Congressman Devin Nunes

Washington – Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), whom we have previously profiled on the Foundry, visited the Conservative Bloggers’ Briefing today and warned against radical environmental regulations cutting off the livelihoods of millions of Americans, just as thousands have lost jobs in his home district.

“If you want to see the bellwether of this country, you need to look no further than California,” Nunes said, while about a quarter of the present bloggers, who happened to be from California, nodded their heads. “Good thing you’re here because its about ready to fall off into the ocean.”

Nunes proceeded to explain how environmental regulations, designed to protect a 5 to 7 cm long fish known as Delta Smelt, and imposed under the Endangered Species Act in August of 2007, will cause, according to a University of California study, as many as 80,000 farm workers to lose their jobs when over 500,000 acres are forced out of production. Nunes has made a youtube video of the crisis here. “It’s primarily that capital is gone and that the environmental regulations are so harsh that they’ve literally starved the most productive agricultural region in the world. It’s not a drought, they’ve just cut the water off.”

The particularly harsh economic climate in Nunes’s district is the result of a larger movement across the state, and over many years, that has placed environmental concerns and entitlements programs ahead of practical economic realities.

“What has California done? They’ve promised everything to everybody. They’ve taken up this global warming and all this radical environmental extremism and they’ve legislated it. And essentially what’s happened is they’ve legislated everybody out of California so that the taxpayer base is gone,” Nunes said. “For decades people moved to California – what you see now is an outflow in the last 5-6 years – they’re the people that are paying the taxes and they’re going to other states.”

This makes Nunes, whose family has farmed in Tulare County for three generations, particularly concerned for the rest of America. As Politico recently reported, “With roughly a half-dozen Cabinet and key administrative appointees and a powerhouse congressional delegation led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” California legislators in Washington are in a perfect position to replicate the Golden State experience for the rest of the country.

“The democratic leadership, which comes from California, has a plan for America,” Nunes said. “Just go out [there] and you’ll see what they want it to look like.” The Congressman then finished his remarks with grave words that the entire room listened quietly to.

“California, for all practical purposes – I’ll say this not being able to clearly define what this means – but it’s over. I can’t describe what ‘over’ means because we’ve never been here before, but the reset button has got to be pushed. There’s no possible way to get ourselves out of the hole that we are in.”