Valerie Richardson washingtontimes.com The Endangered Species Act has wreaked havoc for decades on rural communities, but a newly filed lawsuit could force San Francisco urbanites like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to share their pain. A federal complaint filed this week contends that the Hetch Hetchy Project, which supplies water to San Francisco and the Bay Area, has unfairly enjoyed an exemption from the “severe cutbacks” required in rural California in order to save endangered fish species. Craig Manson, who heads the Center for Environmental Science, Accuracy and Reliability (CESAR) in Fresno, said the lawsuit is aimed at addressing the “double standard” that forces farmers to give up water in the name of species conservation — without requiring Bay Area residents to do the same. Mr. Manson wants the National Park Service to press the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to end the special exemption from the Endangered Species Act (ESA), but “the Park Service just won’t do it.” Why not? Jeffrey Olson, National Park Service spokesman, said the agency cannot comment on ongoing litigation, but critics point out that San Joaquin Valley farmers have nowhere near the political clout of San Francisco’s political leadership, which includes Mrs. Pelosi and a good chunk of the state’s dominant liberal power structure. “I think the law is being subjectively applied,” said Aubrey Bettencourt, executive director of the California Water Alliance. to read more: washingtontimes.com
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