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San Luis National Wildlife Refuge
San Luis National Wildlife Refuge near Los Banos, California, where
 President Obama will be speaking Friday afternoon.
President Obama will be visiting a Fresno farm Friday in one of the areas of California hardest hit by the drought that some are saying is the worst in at least 500 years. The state's San Joaquin Valley is one of the nation's premier agricultural regions, but it's all made possible by irrigation water that is in very short supply this year, the third of a record-breaking three-year dry spell. Last year was the driest in California since 1849, when record-keeping began, a year before statehood.

In a speech to be delivered in late afternoon, the president will, according to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, announce assistance of more than $180 million and make a connection between global warming and the drought.

That assistance will include $150 million for livestock losses this year and previous years, $5 million in new conservation assistance aid, $5 million in emergency watershed protection grants and $3 million in water grants to rural communities.

Recent rains have marginally improved the situation in a few of the state's mostly parched reservoirs, but the snowpack of the Sierras, run-off from which California depends for much of its water, is 27 percent of normal statewide and just 17 percent in the northern part of the state.

B. Lynn Ingram, a professor of earth and planetary science and geography at UC Berkeley Professor, paints a disturbing picture. Together with geographer and environmental biologist Frances Malamud-Roam, Ingram wrote The West Without Water: What Past Floods, Droughts, and Other Climatic Clues Tell Us About Tomorrow. See below the fold for what she had to say in a recent interview.

If you go back thousands of years, you see that droughts can go on for years if not decades, and there were some dry periods that lasted over a century, like during the Medieval period and the middle Holocene. The 20th century was unusually mild here, in the sense that the droughts weren’t as severe as in the past. It was a wetter century, and a lot of our development has been based on that.

The late 1930s to the early 1950s were when a lot of our dams and aqueducts were built, and those were wetter decades. I think there’s an assumption that we’ll go back to that, and that’s not necessarily the case. We might be heading into a drier period now. It’s hard for us to predict, but that’s a possibility, especially with global warming. When the climate’s warmer, it tends to be drier in the West.

Precisely what the president will say today regarding global warming hasn't been announced. Since one of the people who will be joining him for his tour of California farm country is Sen. Barbara Boxer, something it would be encouraging to hear him say is that he stands behind two pieces of climate-related legislation that Boxer and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont introduced exactly a year ago but have been languishing ever since.

The legislation consists of two parts. First is the Sustainable Energy Act, which would cut subsidies and tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry and extend tax credits for production of renewable energy from solar, wind and geothermal sources through 2021. Second is the Climate Protection Act, which would establish a carbon emissions fee of $20 per ton on nearly 3,000 of the largest polluters with 60 percent of the revenue going for rebates each month to American families, provide for investments in renewable energy and efficiency, and protect people from hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

That legislation has gathered a pitiful collection of co-sponsors. While it has zero chance of passage in a House of Representatives filled with global warming-denying jackasses, strong backing from President Obama could possibly give it the support needed to clear the Senate. That would at least show the American people that more than a handful of politicians are actually serious about doing something regarding climate change instead of merely running their mouths about it.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 10:31 AM PST.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  As you know, Barack Obama (5+ / 0-)

    backing a bill is not necessarily going to help that bill get through either the House or the Senate today. Often he can help a bill best by NOT outwardly supporting it. Not sure if that is the case here, but it is most definitely the case that for many in Congress a bill's association with Obama makes it untouchable.

    •  Obama's absence won't make the Flat Earth Party (14+ / 0-)

      and their Democratic allies like climate change legislation any better.

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 10:39:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As noted, the two bills have been sitting... (37+ / 0-)

      ...in committee for a year. You think it's going to make things worse if Obama draws attention to them? Initiating and/or backing good legislation is what progressive leaders—incumbents and candidates—ought to be doing all the time even if that legislation has a slim chance of passing.

      This isn't just theater. For one thing, it shows voters what these leaders WOULD do if they had the political clout to get laws passed. That support can be part of what persuades voters to put more people into office who WILL turn that good legislation into law.

      One could make the argument that Obama shouldn't even bother announcing drought relief since there is no new money involved. Almost all of it would be coming California's anyhow. That could be handled with a press release.
       

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 10:42:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know if him getting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Skyye

        involved would help these bills, or hurt them. I don't know. I do know that often it is the case that he's better off not getting involved. Look at all the Democratic pols in red and purple states who have asked him to stay far away from their campaigns this year. For virtually every GOP Congressman, and many Democratic ones, Obama's imprimatur is a negative.

      •  Unless Obama stops the "drill baby drill" (17+ / 0-)

        mentality that has led to such sharp spikes in carbon pollution, you can't take his environmental efforts seriously. He has routinely ignored the pleas of millions of people who have been affected by fracking, while giving passionate speeches about the environment.

        That gives him zero credibility...

        If he wants to prove that he is serious about climate change, then have him make an announcement now, saying that he has vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline.

        And if his administration won't put some teeth into prosecuting polluters, then he will continue to be seen as aiding and abetting white collar crime instead of acting in the best interests of his constituents.

        I love your environmental articles, Meteor Blades, but I'm not certain his support -- at this point -- is that meaningful.

        •  Obama CANNOT announce that he's "vetoed"... (13+ / 0-)

          ...the Keystone XL until the legal process is complete. And that is, at the earliest, May 1. Now, he may have already made his decision and that decision may very well be in line with what the fossil fools want him to decide. But we shouldn't be pushing for him to circumvent the process (as Republicans and some fossil-fuel state Democrats have been doing for three years) in our favor.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 01:07:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  it would, however (3+ / 0-)

            be really good if he would do something to actually address the problem, instead of giving us more lukewarm speeches and letting things slide when they hit Congress.

            He's good at Reagan feel-good stuff, but he doesn't seem to have a clue how to lead, and he's way too prone to listen to old white men and believe whatever they tell him.

            (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

            by PJEvans on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 03:26:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Of course he can. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            socialismorbarbarism, praenomen

            And he can do it for any number of reasons.

