Quotation by Franklin D. Roosevelt

[M]y conception of liberty does not permit an individual citizen or a group of citizens to commit acts of depredation against nature in such a way as to harm their neighbors and especially to harm the future generations of Americans. If many years ago we had had the necessary knowledge, and especially the necessary willingness on the part of the Federal Government, we would have saved a sum, a sum of money which has cost the taxpayers of America two billion dollars.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt's public addresses), side 4, address at Bonneville Dam (Sept. 28, 1937), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

In this dedication speech for the Bonneville Dam the President spoke to a favorite theme concerning the need for conservation practices and public power projects. He argued that the drought and resultant dust bowl could have been avoided had there been water and conservation practices in place instead of greedy exploitation of natural resources.
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