California Gov. Jerry Brown insists his plan to build two huge tunnels to siphon water away from the Sacramento Delta will cost $25 billion. However, when interest costs on bonds and loans are added, the real price ranges from $51 billion to $67 billion. This is typical sleazy behavior from Brown, telling only selective parts of the truth and being deliberately evasive to further a political objective. Brown is using the Delta tunnel project to shower money and favors on two big constituencies, Big Labor and Big Banks.
The Brown administration has yet to provide a detailed breakdown of the overall 30-year cost of the project, even in a 34,000-page report on the tunnels it released last month.
California doesn’t have the money to build the tunnels (something those of us in northern California view as an attempted water grab by Central Valley agriculture and southern California) and is pretending big federal financing is available. It’s not. California will be forced to put two bond issues before the voters, who are already highly skeptical. One of the bond measures has already been pulled twice from the ballot because it was so filled with pork and special interest favors that even the Sacramento legislature couldn’t stomach it.