Wednesday, April 16, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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California governor: Drought requires compromise

California Drought

California Gov. Jerry Brown, second from right, talks to the media about drought concerns during a brief appearance at the World Ag Expo Wednesday morning, Feb. 12, 2014, near Tulare, Calif. Brown railed on lawmakers far off in the nation’s capital for fighting that does nothing to bring farmers here any relief. (AP Photo/The Fresno Bee, Eric Paul Zamora) LOCAL PRINT OUT (VISALIA TIMES-DELTA, REEDY EXPONENT, KINGBURG RECORDER, SELMA ENTERPRISE, HANFORD SENTINEL, PORTERVILLE RECORDER, MADERA TRIBUNE, THE BUSINESS JOURANL FRENSO); LOCAL TV OUT (KSEE24, KFSN30, KGE47, KMPH26)

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From page A5 | February 13, 2014 | 7 Comments

TULARE — Gov. Jerry Brown visited California’s drought-stricken agricultural heartland on Wednesday and called on Republicans and Democrats in Congress to strike a compromise that will benefit the region and nation.

As part of his busy schedule of stops in the Central Valley, Brown met with farmers at a breakfast and briefly walked the midway of the 47th Annual World Ag Expo in Tulare, a massive farm show where he attracted attention from curious onlookers as he answered questions from reporters.

Brown said bickering among federal lawmakers over drought aid accomplishes nothing.

“They like to fight, and now they’re fighting,” Brown said. “That doesn’t help farmers, doesn’t help California, doesn’t help the country.”

Brown’s visit to California’s agriculture region came after he declared a drought emergency in January and before President Barak Obama visits Fresno on Friday.

Brown’s reference to political bickering involved a drought measure proposed by three Central Valley Republicans that was approved by the House last week largely along party lines. It would reallocate water from the San Joaquin Delta to farmers south in the Central Valley and stop efforts to restore the San Joaquin River, which now runs dry a short distance west of Friant Dam.

In response, California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, both Democrats, proposed legislation that would pour $300 million into emergency aid and drought relief projects, upgrading city water systems and water conservation.

It also would speed up environmental reviews of water projects and allow operational flexibility to state and federal officials wanting to move water south from the delta to San Joaquin Valley farms.

Brown, whose administration supports the bill proposed by the Democrats, said he is doing what he can to find middle ground, rather than exploiting the drought as a chance to throw “cheap rhetorical missiles” at the other side.

“Look, if anybody can get it done, I can get it done,” said Brown. “I’m working night and day to achieve it.” He did not elaborate on those efforts.

Brown said the president will view devastation brought on by the drought and recognize the need for the federal government to invest in water projects, improving water quality and technology. Brown said the farmers he met over breakfast expressed their frustration, which he shares.

“When you’re in a drought, you’re in a drought,” he said. “From biblical times there are plagues and there are droughts, and we have to learn how to live with them.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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Discussion | 7 comments

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  • The MisterFebruary 13, 2014 - 7:05 am

    Never let a good crisis go to waste.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Puddin TaneFebruary 13, 2014 - 9:35 am

    I'm guessing that you know as much about the drought and it's impact on the state water plan as you do any other subject, which is to say nothing at all. Westlands Water District was the last to purchase water rights, hence why they are last to receive water during the drought, and now they're whining to Congress (does that make them "takers?"). The unfortunate reality is that diverting the water south like the House Republicans want will cause an intrusion of saltwater into the Delta, and all the farmers up here who rely on that water will have their crops ruined. It's really not about the fish at this point, it's about farmers up north with established water rights having their water taken by farmers who tried to irrigate in a semi-arid climate like the lower part of the valley. But that explanation can't be put into a sound bite, so I doubt you'll believe it.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterFebruary 13, 2014 - 9:55 am

    What? TLDR

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Puddin TaneFebruary 13, 2014 - 10:23 am

    OMG, you know Internet shorthand! You must be AATK to have such skills to use a SFLA to make a SAR. YTMND!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Howlin' Wolf - Evil (Is Going On)February 13, 2014 - 11:46 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osnDVXlhxPw

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny4deVFsYuoFebruary 13, 2014 - 12:31 pm

    Dog Days Are Over

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • mescFebruary 13, 2014 - 10:02 am

    ""strike a compromise"" Brown's way of saying ... Send your water to Southern Cal, I want their votes. Forget the local N.CA farmers.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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