By Laura Barron-Lopez - 01/28/14 01:43 PM EST
Instead of shying away from climate change issues, Republicans running against incumbent Democrats aim to use California's record drought to their advantage.
Republicans are arguing the increasingly dry Central Valley is a product of Democratic policies on the environment, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Scientists, like Jennifer A. Francis from Rutgers University, say strange weather — like the warming in Alaska and record-breaking drought in California — are becoming more common because of climate change.
But Republican's seeking to unseat California Democrats like Reps. Jerry McNerney and Jim Costa are looking to make the drought into a partisan issue.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) joined in on the debate during a recent visit this month to Bakersfield, Calif., as he promised to push legislation through the House that would divert the state's shrinking water supply to farmers.
"When you come to a place like California, and you come from my part of the world, you just shake your head and wonder what kinds of nonsense does the bureaucracy do out here?" Boehner said, referring to the diversion of millions of gallons of water from farms to endangered fish habitats
"How you can favor fish over people is something that people from my part of the world never understand," Boehner said last week.