            I think it's probably true that blocking Keystone will have no significant impact on CO2 emissions, but that doesn't mean it's pointless to block it.

            At some point you draw a line in the sand. You think about immediate impact and impact on the future. You alert those who would destroy the world that every step is going to get a fight.

            And then, maybe, he might consider doing something to take away our national status as the world's largest consumer of Canadian tar sands oil.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 03:35:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "of course he can" do what? violate the law? (3+ / 0-)

              As Meteor Blades stated quite clearly, the next step in the XL application process is the National Interest Determination or NID. That requires two things: review by specified federal agencies and public comments. Then, Sec. Kerry reviews the project with all of the documents, reviews and public comments. THEN, Sec. Kerry makes a rec to President Obama. ANd THEN, under the law, President Obama makes a decision to reject or approve.

              •  How would he violate the law? (0+ / 0-)

                There is nothing the NID can say, or, for that matter, Secretary Kerry can say, that obligates him to act one way or the other.

                It's still his decision.  Whether he announces it before or after the process is complete, he will not be breaking the law.
                He may not be able to actually effect his decision until the process is complete, but that is a different matter.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 05:06:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  the law sets out the process. (0+ / 0-)

                  as i noted above. if President Obama NOW announces his decision, it will be a decision in violation of the process because it will be a decision reached before the process is completed.  

                  i don't think you understand this process.

                  There is nothing the NID can say, or, for that matter, Secretary Kerry can say, that obligates him to act one way or the other.
                  The NID is the name of the decision reached by obama and kerry.
                  •  The President signs an Executive Order. (0+ / 0-)

                    The National Interest Determination is required before the order is signed.

                    The President is not obligated by the National Interest Determination.

                    Now -- this would be a good one for somebody who understands the fine points of government law.

                    As I understand it, the Keystone Pipeline cannnot go forward without an Executive Order that permits it.

                    The President cannot sign an Executive Order that permits building the pipeline without first following the process that requires an NID.

                    That's fair.

                    But -- What if the President has decided that he isn't going to sign an Executive Order?
                    What does he have to wait for?
                    Does anybody have the power to make him sign one if he doesn't want to?

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 06:50:19 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No, EO not involved (0+ / 0-)

                      Transcanada filed an application to get a permit, actually called a presidential permit, for the construction and operation of the XL pipeline. The legal authority allowing the issuance of this permit is an EO that bush signed years ago. but TC is seeking a permit, not an EO, from US.

                      The President is not obligated by the National Interest Determination.
                      No, there is a process to determine whether the XL pipeline is in the US national Interest. The decision that is reached is called the national interest determination. The process that must be followed to reach this decision is as i stated earlier.
                      •  My understanding is that the National Interest (0+ / 0-)

                        Determination is not the final step, that it is intended to inform the final decision.

                        Otherwise, I presume it would be called something along the lines of "Fine, go ahead and build your damned pipeline" or some governmenty thing that means the same thing.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 07:23:30 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Broke down and found the enabling EO, by (0+ / 0-)

                        George W. Bush in 2004.

                        Interesting in a couple of ways:

                        1.  The current President can't exactly break the law by tossing the process because it is based on Executive Order.  He can issue a new Executive Order if he wants or simply instruct the Secretary of State not to grant a permit.

                        2.  The order actually delegates responsibility for granting the "Presidential" permit to the Secretary of State. Sooooo...John Kerry is fully empowered to grant the permit, except that

                        3. An objection from

                        the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, or the heads of the departments or agencies in which the rel-
                        evant authorities or responsibilities of the foregoing are subsequently conferred or transferred

                        Sounds like the President can do pretty much as he pleases.  Being Obama, one expects him to follow the process, but he needn't be quiet about his intentions.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 07:39:49 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  PDNC is quite familiar, as am I, with... (1+ / 0-)

                          ...the XO and all its ramifications, having been over this publicly quite a lot in the past year. Saying that Obama needn't be quiet about his intentions is, in fact, a violation of the process.

                          If he were to say, before the interagency review is completed on April 30 that he had already made up his mind, but wink wink nod nod he was going pretend that he would listen to the review and advice of those designated in a process with roots in a 46-year-old executive order amended a decade ago he would be short-circuiting that process. XOs can be abused. But processes set via XOs that are not successfully contested by Congress or the courts have the force of law. Ignoring the law except under unusual circumstances—say, a law violating equal rights—is not such a hot idea for us to condone given what potential for abuse such ignoring can lead to.

                          For one thing, every hour that authorized process continues provides those of us opposed to it to organize and investigate along many fronts.

                          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                          by Meteor Blades on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 01:45:25 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You are overlooking something very important (0+ / 0-)

                            Declaring his intent on an issue does not violate the process in any way shape or form.

                            No way, no how.

                            First and foremost: The process does not require that the President have no opinion in the matter.

                            The magic phrase:

                            "We've been through the whole process and nothing I've seen convinces me that I was wrong."

                            There is nothing -- nothing whatsoever -- that presents any President, including President Obama, from expressing his intent at the beginning of the process.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 04:53:09 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  little thing like federal constitution counts (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Meteor Blades

                            Your argument has been: of course President Obama can announce that he's vetoed the XL and now you say "Declaring his intent on an issue does not violate the process in any way shape or form."

                            The LAW sets forth the process for NID and approval or rejection of presidential permits. The Constitution authorizes presidents to do EOs. The EOs have the force and power of federal LAW, such as the EO setting out the process for presidential permits. The president takes an oath of office to faithfully execute his office and preserve, protect and defend our constitution.

                            If obama declares his intent to reject the XL before the lawful process is completed, he is violating the law. That would be like a judge declaring his intent or position on a legal matter BEFORE the evidence is presented to him/her.

                             

                          •  OK. I call you. How? (0+ / 0-)

                            What law is he breaking?

                            I'll even give you this:

                            http://www.state.gov/...

                            If obama declares his intent to reject the XL before the lawful process is completed, he is violating the law.
                            I've provided the text of the Executive Order. I defy you to find anything that prevents Obama from declaring his intent.
                            The President is not a judge. He is the highest executive in the land.  

