On Wednesday afternoon, Department of Interior deputy communications director Russell Newell issued a statement clarifying Interior’s position on the Delta Tunnels, backing off from the position opposing the project voiced earlier, and stating that the agency “does not expect to participate in the construction or funding of the CA WaterFix.”
“While the Department of the Interior shares the goals of the state of California to deliver water with more certainty, eliminating risks to the California water supply, and improving the environment, at this time, the Department under the current state proposal does not expect to participate in the construction or funding of the CA WaterFix. The Department and Reclamation will continue to work with the state and stakeholders as the project is further developed,” the department said.
I will update this report as more information becomes available. However, it appears that the Jerry Brown administration and powerful water contractors put political pressure on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to back track on the previous statement that the administration doesn’t support the Delta Tunnels.