Washington, DC — Congressman Jeff Denham spoke at a Natural Resources Committee Hearing in Washington, DC this week that focused on increasing America’s energy resources.
Denham argued that rising gas prices and a lack of rainfall will be crippling for the state’s agricultural region.
Denham said, “Thank you, Mr. Chairman. California’s Central Valley is going to be facing some unique challenges once again. We have been fighting a water shortage for some time now, high unemployment; we continue to invite the President to come out and see how the Central Valley is different from the rest of the nation because of that water shortage that we’re having. We’re pushing 20% unemployment in our area. This challenge is now going to be exacerbated by the high gas prices. When you’re not able to plant crops, and the crops that you are able to plant, you’re seeing challenges with everything from planting your crop to now actually harvesting it and getting it out to production. I’m fearful that that 20% unemployment is going to rise because we’re going to leave crops in the field. And at the same time, we’re going to see the cost of food going up, so I think that the Central Valley in California is going to be faced with some huge, unique challenges by getting hit at both ends by both the water shortage and now by high gasoline prices.”
The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in California is $4.33. Democrats and Republicans went back and forth at the hearing in regards to whom or what is to blame for the high prices. Republicans put the blame on President Obama, saying that prices have doubled since he took office. Democrats countered by saying that there has been record high natural gas production under the President. President Obama addressed oil subsidies in his weekly radio address. To read, click here.