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A Hetch Hetchy ballot initiative? Mayor Lee calls it ‘insane’

Monday, July 9, 2012

John Muir would have loved this one: environmental groups are expected to turn in enough signatures today to qualify a San Francisco ballot measure in November requiring the city to draw up plans to drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park. The Mercury News says that Restore Hetch Hetchy, which has pressed for the measure, will turn in more than 16,000 signatures, well above the 9,702 needed to qualify the measure.

It’s of course one of the longest-running environmental battles in California, and opposition is formidable. It includes Silicon Valley leaders (i.e., heavy water users) and San Francisco’s two powerful congressional leaders, U. S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

From the Mercury News:

"We have to stop this one," said Carl Guardino, president of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. "Hetch Hetchy is a critical water source not only for San Francisco, but throughout Silicon Valley. It is critical to our economy. We care deeply about this."

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee was more blunt.

"Their initiative is insane and attempts to fool voters into wasting millions to restudy local water sustainability projects that are already being implemented in San Francisco," he said.

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