Within George Bush’s latest budget is $7 million to explore the benefits of destroying the Hetch Hetchy dam that provides water for 2.4 million Californians. Destroying the Hetch Hetchy has been a dream of the most radical fringe of environmental extremists for many years, and now has official backing – or at least interest -- from the “Republican” White House. Interestingly, the study is only to explore the “benefits” of destroying one of the most important water resources in California – and not the $10 billion cost or what 2.4 million people are supposed to do without drinking water or electricity.
Fortunately, rational voices among Democrats include Diane Feinstein who vowed, “"I will do all I can to make sure it isn't included in the final bill."
You know, normally I loathe the Watermelon ("green" outside, commie red inside) people who want to rip out dams, but here they may have a point. Yosemite IS a National Park, after all.
How about this trade off: Hetch Hetchy Dam is torn down AFTER:
(1) Auburn Dam is built.
(2) The North Coast rivers (Eel, Mad, Hayfork, Van Duzen, southern forks of the Trinity) are dammed and diverted. In a state prone to alternating cycles of drought and flood, and badly in need of clean renewable hydroelectric power, anyone who gets mushy about a "wild and scenic river" needs a mental examination and then commitment to the Agnews, Napa, or Patton State Mental Hospitals. Yes, this can be done without flooding out the Round Valley Indian Reservation (the fatal flaw in the original Dos Rios project plan), and yes, enough flow can be left over and hatcheries can be created for the salmon and other fishies.
(3) At least 260 base-load megawatts of electricity are generated from (1) and (2) above, and double that peak-load, making up for the lost Hetch Hetchy hydropower. If not, then we must build a nuclear power plant! Redesigning and rebuilding Rancho Seco could work here. (That will put the Watermelons' panties in a bunch)
(4) Additional San Luis type storage reservoirs are built. (Orestimba, Panoche)
(5) any necessary water storage dams on the Tuolumne River downstream from Hetch Hetchy are built below the National Park (Poopenaut Valley, or anywhere else upstream from Lake Don Pedro)
(6) The number of Yosemite Valley campsites are restored to 1960’s levels, and finally
(7) The restored Hetch Hetchy Valley gets an equivalent number of campsites! Seriously, what good is a national park if hardly anyone can ever enjoy it?
Anybody think the eco-fiends will go for this? Probably not, their Watermelon agenda is simply to reduce us "back to the Pleistocene" in the words of the "Earth First" Luddite savages.