State Economic Plan’s Factual Flaw

This Letter to the Editor from Jerry Cadagan (copied below) should be published in every newspaper in the state:

Paul Burgarino’s article about Gov. Brown’s economic study of his Peripheral Tunnels project (“Study: Delta tunnels would net $5 billion benefit,” Aug. 6) includes many reasons to question the professionalism of the economic work, including unfounded assumptions about the amount of water to be delivered, and uncertainty regarding needed voter-approved bond funding for portions of the project.
Those problems alone should doom the proposed project.

But there is a major factual flaw that is bound to sink prospects for the tunnels project. Twice in the study, it is explicitly stated that “the state and federal water contractors have committed to funding 100 percent of the construction and operation of ” the tunnels.

In coming up with all the rosy economic predictions, the study authors must have assumed those contactors would pay the $16.3 billion involved. The problem is simply that the quoted language is flat wrong; the water contractors have not committed to pay those costs. The study results are meaningless, given that major fault.

And if the state and federal water contractors (many of them being south-of-Delta mega agri-business firms) don’t pay the $16.3 billion in construction and operating costs, who do you suppose will end up paying them? Look no further; just go to the nearest mirror.

Jerry Cadagan

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