                            And -- you keep ignoring the most important fact of all ( a real fact, not  one of your assertions from thin air):

                            The President has the power to issue Executive Orders.
                            He could sit down and write and order saying, in effect, "Never mind this process. I'm just gonna decide" and it would be as lawful as the existing order.

                            It's the same power that let him raise the minimum wage for federal contractors.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 10:54:16 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

          •  MB is right. And, the minute he does deny the (0+ / 0-)

            permit, they other side will work twice as hard to find another way to get it done.  I am hoping that he requires the State Department to start the process over with a third party doing the impact statement that does not have a conflict of interest.  Sometimes delay is a better strategy.

        •  Has there been a sharp spike in CO2 pollution? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades

          I don't think so, just the relentless "higher highs, higher lows".  The recession slowed human economic activities down somewhat.  Temporary, but convenient.

          But the pipeline imo is meaningful, even if it doesn't slow down the tarshit itself.  It's created a movement and an activist mentality that's been missing for far too long.  Lines in the sand are good!

      •  But it is truly a shame for the majority of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbastard

        Americans that right now, the only person taking  to  the bully pulpit is Lordes:

        http://www.reddit.com/...

    •  Most *Powerless* President Evah! Good thing (7+ / 0-)

      for us W was just as impotent and didn't get anything he wanted...

      "But I do apologize, JVolvo, for you are arbiter of all that can and cannot be discussed and I bow down to your supremacy when it comes to what can be written on this website." WinSmith 1/22/2014 - "OK" JVolvo 1/23/2014 (sorry, Clive)

      by JVolvo on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 12:10:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He's powerless to get anything (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pragmatus, Skyye, emelyn, KayCeSF

        through Congress because the GOP decided they simply will not support anything a black president is for. You holding Obama responsible for his lack of Congressional sway is like holding Rosa Parks responsible for not getting a seat on the bus.

      •  Cue discussion of 2010 Tea Party surge, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JVolvo

        with background of violins and teary-eyed partisan faithful whispering "It was....Nader."

        The 111th Congress never existed, remember that.

        I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 12:46:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Talking up a bill that the R's refuse to pass (0+ / 0-)

      is more like "running the mouth" than using executive power is.
      (At least in this instance).

  •  We need an carbon impact fee on imports (22+ / 0-)

    China is killing the planet to sell us cheap products and take our manufacturing jobs. The carbon cost should be added to every import from China and other big GCG polluters.

    “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

    by FishOutofWater on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 10:38:05 AM PST

  •  Earthjustice Photo Essay (15+ / 0-)

    The California Drought:
    Who Gets The Water And Who's Hung Out To Dry?
    http://earthjustice.org/...

    The historic drought has dredged up old feuds over who can lay claim to water in a thirsty state. As the powerful agricultural lobby—agriculture currently consumes 80% of California's water supply—cries for more water to be pumped to their farms in the arid regions of the Central Valley, just who would be left high and dry?

    "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

    by greendem on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 10:38:34 AM PST

    •  Fantastic - and painful - photo essay, ese... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades

      "But I do apologize, JVolvo, for you are arbiter of all that can and cannot be discussed and I bow down to your supremacy when it comes to what can be written on this website." WinSmith 1/22/2014 - "OK" JVolvo 1/23/2014 (sorry, Clive)

      by JVolvo on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 12:15:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  thanks so much for this! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      socialismorbarbarism

      ppl say that we 've all got to compromise...that pisses me off!
      fisheries have compromised their livelihoods away.  farmers say "it's ppl v fish" but that's a false equivalent...it's farms v. fisheries.
      the north has been "compromising" their water to the south for years.  colorado has been "compromising" their water, too.
      i say no $$ unless farms/ranches use best practices.
      prove your worthiness.
      otw, the water hogs will get $ and water based on their GLUTTONOUS behavior of their past use, while the THRIFTY bio-dynamic farmers will get a fraction based on their past use.
      it's a crapped-up deal and i hope someone in govt says no $$ unless you change your behavior from these wasteful, unenvironmental practices and crazy crop choices.
      hoping that local farms/ranches will get priority over big chem agri, but haha, that won't happen.
      also,
      NO MORE FRICKIN FRACKIN WITH MY WATER!!!

      I am tired of laughing at the irony of their stupidity.

      by stagemom on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 01:23:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  CA ag > westlands water district (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades

      this is as much a water war between farmers as anything. the water being sent to the westlands in the west san joaquin is coming from farmers in the delta and sacramento valley.

  •  You're right. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbastard, JVolvo, stagemom

    Not much more to say.

    I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 10:38:55 AM PST

  •  Thank you (6+ / 0-)

    Thank you for bringing attention to those bills. When I was writing a diary the other day on how Markey's addition to EPW makes the terrain more favorable for climate legislation (in Committee), I realized that Boxer and Sanders introduced their bills one year ago tomorrow. They had support from CAP, 350.org, Public Citizen, and the Sierra Club, but the bill has, as you noted, languished.

  •  Wait wait wait... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nytcek, emelyn

    You don't like politicians who want to "run their mouths" about global warming and not do anything serious, but you wrote a diary calling for Obama to talk about a bill that he knows has no chance of passing? Isn't that exactly the definition of running your mouth about something in the absence of serious action?

    And about those Senators who would vote for the bill in the Senate; isn't voting for something in one house when you know there is no chance of it ever passing into law a very low-meaning action, and not at all a demonstration of seriousness?

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 10:47:07 AM PST

    •  The bills are serious. Given that the House... (19+ / 0-)

      ...is unlikely to pass 99% of the legislation any Democrat wants, why suggest any new laws at all? Why not just keep whining about we can't get anything done until 2017 because chances of gaining a Democratic majority in the House are slim until then anyway. Why keep trying, for example, to get unemployment compensation renewed in the Senate knowing that, even if it passes there, it will not pass the House. Why not just throw up our hands in despair and rock in the corner?

