Friday, August 28, 2015

#HetchHetchyHypocrites


A recent UC Davis study projected the costs of the California water crisis this year. The researchers found:  

·         The net water shortage will be 2.5 million acre-feet in 2015.
·         In response, farmers will fallow 542,000 acres of land.
·         The crisis will cost the California economy $2.74 billion this year, with the loss of 21,000 jobs.  

The study finds that California agriculture is faring better than many predicted. Some areas are suffering much more than others, however. As the researchers previously noted, “The impacts are concentrated mostly in the San Joaquin Valley.”

For decades, elites in the Bay Area, which is a primary support base for many radical environmental groups, have successfully fought to divert huge amounts of Delta water from Central Valley families and communities to environmental causes. Meanwhile, the Bay Area’s own water supply is not subject to these diversions. San Francisco and other coastal communities enjoy an uninterrupted water supply piped in across the state from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite National Park. As Valley farmers fallow their dried up land, take a look at Hetch Hetchy – these photos were sent to my office by a Valley farmer who visited Yosemite last month:   





It’s quite amazing how much water the Bay Area has kept for itself by exempting Hetch Hetchy from the punishing water regulations it has foisted on the Central Valley.   

Let’s see if we can draw the Bay Area’s attention. If you have pictures of Hetch Hetchy brimming with water, please post them on your social media accounts with the hashtag #HetchHetchyHypocrites.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Global warming overload



Since its inception, the Obama administration has engaged in an all-out push to adopt ever-stricter global warming regulations. Recall that Barack Obama was the only presidential candidate – at least as far as I can remember – who took office vowing to bankrupt any company in an entire American industry that refuses to adhere to his environmental agenda.  

When President Obama’s attempt to impose a carbon-trading scheme on the U.S. economy proved too extreme even for a Democrat-controlled Congress to approve, the President remarked that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. And since then, his administration has passed crushing global warming regulations through unilateral, administrative means. Despite the extensive list of taxpayer subsidized green energy disasters – Solyndra, Fisker Automotive, Beacon Power, A123 Systems Inc, EnerDel, to name a few – the administration’s green policies march ever forward.   
The latest salvo is the president’s new “climate action plan,” which mandates drastic reductions in carbon emissions from power plants over the next few decades. The plan provoked a thoughtful Wall Street Journal article discussing the administration’s claim that these regulations will not result in higher electricity prices that hurt the poor. That argument, the Journal noted, is refuted by the plan itself, which demands that states launch redistribution schemes to lessen the regulations’ impact on poor communities.

The climate plan also led to observations that despite the massive harm it will do to the economy, it will barely have any effect at all on global warming – the problem it ostensibly aims to address. However, the plan did have at least one immediate effect – an array of business groups and states is vowing to sue the government to stop these punitive regulations.   

To drum up support for these economically destructive policies, global warmists resort to apocalyptic rhetoric, with President Obama claiming there is “no greater threat to our planet.” As Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I have torespectfully, disagree.   

Separately, the Nunes Digest is updated here.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday, July 24, 2015

Greece: A cautionary tale



As Greece prepares to enter another round of seemingly endless negotiations with its creditors, it’s a good time to consider how the cradle of Western civilization became a bankrupt and broken nation.  

While its adoption of the Euro has clearly damaged Greece’s ability to respond to its various crises, the core problem is that the Greek government ran up hidden, unsustainable debts. It turned to international creditors for a series of bailouts and had to adopt austerity measures such as higher taxes and spending cuts. The fiscal crisis spiraled into an economic, social, and political crisis punctuated by the following:

·         A disastrous rise in long-term unemployment.

·         The closure of banks, causing major economic disruptions.

·         The rise in support for a far-right extremist party, and the assumption of power by a far-left Marxist party.

·         The emigration of 3 percent of the population, mostly young people, between 2010 and 2013.
 
How did Greece reach this point? A 2010 exposé in Vanity Fair describes how the government was shoveling money into the public sector, which had doubled in size over the previous decade. Taxes from private sector workers, who earned on average just one-third the salary of public employees, could not cover the bill, especially since tax evasion and bribery had become a kind of national sport. The writer explains the damaging moral effect this collectivist system had on the Greek people:

 
No success of any kind is regarded without suspicion. Everyone is pretty sure everyone is cheating on his taxes, or bribing politicians, or taking bribes, or lying about the value of his real estate. And this total absence of faith in one another is self-reinforcing. The epidemic of lying and cheating and stealing makes any sort of civic life impossible. . . . The structure of the Greek economy is collectivist, but the country, in spirit, is the opposite of a collective. Its real structure is every man for himself.”      

At a time when the U.S. national debt is approaching $19 trillion, and when the country continues to accumulate tens of trillions more in unfunded liabilities on entitlement programs, Greece offers a cautionary tale showing that government over-spending is not generous or charitable – it’s destructive and it’s selfish, since it imperils a nation’s future generations. Balancing the budget is not just the first step in correcting our own perilous fiscal situation, it is a moral imperative.       

Friday, July 17, 2015

Dangerous times



The killing of four U.S. Marines in Tennessee yesterday is a stark reminder of the severe threats now facing the U.S. homeland. Radicalizing recruits worldwide through social media and using encrypted digital chatrooms to plot attacks, ISIS and other jihadist groups are looking for every possible opportunity to strike at the U.S. homeland. Americans everywhere ought to remain vigilant to these threats and resist demands to handcuff our intelligence community, which is working hard to identify and track foreign terrorists.

Unfortunately, the nuclear agreement that the Obama administration signed with Iran will not diminish these threats and may even intensify them. Iran remains the world’s primary sponsor of international terrorism, and there is nothing in the agreement that will change the regime’s behavior. To the contrary, the deal will relieve both internal and external  pressure on the mullahs, giving them access to new sources of cash to continue spreading turmoil throughout the Middle East and beyond.

I’d like to hear your thoughts as Congress debates and ultimately votes on the Iran agreement. I invite you to read the agreement for yourself here and let me know what you think by emailing me here

Thursday, July 16, 2015

House acts to ease CA water crisis


Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed its fourth major California water bill in less than four years. Once again, we are moving legislation that will ease the devastating water crisis that is wreaking havoc on the Central Valley economy and pushing useful farmland out of production.

Although the White House and many congressional Democrats resisted all our previous efforts and are already opposing the new bill, we are working to convince them that something has to be done. As thirsty Central Valley farmers and families continue to watch their water get flushed into the ocean due to ever-expanding environmental regulations, it’s long past time that the government stop prioritizing fish over families.

You can read my extended article on the water crisis here and see my comments about the new bill by clicking on the picture below: