Restoring Hetch Hetchy: A Pricey Proposition
Over the years there has been lots of teeth-gnashing over the decision to flood the Hetch Hetchy area of Yosemite National Park back in the 1920s. Last November former Interior Secretary Don Hodel called for the reservoir to be drained and the valley restored. Then, late in January, the Sacramento Bee editorialized in favor of taking a good, long look at the feasibility of doing just that.
Well, according to a story in the L.A. Times, such a project won't come cheaply. In fact, a state study of the project says the cost could go as high as $10 billion.
Of course, while some might say that cost is minor compared to what Yosemite Park would receive in return -- restoration of a valley that John Muir thought was one of the park's most gorgeous areas -- the political battle likely would be much tougher to overcome. You see, the reservoir held back by the O'Shaughnessy Dam supplies both water and power to San Francisco.
Playing the politician he's become, California Gov. Arnold Schwartzenegger said the report simply creates more questions that need to be answered before a final decision on bringing down the dam can be made. You can read the rest of the story here.