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CO2, Fish, Birds, Hypocrisy & Money
It's Not About The Environment, It's About Politics And Money
Chapter 2: The Food Basket of the World & A Fish
The San Joaquin Valley in California is one of the most prolific farming regions in the world. Almost 13% of all agricultural production in the United States takes place in the valley. Most of the asparagus and raisins consumed in the United States are grown here. Over 80% of the almonds in the world come from the valley. The largest cotton farm in the world is in the San Joaquin Valley as well. Everything from citrus fruits, pistachios, grapes, peaches, lettuce, tomatoes, garlic, lettuce, alfalfa, to kiwi, in all 250 different crops are grown in the San Joaquin Valley. The San Joaquin Valley is called the "The Food Basket of the World” and “America’s Salad Bowl.
What environmentalist zealots, leftists and the federal government are doing to the Keystone XL pipeline, they are also doing to the San Joaquin Valley. In the last few years, they have turned a vast portion of the most prolific farming region of our country into a dust bowl reminiscent of the Great Depression.
In 1962, John F. Kennedy announced that the San Luis Reservoir project, the largest federal government and state water project up to that time, would guarantee water distribution to the valley. The valley flourished for over 40 years. So, what happened?
The destruction of the San Joaquin Valley began in 2007, when the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) brought an environmental lawsuit. And what is the NRDC you may ask? NRDC is considered the nation's most effective environmental action group. Its major causes are curbing global warming and clean energy. The NRDC has donated millions of dollars to Barack Obama, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Committee; it has ten full time lobbyists in Washington D.C. with an annual lobbying budget of over $8 million.
In its lawsuit the NRDC argued that the pumps that sent water from the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta down to the San Joaquin Valley were killing a large number of a fish called the Delta smelt that was protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The NRDC won the suit.
So, for the last seven years instead of vitally needed water going into the San Joachin Valley and into reservoirs for future droughts, as JFK envisioned, the water has flowed down the Sacramento River into San Francisco Bay and out to the Pacific Ocean and the San Joachin Valley, The Food Basket of the World, is slowly turning into a dust bowl. The situation is so dire that people living in the valley have had to go on food lines, unemployment in the valley is over 12% and tens of thousands of agricultural workers have lost their jobs.
And here's the killer, in 2007 there were an estimated 35,000 to well over 100,000 Delta smelts in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. And yet the regulators have decreed that no more than 305 of these fish may be killed in a given year. And each time the environmentalists' fish population surveys are done, they kill in excess of 3,500 of them. In the mean time each year 800,000 acre-feet of water has been sent into the Pacific, enough water to produce crops on 200,000 acres in the valley. That equals 10 million tons of tomatoes; 200 million boxes of lettuce; 20 million tons of grapes.
And what has Congress done about this disaster? In 2009, Republican Representative George Radanovich of California proposed the Drought Alleviation Act. The bill funded a fish hatchery to replace fish killed by the pumps. Then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi refused even to discuss the bill. Also in 2009, Devin Nunes, another California Republican, introduced the Turn On the Pumps Act. It was defeated in the Democratic-led House. Not one California Democrat voted for the bill. Then in 2012, the now Republican controlled House passed H.R. 1837, which would effectively have exempted the smelt from the ESA. Harry Reid opposed the bill and it died in the Senate. And what about Obama? He vowed to veto the bill if it ever reached his desk.
So, is it about a fish, or about politics and money?