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 10:59:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They're great bills, no question. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emelyn

        And we're not talking about suggesting bills; we're talking about the President devoting his speechifying to them (meaning, instead of to something else).

        The reason to do symbolic politics in the absence of any meaningful chance of accomplishing something is to influence the outcomes of elections. Not to make "people" (who are undefined, but who seem to bear a remarkable resemblance to yourself) feel awesome.

        Will Barack Obama talking about these bills help his party in the next election? That is the only question that matters here.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 12:05:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right. We're not talking about suggesting bills... (13+ / 0-)

          ...They already exist. All the president has to do is to urge, while he is already "speechifying" about climate change (as Vilsack says he will be doing today), is say that these two "great bills" ought to get more support, ought to be passed. You know, a paragraph of a 30 or 40-paragraph address while surrounded by what's shown in that photo at the top of my post.

          As for helping in the next election, how about thinking of the long haul? Chances of winning the House this election cycle are extremely slim. So, what you're saying, like a whole bunch of other politicians, is that we should delay acting on global warming.

          I am personally damned fed up with those who say climate change is a crisis but who not only delay acting as if they actually believe it is a crisis but also urge delaying even talking about doing anything about it. You truly think such action-delays and talking-delays will actually win us elections, now or later? You think that somehow not doing anything will get us enough representatives in the House so that in the distant future something effective can be slipped in?  That is about way far from the pragmatic politics you claim to be supporting.

          We all, most of us here anyway, mock the global warming-deniers. Just one trouble with that:

          Delay is also denial.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 12:59:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Obama Not Talking About AGW (0+ / 0-)

            has resulted in a DECREASING number of Americans even believing in it. How's that for progress?

            •  Obama talks about AGW all the time. (0+ / 0-)

              Even the diarist acknowledges this. In his words, " All the president has to do is to urge, while he is already "speechifying" about climate change (as Vilsack says he will be doing today)"

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 07:44:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  unfortunately the framing war (0+ / 0-)

            on climate change was lost decades ago when it became the meme  global climate warming  rather than the more perceptible global climate disruption,  which is leading to catastrophic extremes of weather.  Nobody doubts that more and more extreme weather events are happening.

            what is absurd is to think that the political process is going to get anything done about it, as long as said process is totally corrupted by the Oligarch's money.

            don't always believe what you think

            by claude on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 05:47:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  What does adding bill numbers to his speeches.... (0+ / 0-)

            accomplish? It's not going to get them passed. Is it supposed to help with elections? Is it supposed to make the speeches more effective at moving public opinion? You keep waving your hands around, but you don't seem to have put any more thought into how things work than Ted Cruz.

            You, yourself, acknowledge that the bills aren't going to pass, with or without the President talking about them, so what does this have to do with "delaying action on global warming?

            It's starting to sound like that's just a string of words you like to say to try to cast yourself as more pious on the issue, as opposed to representing any sort of hard-headed thought about getting from A to B.

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 07:43:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  These are indeed the questions. (0+ / 0-)

        Why have a party at all?

        We've already spent three years rocking in the corner, unless you count the attempts at a Social-Security-cutting Grand Bargain. Spend another year at it and the midterms will be lovely. Especially since the Republicans are starting to realize that they shouldn't provide constant vivid examples of how useless they are to the American public.

        Without Tea Party shutdowns, our lack of action on, well, just about anything, is going to look, how shall I put it? Unimpressive.

        I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 12:52:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Then he should stop giving speeches (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SouthernLiberalinMD

      Since he can't pass anything.  Time to go on permanent vacation...

      /snark

      •  Wow, did you miss the point. (0+ / 0-)

        This is a discussion about what should be in the President's speeches - whether he should include references to two specific bills - not a discussion about whether he should be giving speeches.

        Hope this helps.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 07:45:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  "$3 million in water grants to rural communities" (14+ / 0-)

    is, well, a drop in the bucket. One small community alone could soak all that up. How many ways will that be divided, and for what projects?

    Jared Huffman has proposed a bill to change how the Army Corps of Engineers manages their reservoirs and allow them to use weather forecasting and other techniques when deciding a target lake level. This would be a big help for us in the Eel and Russian River watersheds.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 10:48:16 AM PST

  •  I'm thinking of buying a water tanker . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JVolvo

    I know a place up north where I can pick up some good cheap spring water ...

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 10:49:03 AM PST

  •  Obama Will Not Back Any Climate Change Legislation (8+ / 0-)

    And he won't curtail fracking, or inhibit LNG pipelines and exports, or stop exporting coal, or cease the uncontrolled deepwater drilling, or talk about the abomination of Mary Landrieu as Senate Energy Chair, or stop EPA from squashing studies that show grave problems from fossil fuels, or admit shame that he is transforming the United States into Saudi Arabia. No. None of that.

    So what is Obama up to? Mitigation. That's the new neoliberal buzzword. Continue to extract, transport, sell and burn every speck of carbon fuel in existence and then pretend that we can "adapt" to conditions that will deteriorate at an accelerating rate BECAUSE of Obama's energy policies. It's all about the money. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Obama is making America into King Carbon at a time where the horrible effects of AGW are becoming ever more clear and powerful. We are now the Evil Empire.

    California becoming a desert? Let them drink oil.

    The shamelessness is disgusting.

    •  Obama, the President who has increased fuel (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emelyn, Meteor Blades

      efficiency standards in cars is all about the money and making America into King Carbon?

      WASHINGTON, DC – The Obama Administration today finalized groundbreaking standards that will increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by Model Year 2025.  When combined with previous standards set by this Administration, this move will nearly double the fuel efficiency of those vehicles compared to new vehicles currently on our roads.

      Snip

      “Simply put, this groundbreaking program will result in vehicles that use less gas, travel farther, and provide more efficiency for consumers than ever before—all while protecting the air we breathe and giving automakers the regulatory certainty to build the cars of the future here in America,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Today, automakers are seeing their more fuel-efficient vehicles climb in sales, while families already saving money under the Administration’s first fuel economy efforts will save even more in the future, making this announcement a victory for everyone.”

