I used to joke with my friends that I could create jobs with a baseball bat. When they asked me what I meant, I'd explain that all I had to do was run through the neighborhood and break all the windows and it would create a lot of jobs in window replacement. The moral of the story is that just because you have an idea that will create jobs doesn't mean it's a good one. We now have an administration that believes in the 'baseball bat' theory on a much larger scale. They believe in tearing down dams to create jobs.
U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar spoke at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco Monday and touted the job creation that will be created by dam destruction. Although we do admit that jobs can be created by tearing things down, we don't necessarily believe it proves destruction to be a good idea. We still believe in the old fashioned concept of free markets creating jobs which generates taxes which makes it possible to afford to tear down dams (or better yet, build them). We can't wrap our minds around the concept of tearing down dams with money we don't have to create jobs to stimulate the economy. We are of the belief that this economic concept has failed in the past and it will undoubtedly fail again.
Interior Secretary Salazar Jabs GOP on San Joaquin River Pact
Los Angeles Times
U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar took some shots Monday at Republican efforts to roll back environmental protections and repeal a historic agreement on river restoration in California.
The GOP majority in the House is floating a number of bills that would freeze or dismantle an array of environmental regulations, arguing that they strangle business and hurt the economy.
In a speech at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Salazar took particular aim at a proposal introduced by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) that would increase water deliveries to Central Valley farmers, eliminate long-standing reforms to federal irrigation contracts and repeal a legal settlement that calls for increased flows and the restoration of salmon runs on the San Joaquin River.
"A few members of Congress are bent on killing a restoration program that is restoring water flows to the river, bringing stability and certainty to agricultural users, and that will bring the first salmon runs in half a century," Salazar said in a copy of his prepared remarks.
More broadly, the former Democratic senator from Colorado said Americans face two competing visions of how to deal with the nation's economic problems: Under one, he contended, "It’s a place where we give up on the rules and standards that give us clean water, abundant wildlife and open lands to hunt, hike and fish. It’s a place where we cut taxes for the few and abandon the less fortunate among us, rather than make the investments we need to compete and win."
The tenor of the speech was unusual for Salazar, whose public remarks tend to the bland.
He also promoted another pact opposed by some in California's GOP House delegation, an agreement that calls for the removal of salmon-blocking dams on the Klamath River on the Oregon-California border.
While Salazar said environmental documents scheduled for release later this week conclude the project will cut hydroelectric power generation and eliminate some recreation on the river's reservoirs, it would restore 68 miles of coho salmon habitat and 420 miles of steelhead habitat.
The restoration and dam work would bring "4,600 jobs to the regional economy over 15 years, including around 1,400 during the year of dam removal," he added.
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