Thomas Galvin's Dual Role Raises Concerns Over Water Dispute and Saudi Interests

Thomas Galvin’s Dual Role Raises Concerns Over Water Dispute and Saudi Interests

The intersection of lobbying, water politics, and Saudi interests has raised eyebrows as Thomas Galvin, recently elected to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, finds himself mediating a water dispute while having previously lobbied for a Saudi company with substantial stakes in Arizona’s groundwater.

Lobbying for Saudi Alfalfa Company

Galvin, a partner at Rose Law Group, was a lobbyist for a subsidiary of Almarai, a Saudi corporation that utilizes drought-ridden Arizona and California groundwater to grow alfalfa for livestock feed on Saudi dairy farms. Almarai’s subsidiary, Fondomonte, holds nearly 10,000 acres of farmland in Vicksburg, Arizona, where limited water regulations allow significant groundwater extraction. The company’s activities have led to a substantial decline of over 50 feet in Arizona’s water table over the last two decades.

Galvin’s Involvement in Water Dispute

Before his election to the board of supervisors, Galvin appeared at the Arizona state legislature to oppose H.B. 2520, a bill aimed at monitoring water levels in the Upper Colorado River water planning area. Galvin expressed concerns about singling out farms and large agricultural users, labeling those worried about foreign capital affecting aquifers as racist. However, he failed to gain support for his stance, and the bill ultimately did not pass.

Complex Water Crisis

As water scarcity in Arizona intensifies, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors faces a complex water crisis that involves various stakeholders, including residents, politicians, and water transporters. The dispute centers around water rights and pricing for access to water. Galvin, who was appointed to the board in 2021, has been unable to resolve the situation due to the intricate web of regulatory authorities governing water use in the state.

Lingering Questions and Complex Interests

Galvin’s stance on water pumping shifted after joining the board, leading to skepticism from residents seeking his support for a new water district. Despite the impending water shut-off for some residents, the board’s efforts to find a resolution have been hampered by regulatory complexities. Galvin’s endorsement of a privately held water utility, similar to the Epcor acquisition facilitated by Rose Law Group, is met with resistance from residents concerned about the construction process and timeline.

Influence and Saudi Arabia’s Changing Image

Galvin’s election to the board of supervisors coincides with growing scrutiny of Saudi Arabia’s influence in American politics. The nation’s recent cut in oil production was seen as a political move affecting President Joe Biden’s agenda and Democrats’ electoral prospects. As the Saudi-American dynamic shifts, Galvin’s role raises questions about how Saudi interests intersect with local governance and international relations.

In conclusion, the convergence of water disputes, lobbying activities, and Saudi involvement has illuminated the complex interplay between local politics and global interests. As Galvin navigates his role in Maricopa County’s water crisis, his past connections with Saudi interests underscore the challenges of balancing local governance with international affiliations.

Booz Allen Hamilton Previous post Profile: Booz Allen Hamilton
Brunswick Group Next post Profile: Brunswick Group