      Regardless of actual facts,  and regardless of Right or Left...Obama is always destroying America.... Amazing.
      •  What A Joke (8+ / 0-)

        That's like the bank robber saying: But just think of all the banks I didn't rob!

        Fuel standards. Give me a break. Here is the bottom line: coal exports up 50% under Obama; more deepwater drilling than Bush-Cheney; unleashing the worldwide scourge of fracking (you think Obama will mention fracking water usage when he wrings his hands and whines about the CA drought?); U.S. carbon emissions up 2% last year; worldwide carbon emissions skyrocketing.

        Open your eyes.

        •  Oh I get it, increasing fuel efficiency standards (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emelyn

          or creating the most extensive expansion of land and water conservation in more than a generation through the President's signing of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act is simply a joke.

          His effort to clean up toxic pollution the the establishing of the first-ever national limits for mercury and other toxic air pollution from power plants, which will prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks, and 130,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms each year is also a joke.  

          The Recovery Act set aside unprecedented funding of nearly 11 billion dollars  for programs and projects that will protect the environment, such as green job training to marine habitat restoration to water quality improvements.

          My question is this, what did the President before Obama did to help the environment? What did Al Gore himself did as vice President to help the environment? What has your environmental heroes done in a generation before Obama in terms of instituting policy to help the environment? Has any of them even made an effort to cut fuel efficiency standards in cars, not to mention accomplishing it?

          Oh yeah, Obama is such a joke...let's try and compare  Obama against actual accomplishments of other presidents in a generation. Compare him to the policy accomplishments of Al Gore.

          What a "joke" Obama is....

          •  Increase* fuel efficiency standards. So scoffable (0+ / 0-)
          •  um (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            socialismorbarbarism, BradyB

            " the most extensive expansion of land and water conservation in more than a generation through the President's signing of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act is simply a joke."

            Actually, that bill was negotiated by the Bush White House and was signed some two months into his term.

            •  Your statement is false. Bush DID NOT negotiate (0+ / 0-)

              the Omnibus Public Land Management Act. Here is the LA Times  on the issue from April of 2009:

              On Monday, President Obama signed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, placing more than 2 million acres of public land in nine states under Wilderness Act protection. The new legislation preserves remote glacial valleys in Wyoming, fragile deserts in California and dense forests in northern Michigan, making these and other tracts of pristine land permanently off-limits to road building, oil and gas drilling and commercial timber harvesting.

              But for all the joy the law brings to those who treasure America's wild places, it was nevertheless a bittersweet victory. After eight years of the George W. Bush administration's assault on public lands, there's still so much to be done -- and undone.

              Snip

              The Obama administration and Congress should be applauded for protecting 2 million acres of public land, but that does not begin to make up for all that was lost during the Bush years. And swift action is necessary to stop further erosion of environmental protections. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has only until May 9 to reverse the Bush changes to Endangered Species Act rules. Obama should order his Justice Department to settle lawsuits filed by environmental groups, vacating many Bush policies. And Congress needs to pass a strong legislative package, bills such as the proposed Roadless Area Conservation Act, which would protect wilderness areas in our national forests.

              Not all of the damage to our land and its creatures can be reversed. But new laws and federal regulations could at least create a solid legal foundation on which large-scale restoration can begin.

              How did Bush Negotiate this legislation again? Anything to attack Obama (smh) Where is the joke you say?
          •  Obama is No Joke (0+ / 0-)

            His actions (and inactions) are deadly serious and will cause future generations untold misery. Nothing funny about it. What is funny, however, is pretending that raising auto fuel efficiency standards makes up for all Obama's treachery, betrayal and obsequiousness to Big Oil.

          •  I do like Obama (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Meteor Blades

            But you're way off base here.

            i do not believe that he is ignorant to the reality of the situation we're in, which is much more dire than most reports would have you believe.

            Yes, he has taken steps, but they are small steps and I believe he is aware of that.

            There is no reason to let him off the hook and applaud his minor accomplishments in this arena when he can, and should, do much more.

            It seems to me that the people who applaud Obama the most seem to be the most unaware of how much more he can do. You do realize, I hope, that our nation is one of the worst of all first world countries when it comes to this crisis (and many others), yet the face of this country refuses to take a strong, tangible stand on it.

            This is not a crisis that we can reverse. You have to understand that. I believe Obama is smart enough to realize that.

            So why all the shrugs?

            P.S. I am not a crackpot.

            by BoiseBlue on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 06:18:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Are you actually telling me that I should join (0+ / 0-)

              with the frequent pursuit of some on this site to minimize the President's accomplishments? The issue here is, can any of these individuals produce any US President who has done more for the environment over the past 25 or 30
              years than Barack Obama? Can you provide one?

              Minimizing the President's accomplishments go way back in this community, from his saving the US economy from a second Great Depression, to the healthcare law which some here have tried for years to discredit as a sellout or a law that should be killed or scrapped, thumbing their noses at a piece of legislation that will give tens of millions of people access to healthcare. OBAMA is A JOKE is not a sentiment that is only reserved for people on the right, but indeed loud and clear on the left.

              Now in terms of increasing fuel efficiency standards in vehicles This "joke" or "minor accomplishment" which no US President had ever done before, will Reduce greenhouse gas emissions: Perhaps the most important environmental benefit is the avoidance of CO2 emissions from burning fuel.

              U.S. cars and light trucks account for more than 23 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions annually (EPA and NHTSA 2011), so reductions in our vehicle emissions are important for global climate protection. NRDC estimates a reduction of nearly 300 million metric tons annually in 2030; similarly, the White House estimates 6 billion metric tons will be avoided over the lifetime of the CAFE

              standards (NRDC 2012, White House 2011).

              If you care about the environment, this is not a minor accomplishment.

              •  I never suggested such a thng (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                socialismorbarbarism

                You are free to applaud his accomplishments. I'm only saying that in this arena, no, he has not done enough to even slightly slow down climate change.

