HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Places » U.S. » California (Group) » Dan Lungren: Tear down He...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Wed Jan 4, 2012, 10:50 AM

Dan Lungren: Tear down Hetch Hetchy dam

1-4-2011 / San Francisco Chronicle

Washington -- 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.

SNIP

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."

"If the purpose of this is to spend large amounts of money investigating a really dumb idea, then Lungren is on to something," said Jim Wunderman, president of the Bay Area Council, a Business Group. "I can't tell you what is deep in his heart and mind, but we're suspicious. He represents a region that has the most water consumption per capita of anywhere in California. ... If his issue is conservation and recycling, he certainly could spend more time focused in his own district."

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/03/MNCC1MJ2PA.DTL#ixzz1iVNZUPpb

I am SO tired of this asshole. DUers in Sacramento: Does Ami Bera have a chance?

20 replies, 2653 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to Auggie (Original post)

Thu Jan 5, 2012, 12:56 PM

1. Zzzzzzzzzz.

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.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Auggie (Original post)

Fri Jan 6, 2012, 06:51 PM

2. Blow that dam!

I hate Hetch Hetchy and make a point to piss in the lake every summer while I'm up there. If Lungren is serious, this would really give me pause.

Luckily, I don't live in that district, and don't have to make that call.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Xithras (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 12, 2012, 05:34 AM

6. Where Are We Supposed to Get Our Water From Then?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to AndyTiedye (Reply #6)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 04:19 PM

7. There have been plenty of solutions proposed for that. Bay Arean's don't want to pay for it.

There have been plenty of proposals which would have worked, but Bay Areans scoff at the price tag. They'd rather continue to rape a national park than pay a little money to fix it.

Some proposals that would work fine, but have been rejected for reasons that have nothing to do with water availability.

1) Raise the dams at Eleanor and Cherry, and use a diversion tunnel instead. This would preserve water quality, INCREASE storage, and eliminate the dam from the park.

-or-

2) Raise the dam at Don Pedro and divert from there since the aqueduct already crosses the lake. This, again, would result in more storage, remove the lake from the park, and have the added benefit of also increasing electricity generation.

-or-

3) It's been proposed that the water capture could proceed without any dam at all, by simply capturing the water at Vernalis. The aqueduct takes the water out of the river in the Sierras and pipes it across the Central Valley, which was its natural course anyway. The Tuolumne flows into the San Joaquin, and the aqueduct crosses the San Joaquin at Vernalis. It's been pointed out many, MANY times that the water could be permitted to flow down the river naturally and just be pulled at Vernalis, which would help to revitalize nearly a hundred miles of waterways while still providing the Bay Area with the same quantity of water. Power generation losses would be offset by simply expanding the power station at Don Pedro...increased water flows in the river would permit a much larger powerhouse.

-or-

This list can go on and on. There are plenty of solutions to the problem, but the greedy and selfish hypocrits in the Bay Area would rather save a few bucks, thereby demonstrating that the notion of "Bay Area environmental liberalism" is just self-congratulatory BS, and that they're just as willing to pillage nature as anyone else when it's in their economic interests to do so.

Blow the dam. Knock it down. The lake is an insult to everyone who claims to care about the environment. Tear it down, force the Bay Area to pay for it through increased taxes, and use them as an object lesson whenever ANYONE else considers pillaging our national parks for profit. You may get away with it for a while, but eventually you WILL be forced to pay for it.

There is no technical reason for Hetch Hetchy to exist. None. MAYBE a hundred years ago it made sense, but not today. Water flow, electricity generation, and other benefits can be better achieved elsewhere. It owes its continued existence entirely to politics.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Xithras (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 8, 2012, 02:00 PM

8. Why pick on the Bay Area?

What about SoCal? Or Big Agribusiness? If either or both would conserve even a tiny bit, that'd make the water from Hetch Hetchy look like, literally, a drop in the bucket.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to KamaAina (Reply #8)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 09:22 PM

11. Because...

...the people in the Bay Area are the only people in the country with the audacity to put a dam in a national park...and then DEFEND it. There are other dams in other parks around the country, but they were there before the parks went in, and all of them either have removal plans or mitigation plans in place. Hetch Hetchy is the only one that was purposely built in a national park, and the only one that is staunchly defended by the Bay Area.

And, for what it's worth, I've also long been a proponent of cutting off the southern California Delta water diversions. I'm a huge opponent of the insane "bypass tunnel" idea, and think that LA should be forced to depend on local sources, which would include desalinization. A desire for cheap water should never justify the destruction of natural ecosystems hundreds of miles away.

