Opposition to H.R. 5781 is Misleading

H.R. 5781, Congressman David Valadao’s drought relief bill requires water exports to stay within the existing salmon and Delta smelt biological opinions.

Concerns raised by NRDC’s Doug Obegi are a red herring to thwart progress on providing water to a parched Central Valley. Exports may increase, as Obegi says, but they would be at a time when salmon and Delta smelt aren’t at risk.

Agricultural losses this year exceed the value of California’s entire 1.8 billion salmon industry

It’s also funny that Obegi is so concerned about fishing jobs and economics at a time when harm to the economy and job losses in agriculture are much worse. A university study this year reported that there were 17,100 farm-related job losses in California in 2014 and a $2.2 billion hit to the farm economy, eclipsing the state’s entire salmon industry, valued at $1.8 billion, according to fish and wildlife economics and statistics consultant Southwick and Associates.

17,100 farm-related job losses in California in 2014 and a $2.2 billion hit to the farm economy

The burdensome regulations that have withered Central Valley food production are the work of Obegi and NRDC in the courtroom. Of course he doesn’t want anything to change.

Any potential land fallowing in the Sacramento Valley would be done on a voluntary basis, as it is today.

Any potential land fallowing in the Sacramento Valley would be done on a voluntary basis, as it is today and water use decisions there are properly managed to protect the mosaic of abundant Sacramento Valley agricultural and wildlife resources. Delfino’s concern is nonsensical that the Sacramento Valley would be making decisions that benefit others while at the same time hurting themselves.

There is a positive relationship between Northern California and other parts of the state. It’s doubtful that they will do anything to diminish that. Maybe that’s really what worries Delfino.

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