On Monday we reported in the article below this one on the tragic Obama Administration policy, enforced by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), of cutting off irrigation water to farms in California’s Central Valley, turning some of the nation’s most productive agricultural land into a barren dust bowl.
According to USFWS the water must be diverted from farms to the Sacramento Delta, the outlet to the Pacific Ocean, for the benefit of the “Delta Smelt” a tiny fish that was listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1992.
We called on Congress to invoke its authority under the Constitution and pass a very short law or amendment that would override the Endangered Species Act a previous Congress created, and restore the water supply to Central Valley farms.
Yesterday, Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina introduced just such an amendment to the budget appropriation for the Department of Interior. Here’s the text:
None of the funds made available by this act may be used by the Secretary of The Interior to restrict, reduce or re-allocate any water as determined in the [government "biological opinions" cited as justification turning off the water.]
Astoundingly, Senator Diane Feinstein of California, who represents the farmers, spoke in opposition. In the video she compares this simple, direct amendment to the World War II attack on Pearl Harbor.
Senator Feinstein first said she didn’t “understand what’s going on here.” Then she wanted to prevent the “threat another lawsuit.” But as we reported Monday, there already is another lawsuit, brought against the government by the Pacific Legal Foundation, on behalf of the farmers.
In reality, Feinstein and California’s other Senator, Barbara Boxer serve the radical environmental movement that dominates the Democratic party, especially in California. In their value/priority system no amount of human suffering is too great if it can be claimed to be a consequence of “protecting the environment.” In the video she says the people she meets with have never said the water should be turned back on. Of course not! She refuses to meet with the farmers!
Eventually, the full Senate voted along party lines, with all the Democrats including Feinstein and Boxer voting against the farmers. Thus, the water continues to flow into the ocean instead of into the Central Valley irrigation canals.
As Senator DeMint noted in his remarks, this is more than a local California issue. If Central Valley farmers are not able to produce crops the entire nation will suffer higher prices and more food will have to be imported. California provides 13% of the nation’s total food supply including
- 89% of America’s carrots
- 93% of America’s broccoli
- 94% of America’s tomatoes
- 78% of America’s lettuce
- 86% of America’s garlic
- 88% of America’s grapes
Senator DeMint cited a University of California study concluding that 40,000 Central Valley jobs will be lost within a year if the water is not turned back on.
Every California voter should be aware that both Senators sided with the radical environmental movement over the farmers and their thousands of employees. Senator Boxer is up for reelection next year and Senator Feinstein is up for reelection in 2012. Both should be soundly defeated.
All Americans should be alarmed at the power and influence the radical environmental movement wields in Congress and this Administration.