Retiring Environmental Hero Shaped Water Policy

An exit interview with Tom Graff, who joined Environmental Defense Fund in 1971, when the environmental movement was just getting started.
April 3, 2009, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The article features an interview with Tom Graff, outgoing regional director of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), talking about the evolution of the environmental movement and the past and future of California water policy:

"I would say that my principal niche was to recognize that economics could, and probably should, play a big role in environmental policy-making. Paying attention to how economic incentives influence business and personal behavior is one key to bringing about environmental improvements."

"There has been considerable progress on California water. For one example, look at the governor's recent emergency drought declaration. Water transfers, pioneered by EDF over a quarter century ago, are now assumed to be a key policy tool to help get us through this year's drought."

"I have a bit of a confession on my part, and I think on EDF's as well. Despite my role in defeating the 1982 referendum, we are open to conversations about a Peripheral Canal. What is most critical this time around is that the environment and, especially, the fish get the preference that they have long been promised but have never actually received."

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Published on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 in The Planning Report
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