WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Jeff Denham, a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, discussed the effects rising gas prices are having on California families and farmers at a full committee hearing today.
The Natural Resources hearing was focused on ways to harness American resources to create jobs and curb rising gas prices here at home. On average gas prices in California are $4.33, while the national average is $3.85.
Denham Remarks: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.