2014-02-14T221721Z_1_CBREA1D1PX000_RTROPTP_2_USA-OBAMA-DROUGHT

Obama pledges help for drought-stricken California

Sign advising motorists of a drought is seen along Interstate 5 near Canuta CreekBy Steve Holland LOS BANOS, California (Reuters) – President Barack Obama toured parts of California’s drought zone on Friday and pledged to speed help to the No. 1 farm state, but he said harsh weather in the United States will get worse until more steps are taken to address climate change. California is coming off its driest year on record and a recent winter storm did little to dull the impact of the drought in the state that produces half the country’s fruits and vegetables. A recent drought monitor said 91.6 percent of the state is experiencing severe to exceptional drought. Obama walked past a below-normal canal in a dusty field that would otherwise be producing asparagus and organic melons.

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