“The easiest part of the Obama administration’s response to the California drought is now over.
“The White House has provided money, commitments and a presidential visit. But the money is limited, the president is moving on and the commitments will soon be tested on Capitol Hill and deep within the federal bureaucracies.”
“President Barack Obama took a whirlwind tour of the central San Joaquin Valley’s drought-damaged farm country Friday, getting a look at fallowed dirt and hosting a round-table discussion with farmers, industry representatives, environmentalists and politicians. …
“Prior to the President Obama’s arrival, the White House announced several steps that he will take to deal with the drought.”
“President Barack Obama took a tour of the central San Joaquin Valley’s drought-damaged farm country Friday, getting a look at fallowed dirt and hosting a round-table discussion with farmers, industry representatives, environmentalists and politicians. …
“Before Obama’s arrival, the White House announced several steps that he will take to deal with the drought.”
“President Obama arrived in the heart of California’s parched farmland on Friday afternoon to offer tens of millions of dollars in federal assistance to the state, where the lack of rain and snow this winter has led to the severest drought in its modern history.
“Meeting with farmers and ranchers around Fresno — where electronic signs along highways flash entreatingly to drivers, ‘Serious drought.
From The Sacramento Bee, in a commentary by editorial cartoonist Jack Ohman:
“Even after the substantial rainfall recently, California is still looking at a drought. If droughts were biblical, like downpours, this would be a biblical drought. More importantly, the drought has become political.”
From the White House blog, in a post by Kasie Coccaro:
“On Friday, President Obama headed to California to tour drought-affected areas and talk to those affected by impacts of one of the state’s worst droughts in over 100 years. While there, President Obama announced new actions that the Administration will take to help the farmers, ranchers, small businesses, and communities being impacted.”
“With California facing one of its driest years on record, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. will join President Barack Obama, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, Congressman Jim Costa and other agriculture, water and community leaders today [Feb.
“President Barack Obama is bringing additional drought aid with him Friday, as he arrives in California’s stricken San Joaquin Valley.
“The new assistance includes sped-up livestock disaster assistance for California producers, provided under a newly signed farm bill, as well as targeted conservation assistance, watershed protection funds, additional summer feeding programs and emergency community water grants.”
“When President Obama visits Fresno this afternoon to discuss California’s historic drought, he will open the federal government’s checkbook and make tens of millions of dollars in aid available to struggling farmers and communities.
“Obama will unveil a $183 million aid package that includes money for ranchers in California who have lost livestock, communities that are running out of water and farmers that need help conserving scarce water resources.”
From The Sacramento Bee, in a commentary by Gerald Haslam:
“Gazing at the foot of the brown western Fresno County foothills, the president can glimpse how the [San Joaquin] Valley’s abundant west side might look without a sophisticated water supply system that has favored agribusiness over residential users and environmental concerns.
“If one were listing wonders of the modern world, California’s irrigation complex should be among them.”
From The Sacramento Bee, in a commentary by Steve Fleischli:
“President Barack Obama visits Fresno today to highlight federal efforts to confront California’s epic drought, possibly our worst in 500 years. …
“The president can help us cope with this disaster, prepare for the chronic water shortages to come and protect future generations from the widening dangers of climate change. All three will require federal help.”
“On this president’s first-ever visit to the central San Joaquin Valley, the best that most people can hope for is to see either Air Force One, the presidential jumbo jet, as it arrives and departs from the Fresno Yosemite International Airport, or Marine One, one of the military helicopters that will ferry Obama to and from a yet-to-be revealed site where he is expected to talk about California’s severe drought.”