Boehner's drought plan is business before environment

01/28/2014 10:10 AM

01/27/2014 2:08 PM

Re “House speaker talks drought” (Capitol & California, Jan. 23): House Speaker John Boehner visited California to tout the need for drought management. At a news conference, held in a parched field belonging to farmer Larry Starrh of Bakersfield, Boehner proposed gutting environmental protections for much of the Delta. Starrh has to leave 1,000 acres of almond orchards fallow. It’s an interesting crop choice, given that almonds are water-thirsty, requiring 50 to 54 inches of water annually in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Bakersfield receives 6.47 inches of rain annually. The people of the state and our ecosystems are secondary to questionable farming decisions and practices, as well as profits to be gained (or lost) for a lucrative crop. Again, business interests trump common sense. Boehner should go home and not return. And if the governor insists on digging tunnels under the Sacramento River, Boehner can take him along.

-- Lilith Waterworth, Walnut Grove

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