On the one hand, it’s heartening that the president finally found the Valley. It’s been like a lost civilization to him, Machu Piccu lost in the jungle of purple California.
The hope is he’ll see the poverty here and realize the need for Uncle Sam to do more. The housing collapse was always his weak spot. Perhaps if he sees firsthand the misery and econimic damage he’ll realize the need for policies as strong as those he applied to saving Wall Street and the auto industry. Though the region has largely suffered through without federal help, it is not too late to boost its lumbering recovery.
On the other hand, Obama is going to the heart of the pro-canal country. Where the Delta matters for nothing outside of its utility as a source of irrigation water. Where Friant Dam killed the San Joaquin River, and where farmers oppose the river’s restoration. If Obama gives them increased water allocations despite the drought — despite their lack of water rights — the Delta gets raped.
Stockton environmentalist Bill Jennings told the SF Chronicle that placating Big Ag could cause “the ecological collapse of an entire estuary ecosystem.”