Shameless demagoguery

Shameless demagoguery

The Sept. 7 commentary by Assembly Member Mike Villines labels federal Judge Oliver Wanger “irresponsible” for ordering the federal government to take steps to protect the Bay-Delta fishery, including seasonal pumping reductions.
Two things are certain: Assembly Member Villines is little familiar, if at all, with the requirements of environmental law or the thousands of pages of scientific evidence in the case, and he is shamelessly pandering to narrow western San Joaquin Valley agribusiness interests and cares little for Delta farming or fishing interests.  READ MORE »

Some Things Never Change: Westlands water rustlers' latest job

Westlands water rustlers’ latest job FURTHER DOWN THE DRAIN BY LLOYD G. CARTER “Since pre-Columbian times, the Westlands area was known to be part of the uninhabitable Great California Desert.” From the history section of the Westlands Water District Website, For more than half a century, growers in the fabled Westlands Water District have been the “bad boys” of federal irrigation projects in the American West, ignoring residency and acreage requirements for taxpayer-subsidized water, getting Congress to change laws they didn’t like, seducing both Republicans and Democrat politicians with a river of campaign contributions, and reaping more crop, water and power subsidies, tax breaks, and debt forgiveness than any other group of farmers in America. Now they are poised to pull off the biggest coup in their controversial history. If they get what they are asking for, 260 billion gallons of publicly-owned water a year for 60 years, they will capture water worth anywhere from $20 to $40 billion - that’s billion with a B - with which they are free to farm tainted soils with, OR resell to urban interests at fantastic profit margins.  READ MORE »

Selenium poisoning is still a threat today

Fresno Bee
LLOYD CARTER: Selenium poisoning is still a threat today

It has been nearly a quarter of a century since federal scientists discovered that selenium in Western San Joaquin Valley farm drainwater was triggering massive embryo deformities in ducks and shorebirds and killing all the edible fish at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge.  READ MORE »

Letter to the Editor: More Pork!

Letters to the Editor
Fresno Bee
July 27, 2007

Dear Sir or Madam,

The U.S. Department of Agriculture gets my inept federal bureaucracy of the month award for writing subsidy checks to 172,801 dead farmers totaling $1.1 billion dollars during the period from 1999 to 2005. This gives new meaning to the term “buying the farm.”

All the sordid details are available in a report from the Government Accountability Office located at  READ MORE »

Further Adventures of the Hydraulic Brotherhood

Further adventures of the Hydraulic Brotherhood: Westlands Update
By Lloyd G. Carter
In the past few years public and media attention in the San Joaquin Valley have been focused on the long court battle over restoring a fishery flow in the San Joaquin River and the alleged impacts it would have on East Side agriculture.  READ MORE »

Pork Barrel Farmers

Pork Barrel Farmers

By Lloyd G. Carter

I have concluded over the years that when writing about the complexities of California’s byzantine water world, it is easiest to write about water in terms of cold hard cash. A flowing, living river has aesthetic value to environmentalists and preservationists while a river of dollar bills appeals to a different set of values that even the most apathetic taxpayer can understand..  READ MORE »

A living river

'A living river'
(Updated Thursday, January 12, 2006, 5:31 AM)
Let us hope that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation does the right thing and endorses the recent settlement between environmentalists and Friant Unit farmers to partially restore the San Joaquin River fishery.  READ MORE »

Thirst of growers, developers huge threat

Attached is a Op-Ed article from the March 22, 2004 Fresno Bee. CLICK HERE

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Public's interest can't be ignored in water sell offs.

Attached is a Op-Ed article from the August 7, 2000 Fresno Bee. CLICK HERE

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USA Confidential Article

Way out West the big farmers fly Lear jets, have private airstrips on gargantuan factory farms, control politicians in both major parties, and harvest barrelfuls of taxpayer subsidy money. They also dry up rivers, pollute aquifers, and conscript an army of Third World families to bring in the crops at below-povertyline wages. Grotesque deformities in ducks and geese, poisoned national wildlife refuges, massive fish kills, and pesticide-sprayed fields littered with thousands of dead birds are common, and unpunished, depredations in California’s agricultural heartland, despite numerous state and federal wildlife-protection laws.  READ MORE »

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