University of the Pacific analyst Jeffrey Michael appears to have caught the state trying to weasel out of a cost-benefit analysis it promised to do on the peripheral tunnel.
Last year the Bay Delta Conservation Plan announced it would do such an analysis — a sort of reckoning of the project’s true costs – after hemming and hawing for years. Instead, the state has released several minor studies.
“This is a complete regression to the position BDCP was taking a year ago when they were dodging the benefit-cost analysis question,” Michael writes.
I would remind you that Michael did his own cost-benefit analysis. He totaled up the value of everything out in the Delta: three highways; PG&E’s gas drilling operation and gas storage field, the largest in the state, accounting for 10 percent of the state’s energy grid; agriculture; boating and recreation; railroad rights-of-way; East Bay MUD’s water pipes; and more.
When all totaled, water accounted for only 20 percent of the assets out there. So … the state is proposing to spend billions to protect only 20 percent of the assets, and to leave all the rest — including Delta residents — at the mercy of the a possible major earthquake.
Clearly special interests and not logic are driving this plan. I believe Gov. Brown is well aware that a proper cost-benefit analysis would make clear that the tunnel is a terrible investment. Which is why such an analysis may never be done.