Same Ol' Debate
The feds say it's a state problem and the state says it's a fed problem. Stalemate. Nothing gets done and everyone blames everyone else.
Jan 22, 2014
There are only a couple of ways for Central Valley farmers to recapture water lost because of environmental lawsuits: 1) from the Delta, through the pumps, despite the smelt. 2) from Friant Dam to farmers and cities instead of to San Joaquin River Restoration. The smelt is a federal Endangered Species Act problem. River Restoration is a federal problem. To solve a federal problem we need the U.S. House and U.S. Senate to pass legislation. The House has done so. The Senate will not even take up the argument. Why? Because the ESA is an article of faith for the Democratic Party. It is sacred to them. They believe the smelt is an indicator fish, meaning it's like the canary in the coal mine. If we lose the smelt, they believe, it's an indicator of the breakdown of the health of the Delta. This is a theory, not a fact.
Farmers and the people of the San Joaquin Valley should not be held hostage to a theory. Federal Judge Oliver Wanger, ruling in the smelt case, said, "The only inference that the court can draw is that it is an attempt to mislead and to deceive the court into accepting what is not only not the best available science, it's not science. There is speculation." Because of this speculation water has been sent to the sea, instead of to us. It is time to demand that the U.S. Senate take up the debate and tell us that their theory is more important than Central Valley farming and people.
Just in case you didn't know it, that's what they've been saying all along. Here's how they do it: The President says it's a state problem. Dianne Feinstein and Jim Costa follow the lead and ask Governor Jerry Brown to declare a drought emergency. Brown does, but says the pumps and river restoration are federal problems and there's nothing he can do. The feds say it's a state problem and the state says it's a fed problem. Stalemate. Nothing gets done and everyone blames everyone else. We let them get away with it, then donate for their reelection. Congratulations and welcome to Groundhog Day.
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