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Peter Getty is a philanthropist and contributing blogger for the Huffington Post. His work and writings revolve around environmental issues. Getty's philanthropic initiatives, as well as the organizations he supports, are committed to protecting the environment and spreading environmental awareness.

Republicans Fall Flat Attempting to Loosen Regulations

peter getty delta smeltDelta Smelt, the small endangered species of fish that inhabits the upper Sacramento-San Joaquin Estuary, must be worried about the next Congress, which takes office January 6th.

A message to environmentalists and California Democrats that the water wars are far from over, Congress passed a California drought bill Tuesday designed to loosen regulations that protect a number of species. Dressed up as relief for farmers who have suffered the most from the years-long drought, the bill is just the latest battle in the ongoing work of House Republicans to help California agribusiness loosen regulations that negatively impact their bottom line.

House Republican Doc Hastings denounced the regulations during floor debate, remarking that they “have diverted water supplies in order to help a 3-inch fish.”

Can we assume that if the endangered fish were larger, it would be more worthy of surviving? Imagine if Hastings learned that the average Delta Smelt comes in well under 3 inches!

The Congressman doesn’t get all of his math wrong, though. Over his 15+ year career, he has received $1.25m from Agribusiness, far and away his leading source of campaign funds. That adds up to a lot of support for companies looking to reduce or eliminate regulations like those designed to prevent extinction at our own hands.

It turns out that Agribusiness may have spent all that money in vain. Last week, President Obama vowed to veto the bill, which faces major opposition from state Democrats (including Diane Feinstein & Jerry Brown) and environmental groups too.

In a tirade, Central Valley Republican Devin Nunes compared Democrats to communists. He said that “this is about San Francisco and Los Angeles getting all of their water, never giving up one drop, and they have taken the water from our communities.” His extensive research of communist bureaucracy must have left little time to figure out that Los Angeles no longer receives delta water.

This attempted show of power doesn’t look so strong from this group.

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