The Central Valley and the Delta Smelt

Friday’s broadcast from Fresno was very different from the ordinary remote because so many of the guests were suffering personally from the federal government’s decision to drastically reduce water deliveries to california’s Central Valley in the name of protecting the Delta smelt. Because I have practiced endangered species and natural resource law for two decades, I am used to the absurd consequences brought about by the variety of laws that operate in this area, especially the federal Endangered Species Act, but human suffering on this scale as a result of the laws is unprecedented.

All of it is unnecessary. It could be stopped almost immediately. When President Obama next tals about his concern for the unemployed, keep in mind that he has it in his power to put tens of thousands of farm workers and those who depend upon their paychecks –like the people who sell them food, clothing, cars etc– back to work but refuses to do so.

The “jobs summit” should begin with a declation by the president that the pumps will be turned back on and stay on. If he refuses to act in this case, why should anyone believe that he cares about the employment numbers at all?

My question: Do you think the president will do anything to get the water flowing again? Anything at all?

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