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The Battle Over Hetch HetchyAmerica's Most Controversial Dam and the Birth of Modern Environmentalism$
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Robert W. Righter

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195149470

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195149470.001.0001

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Congress Decides

Congress Decides

(p.117) CHAPTER 6 Congress Decides
The Battle Over Hetch Hetchy

Robert W. Righter (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

In early 1913, the issue was thrown into the halls of Congress for a final decision. At the same time, a new administration came into power with President Woodrow Wilson appointing Franklin Lane as his secretary of the interior. Nothing could have been more important, for Lane had been San Francisco City Attorney, and strongly favored the city's case. Hearing took place in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, but with Lane in office and a strong San Francisco lobbying team, it was clear who would be the victor. The valley defenders fought furiously, but they were out numbered, out maneuvered, and out staffed. The Raker Act, granting San Francisco the valley, won approval in the House, 183 to 43. After six days of debate in the Senate, the Raker Act passed at 12 o'clock A.M on December 6, with 43 yeas, 25 nays, and 27 absentees. President Wilson signed the Raker Act on December 19, 1913. San Francisco's long political struggle was over. It was a devastating loss for the preservation interests, but as John Muir stated, “the battle for conservation will go on endlessly. It is part of the universal warfare between right and wrong”.

Keywords:   Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Lane, American Civic Association, House of Representatives, United States Senate, Raker Act

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