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Published 8 months ago

Dianne Feinstein championed the environment. On California water, her legacy is complicated

  • Senator Feinstein was known for championing conservation and enacting legislation to protect California wilderness from development and carbon emissions. However, her compromise-oriented approach often led to conflicts between different interest groups, attracting criticism from the left for not supporting more ambitious climate policies.
  • Feinstein's legislative work on water in California demonstrated her tendency towards centrism. She brokered a restoration agreement on the San Joaquin River in 2009, but later overrode species protections for fish on the same river in 2016. This approach drew both support and criticism as she balanced the interests of farmers, ranchers, and environmentalists.
  • Despite her efforts in conservation and climate action, Feinstein faced criticism for her reluctance to support more ambitious policies to tackle climate change. Her reputation as a compromiser hindered her ability to address the urgency of the climate crisis.
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