                Second, I'm not sure where you get the idea that he's the first to increase fuel efficiency standards. Fuel efficiency standards have been in place since the 1970's. In the US, they were mostly stagnant in the 90's, then in 2007 were increased again. Before Obama became president.

                He is not the first person to do this, and in fact it was California that got the ball rolling on the new standards. They implemented them and fought the industry in court, and the new standards are the result of a compromise made between those parties.

                So you can applaud him for this; I'm not trying to stop you or suggesting that you shouldn't. I'm pointing out that the US is still way behind other first world nations, and we simply don't have time to take small steps when it comes to climate change. We are already living it and it's going to get a lot worse.

                And I believe Obama is aware of that.

                P.S. I am not a crackpot.

                by BoiseBlue on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 02:06:35 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  "And I believe Obama is aware of that" (0+ / 0-)

                  Yes, he is. And that is what triggered my strong reaction.

                  Obama knows what's happening. So does Moniz. So does Chu, who admits -- now that he's out of office, of course -- that the Carbon Barons will burn all the fossil fuel it can get its hands on and Government will stop them. Which means that we will just have to suck it up and learn to suffer through the consequences of catastrophic global warming. Privatize the profit and socialize the (catastrophic) costs.

                  That is what "mitigation" means. That is what "resilience" means. That is what the neoliberals like Obama mean when they talk about "adaptation." They mean they have no intention of keeping the fossil fuels in the ground even though the consequences will be calamitous. They already are!

                  Obama and the other neoliberals have given up on AGW and they expect us to give up too. They are slaves to Big Oil. That's what neoliberalism is: Government acting as the handmaiden for Big Money. And if the planet fries along the way? Tough. Adapt to it.

                  I do apologize for my vehemence but, as you say, Obama knows damn well what he is doing and it is appalling.

      •  Yes, that guy. His Yes or No on KXL will speak (2+ / 0-)

        orders of magnitude louder than (admittedly positive) tweaks to our petroleum-craving society.  However, if gas in US hadn't passed $4/gallon for 3 months leading into 2008 elections combined with the Wall St collapse, I doubt we would have gotten it.

        "But I do apologize, JVolvo, for you are arbiter of all that can and cannot be discussed and I bow down to your supremacy when it comes to what can be written on this website." WinSmith 1/22/2014 - "OK" JVolvo 1/23/2014 (sorry, Clive)

        by JVolvo on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 12:23:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Suggest they also get the Resnicks (POM brand) (5+ / 0-)

    to stop hoarding water for their CA mega-farms.   It should be illegal for a private operator to monopolize previously state-owned water.
     

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 10:51:52 AM PST

  •  good steps by obama, would love to see some leaps (10+ / 0-)

    in my diary yesterdayabout writing effective public comments for the XL comments on national interest determination, one issue raised by WH staff about the NID test that will be used by President Obama is the California drought is relevant to whether the XL is in our national interest.

    Obama will build a TINY bit on that by making the connection between global warming and the drought.

    every lit bit helps. but DC has sat on its ass for so long, that we need to pick up the pace of moving forward.

  •  meanwhile (8+ / 0-)

    we can't even maintain the production tax credit for wind power.

    The democrats absolutely need to file discharge petitions for minimum wage and immigration reform and pull out all of the stops to retake the house and keep the senate.

    without real energy tax reform, we will all fall to global warming within the next 40 years.

    That is simply the nature of an exponentially increasing effect of climate on our society.  We cannot get out of the way unless we slow it down.

  •  For the same reason he won't kill Keystone (4+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry but I'm just not all that convinced that he really wants to do much on this front.
    He'll stick with the relatively easy stuff. If he does mention the bills you reference, that'll likely be the extent of his attempt to get them passed.

  •  former Alaska governor (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, JVolvo

    and Interior Secretary for Nixon, Walter Hickel used to talk about building a water pipeline from Alaska to California.  The idea is sounding less crazy all of the time...

  •  thank you for this important diary (3+ / 0-)

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 11:37:36 AM PST

  •  it's real climate change (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occupystephanie, stagemom

    we get less and less fog each year, the state is turning into desert.  This is a global climate change problem, it's a trend.

  •  Wow ... $150 million on livestock losses and $13 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stagemom

    million for everything else in the breadbasket of America.  That pretty much shows us that Obama needs to understand the RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN US FOOD PRODUCTION & CONSUMPTION PATTERNS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THEIR IMPACT ON HEALTH & THE ENVIRONMENT.  Kind of sounds like a big F U to all who are working to get folks to eat more responsibly.

    What about the farmers trying to grow responsible food?

    Americans need to know who's gonna get the water in a crisis.  This sends the message that corporations with investments in livestock will be covered for their losses, above and beyond all others.

    We do need to transition industrialized livestock producers to more sustainable practices.  Let's hope our President is doing such.  But, this is a big fail.

    At least, he's raising awareness that climate change is real and threatens big business' bottom line.

    •  Actually (4+ / 0-)

      I endorse 100% the idea of eating local food, but that is often NOT the most sustainable practice environmentally. It is good for your local economy, but often not the most environmentally sound practice.

      Plainly speaking, if one truly wants to eat responsibly it takes a lot more than buying local. It would be easy to say "go vegan," because that seems like the most environmentally friendly practice, but in reality if even a quarter of the US population did that, we'd just shift the harm to our environment in another direction.

      There are no easy answers. We've got an entire planet of people to feed and we have finite resources to do that. Further, most people don't even realize that small things add up. Google how much water it takes to make a gallon of your favorite microbrew, then imagine telling beer lovers that in order to save the planet they need to drink less beer. If even half of the people you tell take you up on it (which is a pretty generous assumption), you still have millions of gallons of water being used daily to make beer.

      Not trying to be Debbie Downer here, but I don't think most people, even well-educated ones, realize the depth and breadth of this problem.

      P.S. I am not a crackpot.

      by BoiseBlue on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 01:32:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We need more Debbie Downers. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        socialismorbarbarism

        We have too many Usha Uppers that have no insight into the problem.

