A new report says it would cost twice earlier estimates to shackle the American River upstream of Sacramento, California’s capital. The new estimate: $6 billion to $10 billion. The Sacramento Bee has the story.
What’s even more amazing is that someone somewhere is even talking about building another huge dam and shackling yet another river. Didn’t the era of the big dams end with the failure decades ago of the Teton Dam in southeastern Idaho? That someone is, of course, a politician. In this case it’s Rep. John Doolittle, the Republican congressman from Roseville, Calif.
Doolittle apparently believes that even $10 billion is chump change.
Here’s what the congressman told the newspaper: “Cost is only relevant when compared to something else. This dam will pay for itself through sale of hydropower and flood control benefits. This report doesn’t detract from the compelling need for this dam.”
Taxpayers have already been hit hard. The dam was first authorized in the mid 60s and then halted. The latest report detailing how much it would cost to finish the job and kill the river outright cost $1 million. And we thought those expensive Air Force toilets were bad.
This is the same American River that Jordan Fisher Smith wrote about in “Nature Noir.”
And here’s a nice overview of the American.