As for agribusiness in the Central Valley...that's a bit of a mixed bag. Contrary to the misguided belief that the Valley was naturally a desert, most of this land was naturally marsh and was wet most of the year. A few areas were true desert (Westlands), but the northern valley once held vast marshes, and the southern valley was once home to Lake Tulare, which was the largest lake in the United States west of the Mississippi. A marshy lake larger than Tahoe once existed near Fresno, and is now completely dry. While farmers do use a lot of water, the amount of water they put into their soil today is actually less than the amount of water that used to flow across this land naturally. It's hard for an environmentalist to complain about farmers putting water in areas that were naturally wet...conservation in those areas actually makes the land less hospitable to its native species.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Xithras (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 03:25 PM

9. Hey,

Hetch Hetchy was specifically built to supply water for generations of Californians.

"No technical reason to exist?" YOU ARE SO WRONG!!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Auggie (Reply #9)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 09:43 PM

12. And it has outlived its usefulness.

The removal of the dam at Hetch Hetchy has been a major issue for me for most of my adult life, and I guarantee that I'm better versed on the subject than you are. There are ZERO practical reasons for its existence today. Every single thing that it accomplishes...from water diversion to electricity generation to recreation...can be BETTER achieved through the construction of more modern alternatives. San Francisco could get MORE water from the river if it were diverted elsewhere, it could generate MORE power from the river if it were generated elsewhere, and there would be MORE recreational activities in Yosemite and along the entire Tuolumne riverway if it were diverted elsewhere.

So why is it still there? Money, politics, and ego.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Xithras (Reply #12)

Tue Mar 13, 2012, 10:26 AM

13. Ego? That's absurd.

Very telling, too ... you and Dan Lungren agree.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Auggie (Reply #13)

Tue Mar 13, 2012, 05:54 PM

15. I agree with anyone who wants to tear the dam down.

If Adolph Hitler himself had advocated tearing down Hetch Hetchy, I'd agree with him too. Some messages are simply CORRECT, no matter who delivers them.

And yes, I said ego. SF controls Hetch Hetchy exclusively. If they moved their diversion out of Yosemite, they would be forced to operate in partnership with MID, TID, and the ACoE. At various times throughout its history, SF city leaders have quite bluntly stated that San Francisco will not "give up control" of their water supply, even if that simply means operating in partnership with other water districts. They're like a bunch of 5 year olds screaming "Mine, Mine!", even when cooperation would create a better result for everyone.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Xithras (Reply #12)

Tue Mar 13, 2012, 11:45 AM

14. Lungren's Real Goal is to Force PRIVATIZATION of SF's Water Supply

Lungren is no environmentalist. This is about forcing SF to privatiize its water supply.

Raising the Don Pedro dam wouldn't help San Francisco , since the water from there is allocated elsewhere.

I don't think the mud flats and dry lake bed that would result from removing the HH would be all that good for recreation, either.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to AndyTiedye (Reply #14)

Tue Mar 13, 2012, 06:24 PM

16. I don't care what Lungrens real goal is.

Remove the dam, and everything else can be addressed later.

And your post about about Don Pedro is simply incorrect. Water is allocated via water rights, and not the location of the dam. Removing Hetch Hetchy would have no impact on San Francisco's right to withdraw water from the Tuolumne, because San Francisco would still maintain ownership of its allocation. The New Don Pedro Dam, which is a publicly owned joint partnership between the MID and TID, can't be used to "steal" water from San Francisco. If SF removed the dam, MID/TID would simply open the dam up to allow the SF water to flow through...they have no legal right to capture it.

Neither of these districts is hostile to SF, except when SF attempts to expand its rights on the river. Both have stated in the past that they'd be willing to work in partnership with San Francisco, but SF has never been interested in Don Pedro because it's so narrowly focused on Hetch Hetchy. MID is actually friendly enough that it's negotiating to sell some of its own water to SF right now to augment the Hetch Hetchy supply, which is already operating at its maximum capacity. The "assured supply" via Hetch Hetchy (the supply level that SF can gurantee under all conditions) is 239 million gallons a day. SF and the other counties depending on the aqueduct already require a minimum of 250 million gallons a day to keep their systems operating. The system is ALREADY one drought away from dry faucets. MID, being aware of this, is currently working with SF to divert some of their agricultural water to SF to cover any shortfalls. This is the kind of cooperation we should be seeing, instead of the "Hands off my dam" territorialism we normally get from San Francisco.