        •  It drives me crazy (2+ / 0-)

          Most people talk about climate change and water shortage as something that's going to happen soon, and very few realize that we are already there.

          In the US, even in the most impoverished areas, we are mostly still able to be blissfully unaware of the problem.

          That comfort is not going to last much longer, and people need to realize that we have to act boldly and NOW in order to make it less miserable.

          Not to stop it because it's already here.

          To make it less miserable. Because it is going to be fucking miserable.

          P.S. I am not a crackpot.

          by BoiseBlue on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 04:19:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, BoiseBlue (3+ / 0-)

        And these issues you intimate (i.e. your beer example) would take a good number of diaries, just to explain how complex this water problem is.  Which is why "water = gold" and it is crucial we start NOW to cut out the waste.

        Thanks for your comment.

        I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

        by KayCeSF on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 04:15:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the comment, BoiseBlue. I agree with (0+ / 0-)

        you.  I am not vegan;  but, I do try to raise awareness of how bad industrialized agriculture it on the environment and the impact on water.  But, I buy organic dairy products and humanely raised meat when possible.  And, I am trying to cut way down on those.  Most people have no idea what all must happen to raise livestock these days.

        It's upsetting when the farms that need the least help during a crisis tend to get put at the front of the line.

      •  OK, look. (0+ / 0-)

        This isn't just one big lump of things that are bad for the environment. Some are worse than others, and it's a good idea to stop doing them.

        The petroleum it takes to ship food is something we can burn less of, and that is a good that comes from buying/growing/eating local. It's also good for about a dozen other reasons, including the fact that having huge, densely populated cities hundreds of miles away from their food source is a little crazy and it's amazing it's worked this well for this long. In a world in which supply chains are going to be impacted in a dozen different bad ways by, er, the weather, it's smart to shorten those chains. A lot.

        As far as what people like, you may not have noticed, but people are getting used to a lot of horrible things they don't like lately. And the rotten things they're getting used to? They don't even arise from necessity, but greed (like losing your house so that some Wall St banker can rake it in). People are getting used to that crap, they're getting used to the ridiculous (and wrongly reported) unemployment rate, they've gotten used to the incredibly sucky wages in this country, and they've gotten used to skyrocketing food and fuel costs. A great deal of which is driven simply by greed (even the food and fuel costs are exacerbated by speculation and hoarding by some of the worst people in the world).

        If people can get used to this Wall-St-inspired drek, they can get used to having meat and alcohol and chocolate priced as luxuries. You seriously think they're going to riot because they can't have a beer? they didn't riot when they realized they couldn't have a house. they didn't riot when they realized they couldn't have a job.

        And at least if this is being done as part of a good policy, we can do everything in our power to make sure they are eating, and that non-luxury food items are available so that we reduce the hunger in our country.

        As far as overpopulation, yeah, I'm with you, but it's too late to do what we should have done about that. Now Nature is going to kick our ass for a while until our numbers go down, and I don't like it any more than you do.

        I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 01:08:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Doofus. Unless he's including the resource costs (0+ / 0-)

      of growing feed corn into all that?

      Meat is expensive. In a way that can't really be avoided.

      Fish, now, we could do something about fish. But meat requires a lot of resources to produce.

      I say this with sadness, as someone who sure loves herself a good steak.

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 12:55:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Water is the new gold (4+ / 0-)

    Feeling it here in the West, big time. The price of milk is skyrocketing because there's a shortage. Dairy farmers can't keep up with the demand because feed is also sky-high thanks to droughts and other weather patterns that are out of the norm.

    California is doing everything it can to get water. Other states used to be willing to sell it to them, now, not so much.

    Because it's not just Cali that's going dry.

    Desalination plants have helped, but that's another "fix" that becomes another part of the problem.

    And be warned, folks. Things are about to get a lot worse, and we can argue until we're blue in the face about what Obama can or should do, but the fact is that the majority of this is simply irreversible at this point.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 01:10:13 PM PST

  •  Regarding the carbon tax issue, FYI ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stagemom, wu ming

    British Columbia has the lowest personal and corporate taxes and ghg emissions in all of Canada because they implemented a progressive carbon tax in 2008.  By the way, it also protected them through the economic downturn.

    Not only does the US need to implement such, we need to adapt to climate change by rolling out solar, wind and other renewables that will provide power to businesses and homeowners when the grid is down.

    The only reason we are not doing this is because polluters control our capitol.  Please, let's work to get the Tea Party out of Washington in 2014!

  •  Ok, I could have sworn I just today heard talk (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming

    about some sort of bill in Cali that was being characterized as stealing water from the folks in North Cali to send down to farms in South Cali.

    but the snowpack of the Sierras, run-off from which California depends for much of its water, is 27 percent of normal statewide and just 17 percent in the northern part of the state.
    Taken together, those two items basically say 'Fuck the people in North Cali.  They have less water even than we do, but we're still taking what little they have.'
  •  Not the worst in 500 years (0+ / 0-)

    We're already above the levels for 1977 with this most recent storm; as long as we get more normal rainfall, which there's no reason to suspect we won't, it'll be a low year but not the worst by a long shot.

    That Berkeley report was from before the pineapple express got here, when it was looking to be true.

    •  the forecast is for continued dry weather (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades

      although we're all hoping that it's wrong. we will most likely end up way below 76-77, by the time this is through.

      thank god the long term forecast for next year is starting to look like an el niño wet year.

  •  We're sending you water (0+ / 0-)

    above average for most of the CO river watershed.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 03:28:01 PM PST

    •  Deliveries from the Colorado River (0+ / 0-)

      to CA will be 4.4maf (100% of normal allotment) in 2014.  Of course, all of that goes to SoCal, and most of it goes to farmers along the west bank of the river and in the Imperial Valley and Coachella Valley.  Also, it has been reduced from the 5.2maf which CA used to steal.  MWD actually only has direct rights to 550kaf of the 4.4maf, the rest belongs to irrigation districts.  Agreements between farmers and water districts have allowed some continuing diversions to urban areas since the "surplus" ended.

