San Francisco blocks effort by environmentalists to drain and restore Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite
- Liberal Democrats on the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission vote 5 to 0 to block the restoration of Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite.
As a Conservative conservationist I would love to see all of Yosemite fully restored and protected. It appears liberal Democrats in San Francisco disagree.
In a move that could be the political death knell for environmentalists' efforts to drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has approved a plan to block the draining of the famed reservoir unless the 26 cities and water districts in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda counties that receive Hetch Hetchy water give their approval.
The 5-0 vote, which came after 13 minutes of discussion at a low-profile commission meeting on Tuesday, means that unless the move is overturned by a lawsuit, environmental groups can no longer hope to drain the reservoir simply by winning approval from the voters of San Francisco reports the Contra Costa Times.
|Today's Jackass Award goes to|
the Democrats of San Francisco.
The reservoir in Yosemite and the Tuolumne River that flows into it are the main water source for 2.5 million Bay Area residents. Although San Francisco owns and operates the system of pipes, dams and tunnels, only one-third of the users of the water live in San Francisco. The other 1.7 million live on the Peninsula, in parts of San Jose and Alameda County.
Environmental groups who favor draining the reservoir reacted strongly.
"They've given veto power to non-San Franciscans. That's wrong," said Mike Marshall, executive director of Restore Hetch Hetchy. "It's like giving Apple computer customers a say in how the products are built. The folks on the Peninsula are customers, and the folks in San Francisco are the owners. They sell water to the customers."
Marshall said his group may sue at some point to try to overturn the new rules. He said he supports a vote of the 1.7 million people who receive Hetch Hetchy water outside of San Francisco, or a statewide vote, on the future of the water system, but not giving veto power over San Francisco voters' decisions to the 26 city councils and water districts whose citizens receive Hetch Hetchy water.
|Hetch Hetchy Valley - Now Underwater|
A beautiful glacial valley in the northwest corner of Yosemite National Park in California. It is currently completely flooded by O'Shaughnessy Dam to provide water to San Francisco.
|A national park destroyed to better serve the liberals of San Francisco|
and the Bay Area.