Last year, Doolittle decided to use (ahem…waste..ahem) 1 billion taxpayer dollars for yet another study on the proposed Auburn Dam. A dam which, if built, would drown miles of the Middle and North Forks of the American River. And for the purpose of what? Water rights that don’t exist? Power that can be achieved at a much lower cost? And of course, the supposedly needed extra flood protection which isn’t worth a darn without improvements to Folsom first anyway, and which would protect against an amount of water not likely to ever be produced by the American River (For more background information please read previous posts about the Auburn Dam, or visit www.auburndamwatch.org.) For those of us who have seen through all this faulty reasoning for some time now and have viewed the proposal as both a waste of money and a waste of two invaluable river canyons, the results of Doolittle’s cost study are sweet redemption. The dam has been estimated to cost between six and ten times the original amount that is often cited by dam supporters, ringing in at an outrageous 6 to 10 billion dollars. As a mature and fiscally responsible citizen, a fan of sensical government planning and a steward of California’s beautiful river canyons, I have only this to say about the estimates: “Naa na na naa na!” Doolittle and the Auburn Dam Authority will be hard-pressed to prove that the benefits from such a dam could ever outweigh such high costs. And he was the one to order the study in the first place! It’s beautiful really.
The river canyons are far more valuable preserved in their current condition! Unfortunately, there are some people who would benefit from building a dam or developing their property adjacent to a new reservoir. We will need to remain vigilant forever to make sure that some revised version of this foolish project doesn’t somehow get funded in the future.