      Note that while they are "low" at 49% storage there are still nearly 29 maf in storage in Mead and Powell (4 years allotment).  During a historically horrible water year on the Colorado last year, this storage fell by about 5maf, it is currently forecast to increase slightly this normal water year (96% of normal inflow projected).  The Lower Colorado Basin states are in decent shape (by the standards of the past 14 years) for supply from the mainstem Colorado (full allotments at least this year and next), especially given the currently 112% snowpack in the Upper Basin.  

      http://www.usbr.gov/...

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 12:36:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fiddling while Earth burns. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    socialismorbarbarism

    Glad I don't have any kids to starve to death in the upcoming and totally preventable die off. Thanks a lot for doing a lot of nothing, Mr. President. I had a bit higher hopes for you.

  •  These bills are still DOA. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emelyn

    They're excellent to be sure, but they probably wouldn't get 60 votes in the Senate, not to mention their fate in the House.

  •  It's all politics (0+ / 0-)

    California is having FAR more problems than just not being able to meet its fiscal responsibilities.  Yes, that's a huge problem for them but because of those problems, we are seeing a change in the electorate there and Obama must do something to make sure this downward swing of the pendelum doesn't swing the wrong way politically.  

    He has to use climate change to help California in their drought situation because that gets "two birds with one effort".  

    We will see a lot of these kinds of "presidential actions" on climate change with Obama doing anything and everything he can to make sure the climate/environmental crowd is paid back for supporting him in the last election.  

    I will be branded a "troll" here for saying that, but this is not what California needs.  California needs politicians that will use their resources in a way that protects their businesses and industries and farm land and the people that control that.  It can no longer be about a small fish or a species that might be taken into the protected class.  It is about the people and the businesses and the jobs and the economy of California.  

    I will wait for the HR's now.

  •  The Earth is 3/4ths, three-fourths water. Yet we (0+ / 0-)

    have not been able to harvest it in quantities economically feasible to benefit the Earth's land.  Now we see the oceans rising and they will engulf coastal area certainly Cape Cod-Boston and further will go under and New York, too.  And yet we can't find a way to get to more water for use on land.  Look at California dry as a split pea.

  •  Why is he even waiting for Congress? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    socialismorbarbarism

    The Supreme Court has held, three times, that the Clean Air Act requires--not allows, REQUIRES--the EPA to regulate CO2.

    And of course Obama intends to issue the implementing regulations in 2016.

    Just in time for them to be revoked in January 2017 by President Rand Paul.

    Forgive me, MB, if I'm starting to sound like a broken record. (I suppose with the dominance of MP3s I gotta get a new figure of speech.)

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 07:11:00 PM PST

    •  The final EPA rule ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey

      ...for new coal- and gas-fired power plants is slated to be implemented this summer. First EPA must review the public comments (the deadline for those to be offered is March 10) and, of course, deal with any lawsuits, the filing and disposition of which Obama has no control over.

      The draft rule for existing coal- and gas-powered plants is supposed to be issued in June 2014. Then will follow a public comment period and EPA review. And, most likely, lawsuits.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 07:22:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Typical Obama half measure. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        socialismorbarbarism

        Clearly, this is better than anything we'd get from the GOP.

        Yet...this is only for new plants. Which means we probably won't get any new coal plants. Which was happening anyway, because the price of natural gas is dropping, thanks to fracking and the midwest oil & gas boom...which is "flaring," or burning off as waste natural gas with the greenhouse equivalent of 1 million cars' exhaust per year.

        So a substantial part of the natural gas greenhouse impact isn't even at the power plant. It's where the damn stuff comes out of the ground. Any sign of forthcoming regs on that?

        Bottom line: the new regs grab headlines, add little to nothing to the market-driven trend on coal vs. gas, while ignoring the major natural gas problem. The public gets the general idea "something is being done," when in reality not much is.

        Recall the Clinton administration implemented regulations on "new source review" in late 2000, and they were promptly revoked by the Cheney administration in early 2001. Obama is setting all of us up to repeat history.

        I see John Kerry has just reached a cooperation understanding with China. Great. Again, better than nothing. But Obama doesn't need to wait for China any more than he needs to wait for Congress.

        Slow progress is better than no progress. But climate change is an emergency, and Obama isn't treating it as one.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 07:57:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Links on flaring... (0+ / 0-)

          forgot to add these before clicking "post":

          http://thinkprogress.org/...

          http://thinkprogress.org/...

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 07:58:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Money quote (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HeyMikey

            "In the absence of a strong regulatory framework that
            prohibits flaring, companies working with a limited amount of capital (which is to say all companies) have a strong incentive to put their capital toward oil production, given its higher return relative to natural gas."

            This is all about regulatory capture of the ND DMR.  If they don't require flaring to stop, it won't.  They have all the authority they need to dramatically reduce flaring.

            Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

            by benamery21 on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 01:56:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Delivered coal prices are currently high (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey

          That will change if natural gas prices stay low for a long period of time, as they did prior to 2000.

          The duration of coal contracts and rail freight contracts means average coal prices move slowly.  However, average delivered coal prices to power plants are currently about double what they were in 2000 on a BTU basis, and it isn't because of underlying costs, it's because high gas prices after 2000 removed market pressure driving coal prices down.

          Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

          by benamery21 on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 02:19:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Congress needs to extend the Production Tax (0+ / 0-)

    Credit for the wind industry.  It doesn't help that it expired on Dec 31st.  That's going to have a huge impact on that industry.

    •  Expiry HAD a huge impact last year (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      julesrules39

      the MW of wind built in the U.S. in 2013 was the lowest since 2004.  However, over 12,000MW is under construction and thus eligible for PTC under the new law passed last year.  This is more than was built in any previous year except 2012.  Renewal in 2014 will not drastically slow things down in 2015 unless it is delayed for months.

      Ideally we would have passed a more cost-effective wind incentive mechanism prior to expiry, now yet another temporary PTC extension is needed.

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 01:49:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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