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Letter from Vice Mayor of San Carlos to San Francisco Examiner 10/25/11

Dear Editor-

President Obama is out there claiming Republicans want us to have “dirty air and dirty water."

As an elected official in San Mateo County, I was invited to an event in Siskiyou County titled, Save Rural America. The organizers reached out to folks like myself because they know they need to communicate their message beyond a remote, sparsely populated area. They feel they are being unfairly attacked by the Obama administration precisely because they are remote and sparse, and because they are one of the poorest counties in the state.

Their fight is against the Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, who is pushing for removal of four dams on the Upper Klamath River. Without the dams, farming, ranching, fishing and recreation will all end; they depend upon a clean, stable, water supply and the clean, economic energy generated by the hydroelectric dams.

This is not the first time the area has faced this kind of battle. Mining was shut down because of the environment and jobs were lost, families moved away and the economy suffered. Timber and milling were shut down, leading to the same results. Now the battle is over the river, the single, last, life blood of the area's almost dead economy.

Many of the people I met over the weekend were Republicans. They weren’t asking for dirty air and dirty water. Quite the opposite; they depend on both for their livelihoods. And I’ll bet there are plenty more Americans across this land in similar circumstances.

Matt Grocott
Vice Mayor
City of San Carlos
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