Thanks to the Freedom of Information Foundation and the League of Independent Voters, citizens were able to get in to the water lobby schmoozefest, aka the “Water for Texas Conference” on January 23-25, a privatized event sponsored by a state agency, the Texas Water Development Board. It was at this event that Patrick and his water lieutenant, State Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), made plain that they fully intend to roll right over rural Texans’ property rights (groundwater) and a united urban/rural citizen call to “conserve first, convey later.”
Here you can listen to Evan Smith, Texas Tribune CEO one of best interviewers in the country, trying to moderate a panel with Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) running roughshod over him. (Hear Larson’s ceaseless rant about how landowners are “balkanizing” their water by refusing to “share” it). At the end, I called Sen. Perry out for holding closed interim hearings on water. His response? He did that politician dance otherwise known as refusal to answer the question.
Here you can listen to Dan Patrick’s luncheon speech He began with defending his decision to appoint then freshman, Sen. Perry, to chair the committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs in 2016. At the end Patrick declares:
“I’m a big believer in property rights, if it’s on your land, it’s yours. But we’re going to have to work together to find a way to ensure that all of Texans have the water they need for whatever their needs are.”
Of course, Patrick didn’t define what he meant by water they “need”. Does he think San Antonio needs the massive Vista Ridge/San Antone Hose? They don’t.