Major General (Ret.), U.S. Army
Managing Director, Vet Voice Foundation