A couple of years ago, the Sacramento Bee begin running a series of articles on the advantages of removing the O’Shaughnessy Dam at Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park. The Bee series pointed out that the decision to cover Hetch Hetchy was one of the greatest environmental travesties of the 20th century. The articles made the case that Bay Area residents could get along without the water behind the dam if other — significant — changes were made to its water delivery system.

The only problem with this idea (besides the fact that it would cost billions of dollars) is that three Bay Area women hate it. And those women would be Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In fact, not one member of the California Congressional delegation had supported the idea of tearing down O’Shaughnessy dam.

Then, on Thursday, Republican Rep. Dan Lungren bravely stepped forward and announced his support for restoring Hetch Hetchy. In fact, said Lungren, he would help push through a $7 million federal budget allocation to study the idea.

Has Lungren turned Green, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day? Or has the conservative congressman found a way to tweak his San Francisco colleagues (who love the environment … most of the time)?

— Ann DuBay