Carly Fiorina: Environmentalists to Blame for California’s ‘Tragic’ Drought

Gage Skidmore / Flickr
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

In an interview with Glenn Beck on Monday, potential 2016 presidential candidate and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said liberal environmentalists are the cause of California’s “man-made” drought, which has created unprecedented water restrictions. She also said this “disaster” could have been avoided.

“It is a man-made disaster. California is a classic case of liberals being willing to sacrifice other people’s lives and livelihoods at the altar of their ideology. It is a tragedy,” Fiorina said on Beck’s radio program. She explained that despite California having “suffered from droughts for millennia, liberal environmentalists have prevented the building of a single new reservoir or a single new water conveyance system over decades during a period in which California’s population has doubled.” Others have echoed Fiornia’s sentiment.

Further demonstrating this failure, Fiorina detailed that 70% of California’s rainfall washes out to sea every year–water that could have been stored in a reservoir and helped quell the onslaught of dryness the Golden State is currently experiencing.

Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown mandated a 25% cut in statewide water usage. The situation has become so dire that rice farmers in the state’s north have been selling water instead of rice because it is more profitable.

House Republicans have made efforts to deter the worsening water situation. Last year, they had introduced legislation to pump more water into Southern California, but Democrats and a veto threat by President Barack Obama quickly crushed that. The Democrats used the environmentalists’ narrative of saving the Delta smelt, which has been symbolic of California’s raging water wars, to oppose the bill. Outgoing Sen. Barbara Boxer also voiced her opposition to the House bill by saying it would “undermine federal and state protections and jeopardize the state’s salmon industry,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

“In California, fish and frogs and flies are really important–far more important apparently than the 40 percent unemployment rate in certain parts of central valley,” Fiorina told Beck. “So the Senate and the President could waive some of those water restrictions. They have been asked to do so, and they have refused to do so.”

The Sierra Club of California, an environmental group, said Fiorina’s assertion that building dams and reservoirs to help store rainwater would have helped to lessen the drought’s severe impact.

Kathryn Phillips, who is the director of Sierra Club’s California chapter, told the Huffington Post,”What we are seeing is exactly what climate scientists have predicted would happen in California with the onset of human-caused climate disruption: Weather and precipitation would become less predictable and droughts would become more frequent and more severe.”

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.


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