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This is the Raker Bill, which eventually became the Raker Act, granting the city of San Francisco the right to dam the Hetch Hetchy Valley as a reservoir, and the unfulfilled right of municipalized electricity for the city. This was the last of several Senate hearings held on this contentious issue between 1909 and 1913. The hearing took place on September 24, 1913.

San Francisco had petitioned the Department of the Interior for rights to Hetch Hetchy water as early as 1902, but the Schmitz administration, upon its election, did not pursue the issue. Instead, grafters pushed a project by the Bay Cities Water Co. that would bring water from Lake Tahoe to San Francisco.

With the indictment of the Ruef-Schmitz gang, the Hetch Hetchy proposal was revived by the reform Board of Supervisors and Mayor William Robeson Taylor after the Great Earthquake and Fire.

San Francisco Representative Julius Kahn introduced a House Resolution in 1908 to bring Hetch Hetchy water to the city.

One of the speakers in favor of the 1913 Raker bill was its sponsor, California Rep. John E. Raker. Among those in opposition were proponents of conservation, such as Robert Underwood Johnson, editor of Century Magazine, and representatives of other jurisdictions that wanted to use the water from the Tuolomne River themselves.

Enforcement of provisions of the Raker Act, signed by the president in 1913, has been controversial. The San Francisco Bay Guardian has persistently raised questions about the City's failure to provide municipalized power to San Francisco as, it says, is required by the Raker Act.

This failure caused Congress, in 1995, to consider privatization of Hetch Hetchy.

Raker Bill Final Hearings - September 24, 1913
  • Text of the 1913 Raker Bill
  • Statement of the Hon. H. Parsons in Opposition to the Bill
  • Opposition to the Bill by the Soc. for the Preservation of National Parks
  • Opposition to the Bill by the America Civic Association
  • Opposition to the Bill by Robert U. Johnson of Century Magazine
  • Opposition to the Bill by W.C. Lehane of the Central Valley
    Hearings on House Joint Resolution 184 - December 16, 1908

  • Congressional Hetch Hetchy Hearings - 1908
  • Petition of City Engineer Marsden Manson
  • Statement of Support by James Garfield, Sec. of Interior
  • Statement of the Hon. James Needham of California
  • Statement of Dr. A.H. Giannini
  • "Hetch Hetchy Damming Scheme," by John Muir
  • "The Endangered Valley...," by John Muir
  • Sierra Club Telegram to Congress Protesting Hetch Hetchy Bill

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