Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Flickr icon
YouTube icon
RSS icon

Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

Remarks at Folsom Dam Improvement Dedication

April 29, 2014

Remarks at Folsom Dam Improvement Dedication
Folsom Lake, California
April 26, 2014

A few months ago, Folsom Lake was almost empty.  The drought was the catalyst, but the reason was unnecessary water releases from this Dam and a lack of additional water storage upstream.
For three days this past week, knowing we are still facing a potentially devastating water shortage this summer, water releases out of the dams on this river TRIPLED to meet environmental mandates that place the interests of fish above those of people. 
We cannot ask our people and businesses to scrimp and save and stretch and ration every drop of water they use, while this government treats that same water supply so recklessly and wastefully.
We celebrate the arrival of the first of the new gates for the auxiliary spillway.  It is an important step in protecting the Sacramento region from a 200-year flood, and that’s a good thing.
But we should also note that upstream from this location is the unfinished Auburn Dam.  Completion of that project would mean 400-year flood protection for Sacramento and enough water storage to fill and refill Folsom Lake nearly 2 ½ times.  It would mean enough clean, cheap hydroelectricity to power a million homes, and a major new recreational center in our region.
Even at the artificially-inflated prices caused by environmental mandates, completing Auburn would cost much less than the pending proposal for a cross-delta facility that would provide zero additional water storage and zero additional hydroelectricity.
Today we mark an important step toward better and more efficient flood control and it is reason to celebrate and to congratulate and thank the contractors installing these improvements.  
Yet the recent memories of an empty Folsom Lake should remind us that we need to restore common sense in managing our current water supply AND in meeting our future needs.  
We have a choice.  We can continue with our current policies and face a future of increasing scarcity as we ration every drop of water and every watt of electricity in our parched and dimly lit homes -- or we can re-dedicate ourselves to a bright and prosperous future of abundant, inexpensive and clean water and power.
Is that really such a hard choice to make?
# # #