Dan Lungren, a Republican member of Congress from Sacramento County, wants to give the world "a second Yosemite Valley." The valley already exists, in Yosemite National Park - buried under 300 feet of water in the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which provides San Franciscans and 1.7 million other Bay Area residents with pristine water straight from the Sierra.He says that like it's a bad thing :)
All that would be needed would be to blow up the dam, which Yosemite godfather John Muir fought to his dying breath in 1914. The Schwarzenegger administration in 2006 estimated the cost at $3 billion to $10 billion.
Lungren said Yosemite holds a special spot in his heart, as it is where he met his wife. But his critics, pointing to his zero rating from the League of Conservation Voters, say Lungren's environmental record is anything but romantic.
They suspect that Lungren is taunting San Francisco liberals or positioning himself for a re-election race in a competitive district against Democratic challenger Ami Bera, who touts a " 'smart' and 'green' relationship with the earth"...
The battle over restoring the Hetch Hetchy dates back to the Reagan administration. Democrats have always smelled a GOP stunt that forces Democrats to defend a dam in a national park and lets Republicans quote John Muir about the splendor of mountains...
Harrington (general manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission) said he can't debate Lungren's personal attachment to the park. "But let's face it," he said. "Everybody who has ever talked about going after Hetch Hetchy has been conservative Republicans who love to push it in San Francisco's face."
On a serious note, I would ask our leftie friends the following: when is it acceptable to tear down a dam, and when is it not?
From links in the article, here's what Hetch Hetchy looks like now, and here's what it looked like before it was dammed (although I assume it appeared in color in real life!).