Texans just got whooped

craig_estes-2by Texas State Senator Graig Estes, 03/28/13 – Many cities in North Texas and other parts of the state continue to suffer from severe drought conditions. It may be the biggest crisis we face in a decade. A federal judge has ordered Texas to divert more water to the estuaries feeding the Gulf of Mexico for the benefit of whooping cranes. According to the judge, Texas has been in violation of the Endangered Species Act since 2008 by not setting aside enough water from the Guadalupe and San Antonio rivers for a flock of approximately 280 whooping cranes that migrate to the Texas coast every winter. The judge believes that at least 23 of the birds died during the winter of 2008-09 because there’s not enough water heading towards the Gulf of Mexico. This may not be the time.

I am not convinced the case was decided based on the impartial analysis of proven scientific facts. The ruling relied heavily on the “fact” that 23 whooping cranes died during the winter of 2008-09. The problem, however, is this was never proven. Only four whooping cranes were actually found dead. Furthermore, on December 5, 2011 the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported the judge on the case told a group of lawyers in her courtroom that, “[my] husband and I are birders, so we also like the whooping cranes and appreciate what they do for the area.” Cases should be decided by impartial judges based on proven facts. That’s not what happened here.

However, assuming the judge was impartial and 23 whooping cranes did die, more water would not necessarily mean healthier whooping cranes. Compared to 2008, the winters of 1989, 1996 and 1999 had similar amounts of water flow into the Gulf of Mexico. Yet, during those three winters combined, 74 percent less whooping cranes died than allegedly did in the winter of 2008-09.

Lastly, this ruling is flawed because it dismisses the water needs of people and industry. I love nature and appreciate the desire to want to help the whooping cranes
they are majestic animals. But weighty decisions affecting water rights should not be made unless they consider the interests of everybody, especially families and people that provide jobs. Furthermore, when it comes to water, not only should Texans and their businesses be considered, they should take priority. People – their lives, jobs and needs – are of utmost importance. In a state where water is scarce, we must survive. The needs of people come first; Texans just got whooped.

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One response

  1. Senator_Blutarsky | Reply

    Estes……we are all concerned about WATER in Texas.

    Be sure and OPPOSE Phil Kings “water bill”, which wants to take 2 BILLION from public funds and place under the control and use of an UNELECTED (all appointed) board.

    That is the same path traveled by the various TOLL ROAD SCHEMES and scams – the TxDOT folks are appointed, and removed from direct accountability to the voters and taxpayers. You & King both supported this scam in the onset, and as opposition arose, you both gave meaningless lip service to opposing it…………..too late.

    This session has a greater push to expand the TOLLING scam, and for the benefit of select private corporations, even foreign ones. And the corporate financng schemes called “3Ps” CDAs are a treasury raid on the future of Texas.

    You both remind me of this from Bastiat-

    Your principle has placed these words above the entrance of the legislative chamber:
    “whosoever acquires any influence here can obtain his share of legal plunder.”
    And what has been the result? All classes have flung themselves upon the doors of
    the chamber crying: “A share of the plunder for me, for me!”

    – Frederic Bastiat, “Plunder and Law” [1850]

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