Home>Environment>State Republicans, AZ Farm Bureau Resign Over EDF Groundwater Takeover Bid

State Representative Gail Griffin on the floor of the Arizona House of Representatives at the Arizona State Capitol building in Phoenix, March 13, 2023. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

State Republicans, AZ Farm Bureau Resign Over EDF Groundwater Takeover Bid

Vow to fight Hobbs allowing out-of-state environmentalists to control private property water rights

By Steve Kirwan, October 16, 2023 12:49 pm

In a dramatic display of unified opposition, Arizona Republicans, led by Representative Gail Griffin (R19), and the Arizona Farm Bureau announced their resignations from Gov. Hobbs’ Water Policy Council and Rural Groundwater Committee. The action was prompted by growing concerns over two bills, HB2731 and SB1306, which would allow the Governor to appoint unelected bureaucrats to control groundwater use on privately owned rural lands, is an escalation in previous attempts to derail the Governor’s ambitions.

The driving force behind the unpopular legislation is a consortium led by several New York- and Massachusetts-based environmentalist groups seeking to dictate groundwater access, primarily in rural northern Arizona. The Arizona Globe previously reported on Rep. Griffin’s warning letter on Oct. 11, 2023.

In response to several written requests, The Arizona Globe received a statement from Rep. Griffin’s office, which reads, “Representative Gail Griffin stands by the comments and concerns expressed in the letters fully and appreciates the agricultural community coming together to express their opposition to both the predetermined process being followed by the Governor’s Water Policy Council and the substance of the proposed Environmental Defense Fund legislation that is being pushed through that process.”

The statement continues, “Representative Griffin and Senator Kerr are holding a Joint Legislative Ad Hoc Committee on Water Security meeting on Monday, October 16 at 10:00 am in House Hearing Room 1 to address the proposed Environmental Defense Fund legislation and go line-by-line through each of its provisions. They will also highlight tools that are already available to rural communities to address rural groundwater and discuss an alternative proposal that will protect and enhance private property rights for existing groundwater users.”

You can read a copy of the meeting agenda here.

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One thought on “State Republicans, AZ Farm Bureau Resign Over EDF Groundwater Takeover Bid

  1. Why do New York and Massachusetts environmental groups think that they have any say in Arizona ground water rights? Maybe Arizonians need to start dictating to New York and Massachusetts residents how they can use Lake Onterio, the drinking reservoirs of Canadice and Hemlock lakes water resources, or maybe we should dictate the fishing limits of Massachusetts fishermen, and see how they feel about that. What goes around comes around.

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