Rep. Nunes: Conservation Efforts Are "Eco-Terrorism" And A "Liberal Concentration Camp"

June 09, 2011 11:41 am ET — Kate Conway

Last night, Fox Business hosted Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) to talk about an ongoing controversy over conservation of an endangered species of fish called the delta smelt. Efforts to save the smelt have involved restricting water to parts of California, a state that already experiences chronic water shortages, which has wrought severe criticism from those who aren't convinced of the worthiness of ecological preservation.

Nunes took his opposition to a new level when he characterized preservation efforts as "real eco-terrorism" and suggested that his constituents in the San Joaquin Valley "have been put into their liberal concentration camp."

Watch (transcript below the fold):

This isn't Nunes' first foray into extreme rhetoric. He's previously compared Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to Saddam Hussein and Robert Mugabe, and he's called Capitol Hill aides "staff thugs." During the health care debate, he excused racist and homophobic slurs slung at Democratic supporters of reform, saying that Democrats' "totalitarian tactics" justify such behavior. Yet Nunes won't accept any responsibility for the part he's playing in declining standards for behavior and debate on Capitol Hill, accusing Democrats of "anti-capitalist hate speech and vitriolic rhetoric."

NUNES: We have played this game for a long time. What you have is you have people from the 1960s who came up with bright ideas who lived in San Francisco and Hollywood who then ran for Congress on the whole advice that they're going to save the world because canaries in the coal mine and Tipton kangaroo rats and delta smelt. Let me tell you what's going on here. We have areas that have 40 percent unemployment. We have hundreds of thousands of acres of land that's been fallowed over the last five years for no good reason at all. As you said, we have high commodity prices.

And so this is really about common sense versus real eco-terrorism to some degree. And here's the thing: if the delta ecosystem is collapsing, I would ask Nancy Pelosi, John Garamendi, Senator Feinstein, Senator Boxer, to turn off San Francisco's water. San Francisco's water, it comes from the Sierra Nevada mountain range too. If they're so worried about the delta smelt and the collapsing ecosystem, shut their frickin' water off. But they're not willing to shut their water off. [...]

This is complete and utter nonsense. This is complete and utter nonsense. It's not about one district, this is about the entire state's water system that is essentially crumbling to its knees because these fools have been shutting off the pumps that put water into the aqueducts. If you've ever driven along I-5 in California you've seen it and they are directly responsible for drying up hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland.

They won't answer the question. Do they want to take San Francisco's water supply in the San Francisco peninsula and dump it out to the delta to save their precious fish? No they don't, because they couldn't take that from their constituents. They talk about a water war being started? No, there hasn't been a water war, we have been put into their liberal concentration camp and my constituents in the San Joaquin Valley is not going to take their nonsense any more.