By the way, one of the great ironies of the cooperation is the fact that, if Don Pedro were raised and Hetch Hetchy eliminated, there would be no need for SF to BUY water from MID. The added storage capacity in a raised Don Pedro would dwarf the capacity at Hetch Hetchy, allowing SF to store enough water to cover its own needs without having to buy from third parties. It's own territorialism is coming home to roost, as its system passes its own design capacities. Legally, San Francisco has the right to store and remove quite a bit more water from the river. Practically, the system was designed for a Bay Area with a fraction of its current population, and they don't have enough storage to meet their allocation needs through a "standard" Northern California drought. The population in the Bay Area has grown enough that it passed that limit about 10 years ago.

As for the "dry lake bed" myth, the drought in the Southwest put that to bed. Areas long drowned under Lake Mead were exposed for several years when lake levels plunged. Rainfall washed most of the water lines from the rocks within a couple of years, and wildlife & riparian habitat was re-establishing itself within four. Based on more recent science, most modern estimates now say that the Hetch Hetchy Valley would have a fully functional ecosystem within 10 years of being dewatered. It would take considerably longer for the trees to grow back, but the Hetch Hetchy Valley was largely meadowlands even before the flooding. It would look like Big Meadow within a decade (http://www.myyosemite.com/images-2011/yosemite-daily-photo-deer-feeding-big-meadow-foresta-yosemite-72311), and would look like many of the Yosemite Valley meadows within 50 years (http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-6109609/stock-photo-yosemite-valley-meadow-with-chapel-in-background.html).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Xithras (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 02:28 PM

17. Better yet, just move the City of San Francisco,

population, buildings, everything right where the park now is.

People have to have water. Either huge numbers of people will move to where the water is or the water has to be brought to where the people now live -- often in areas with little rain and water.

Los Angeles is a desert. We have to import our water. And we are on water rationing. Let's put all of California, Arizona, Colorado and Nevada on water rationing and see how those who do not want to share water like it.

If the multitudes have to go where the water is, a lot of parks, much of the natural beauty of the West will be lost forever. The Hetch Hetchy is a small price to pay for locating the bulk of the population in dry areas that are not so useful for other purposes like farming and that are not so prized for their natural beauty.

Or do you have another solution for housing the populations now living in arid parts of the West?

The water is not falling where the people live. Moving the water is bad for the environment. But moving the people would be worse.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Xithras (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 01:28 PM

18. Give you "pause"? No. Because Lungren supports building the Auburn Dam

With dire environmental consequences for roughly the same part of the state and nevermind it would trash the San Francisco-Sacramento Bay Delta.

If because Lungren supports blowing up one dam, you might consider him an environmentalist, when in fact, Hetch Hetchy is the only dam Lungren has supported destroying and only because it's San Francisco's water supply.

If you can't see these things, then that's really, really disappointing.

A 700 foot dam that would reduce flow to the Delta, that would pose a massive failure/flooding risk to the Central Valley!

http://lungren.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=64&parentid=45§iontree=6,45,64&itemid=347

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Reply #18)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 01:02 PM

19. Only an idiot would consider Lungren an environmentalist.

Look, everyone has their political "hot button" issues. Hetch Hetchy is one of mine and has been on my "Top 5" list for nearly 30 years. For what it's worth, I'd fight hard to prevent the Auburn Dam from being built too.

As I said, it would have simply given me pause. When a politician that you would normally consider your "enemy" offers you something that you've been fighting for more than half your life, while "your side" has largely ignored you, it can make you pause to evaluate your priorities. As I also said, I don't live in that district, and I'm glad it's a choice I don't actually have to make. But when it comes to "good of the people" versus "good of nature" issues, I usually come down on the side of the trees. TBP

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Xithras (Reply #19)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 03:27 PM

20. Well now do you understand why he took the position he did?

does it strike you as motivated by environmentalism or something else?

in answering that, how much funding would he support to restore Hetch Hetchy if the dam were removed?



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Auggie (Original post)

Sat Jan 7, 2012, 02:32 PM

3. Personally, I think Bera has a pretty good chance.

He's been developing his organization since the last election and name recognition is up. I hope this time does it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Auggie (Original post)

Mon Jan 9, 2012, 10:12 AM

4. And from the Bay Areans:

*crickets*

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Auggie (Original post)

Mon Jan 9, 2012, 02:33 PM

5. I believe people would be very disappointed at the result if that dam was taken out

 

It would take hundreds of years of recovery for the place to begin to look like what it was in the time of John Muir.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Auggie (Original post)

Sat Mar 10, 2012, 11:43 PM

10. The Hetch Hetchy is a brilliant piece of engineering.

It certainly may have been a mistake to build it but tearing it down would be just as big a mistake.

S.F. water is some of the best around.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread