Feinstein and Reid turn pork into water

US Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, D-Nevada, has made headlines by scrapping an $85-billion bipartisan jobs bill and replacing it with a $15-billion bill because he said the first, larger bill was full of "pork."
This raises questions, among them how many jobs pork bills do or don't create. But another curiosity is a rider Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, attached to Reid's new, porkless jobs bill, the Emergency Temporary Water Supply amendment, which will temporily suspend the Endangered Species Act restrictions on pumping water out of the San Joaquin Delta imposed by federal court.
While Feinstein has diverted the attention of outraged California environmentalists by the thought that all the Delta water would go to the agribusiness oligarchs of alkali on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley to create more seasonal farm jobs, another issue simmers in the pot. We would be more confident in Feinstein and Reid's compassion for the workers if we were not aware of the hundreds of millions of dollars the private owners of public, federally subsidized water in the Kern County Water Bank have made selling it the the highest urban bidders in the last decade. If the water bank's offices were not in the headquarters of Paramount Farms in Bakersfield, we would feel even more confident. But Stewart Resnick, owner of Paramount, is one of Feinstein's largest financial contributors,
Stockton-based Restore the Delta, which advocates for the people and economy of the San Joaquin Delta, recently reported that the University of the Pacific has estimated that 47,000 construction jobs were lost in San Joaquin Valley, as opposed to 8,500 jobs in agriculture.  It also documented that the federal share of the San Luis Reservoir, one of the main reservoirs serving the Central Valley, the south Bay Area and Southern California is now at 81 percent of its 15-year average. Other Central Valley Project reservoirs ate at 78 percent of their 15-year averages. If it turns out to be a wet water year, the Bureau of Reclamation could start its projected allocations at from 25-40 percent of the contract amounts. These projections are vital for farmers negotiating for production loans.
If you look at the two deeds, what bubbles up is that every drop of water Southern California can get from the Delta via federal irrigation contractors is a drop of water it doesn't have to try to get from the Colorado River, which provides water to Las Vegas, Nevada.
Evidence of the land-use planning genius of Feinstein and Reid's adjoining states, whose southern slurbs depend in part or whole on Colorado River water, is that California ranks first in foreclosures, Nevada second. At more than 2 million people, Las Vegas is Nevada's largest metropolitan region and has the nation's second highest foreclosure rate for January 2010. The top metropolitan foreclosure-rate region in California is Merced, home of UC Merced, ardently supported by Feinstein's husband, chairman of the UC Board of Regents. UC Merced is the reason this cow county has achieved such national prominence, month after month in the speculative housing bust.
Feinstein's amendment to Reid's jobs bill is not about farmworker jobs. It is about urban water supplies in two states and Valley agribusiness water profits rather than crop profits at the expense, once again, of the entire ecology and economy of the Delta.
Badlands Journal editorial board