Oral History Center - UC Berkeley Library

Thomas J. Graff: California Regional Director of the Environmental Defense Fund, 1971-2009: Applying Economics to Environmental Policymaking, Reforming California Water Policy

Interviewee(s):
Graff, Thomas J.
Interviewer(s):
Lage, Ann
Title:
Thomas J. Graff: California Regional Director of the Environmental Defense Fund, 1971-2009: Applying Economics to Environmental Policymaking, Reforming California Water Policy
Abstract:
The oral history of Thomas J. Graff documents his long career with the Environmental Defense Fund and his role in influencing California and national energy and water policy for nearly four decades. He was one of three young men, two attorneys and a fishery biologist, who opened the first office of EDF in the West in 1971. An easterner with a Harvard law degree, he was new to California and had virtually no connection to the burgeoning environmental movement or the outdoor life. Within just a few years, he had been fully initiated as a backpacker and river runner, and with his colleagues had launched three important legal actions to protect California rivers: opposing the New Melones and Auburn Dams and beginning a three-decade long legal battle against the East Bay Municipal Utility District to protect the American River.
Subject area(s):
Natural Resources, Agriculture, and the Environment
Interview date(s):
2009
Project:
Natural Resources, Agriculture, and the Environment - Individual Interviews
Rights:
Thomas J. Graff, “California Regional Director of the Environmental Defense Fund, 1971-2009: Applying Economics to Environmental Policymaking, Reforming California Water Policy” conducted by Ann Lage in 2009, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2011.