This is a follow-up to last Thursday's post, Rep. Mary Gonzalez and the Right of Capture. "Bloody" Mary Gonzalez killed a Hays County bill (HB 3405) which would have extended that conservation district and prevented Electro Purification from taking water from Hays County in order to sell it elsewhere. In that post I speculated that some larger interests might have been behind Bloody Mary's actions. I mentioned the El Paso Water Utilities. CEO John Balliew sent me this message:
"To the best of my knowledge, no one from EPWU spoke to Mary Gonzalez or anyone else about the Hays County Bill. It was not even on the list of bills that we were monitoring. We do own land inside and outside other GWCDs and we work within the rules of those districts. In general, the purpose of those districts is to let local considerations prevail. I don't see anything with or without the Hays County bill that would be affecting anything in Hudspeth or El Paso Counties. The aquifer conditions are vastly different.
"As to the other issue in your post about us opposing the creation of a water conservation district - I am not sure what kind of district was being discussed, but if the reference was to a GWCD [Groundwater Conservation District], the simple reason we would not be in favor of one is that there is no need. Those Districts are for situations where you have different types of users and uses of water and you need to have a mechanism to solve disputes and operate the system for the common good. In the case of the Hueco Bolson in Texas, it is just us and Fort Bliss and we have worked very well together to reduce pumping to a sustainable level. I am not sure anything could be gained and there is a potential for some loss of sanity. There is at least one GWCD in the state whose desired future condition for the aquifer is to completely deplete it."
Mr. Balliew answers our questions.
Now, read a comment posted on last Thursday's blog entry:
"As a Hays Countian who has followed this issue closely, I went into Rep. Gonzalez's office to discuss her concerns regarding HB 3405. She avoided my questions and pawned me off on her Legislative Director who she said was very familiar with the issue.
"Rep Gonzalez's legislative director did NOT know what a Groundwater Conservation District is. She also didn't know if the district they serve (El Paso) has a groundwater conservation district or is in one.
"As far as the concerns she's stated in interviews -- they make NO sense.
"Also, someone should ask her HOW this local bill would set a precedence and hurt the rural farmers in her area -- this statement alone shows she DOES NOT understand what this bill does."
So I'm guessing that, if Bloody Mary has no idea what a GWCD is, it means that indeed someone is pulling her strings OR that her submarining HB 3405 was an act of vindictiveness. (That legislator did something to her so she did something to him. I don't know if the record indicates this.)
She's either stupid or lying. A pawn or a vindictive person. Either way she has done great damage to the people of Hays County and her own District. And, if she is acting on the behest of some other entity whether she knows what a GWCD is or not, she is not acting for the people who elected her or the people of Hays County who have already endured so much with the recent catastrophic floods.
I agree with this letter writer to the El Paso Times as published this morning:
"Rep. Mary Gonzalez of El Paso is using her authority to support a corporation that is trying to steal the water from longtime Hays County residents.
"House Bill 3405 is a local Hays County bill that would close the loophole that Electro-Puro Corporation is trying to use to usurp the water rights of people in Hays County.
"Rep. Gonzalez, whose district is no where near Hays County, personally blocked our bill.
"Giving Electro-Puro our water gives them the right to move it 30 miles away to build subdivisions that are only on paper.
"Why is this woman who claims a degree in social justice choosing to support a corporation that found a loophole in Texas water law? What about the people?"