In 2007, federal judge Oliver Wanger imposed limits on the amount of water pumped from the San Joachin-Sacramento River delta to farms in California's Central Valley in order to protect a two-inch endangered fish called the Delta Smelt. As a result, several hundred thousand acres of farmland on the west side of the Central Valley now lie fallow, and many thousands of jobs have been lost. In the city of Mendota, for example, the unemployment rate exceeds 40%.
Today, the US House of Representatives debated H.R. 1837, a bill that would turn the pumps back on. House Speaker John Boehner said on the House floor today that using the Endangered Species Act to protect a fish at the expense of food production and economic growth is "a perfect example of the overreach of government."
If the bill passes, Obama says he'll veto it.
Reason.tv on the Delta Smelt.