By Ron Stork, Sr. Policy Advocate for Friends of the River
The House of Representatives seems to live in a world disconnected from the real world but, in doing so, seeks to remake it. Subcommittee on Water & Power Chair Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove) continues to speak and write about his vision of an era of abundance where great new brimful reservoirs provide plentiful and cheap water and electricity for our farms and families.
In his world, the annoying voices of economists that speak of the realities of the law of diminishing returns from damming---and re-damming---the same rivers are not heard. In the Congressman's world, the life within rivers can be re-created by industrial reproduction and rearing in hatcheries, and the beauty of natural waterscapes can be replaced by the military discipline of concrete dams and still reservoirs and be banished to aging photographs.
Tom's on a roll too. He's persuaded the House to de-designate wild & scenic rivers to make room for reservoirs, and he and his colleagues have introduced bills to authorize huge dams and reservoirs without the slightest attention to the pesky rules laid down by President Ronald Reagan---you know, like waiting for agency review and recommendations or bothering with any notion of who will pay for them or how they will be paid for. Read the full story.