Saturday, March 28, 2015

Jerry Brown’s Ark: How to Turn ‘Drought Relief’ Cash into a Spending Flood

WSJ comments:

A NASA scientist this month warned that only a year of water is left in California reservoirs, and Sacramento regulators last week barred restaurants from serving water except upon request. So it makes perfect sense that Democrats want to earmark $660 million of “drought relief” money for . . . flood control.

Welcome to Sacramento where any crisis, real or invented, becomes a pretext to spend. Governor Jerry Brown on Friday signed a bill of his own design that appropriates $1.1 billion for “direct relief to workers and communities most impacted by these historic dry conditions.”

A Democratic senator provided a useful translation: “There’s something in this for every community that has a dramatic need about drought, and that’s all of us.”

Only about $40 million would provide emergency drinking water and food assistance for the hardest hit. Roughly $270 million would finance water-quality improvements that won’t be completed for years, if ever, due to green tape. But the labor unions are happy.

An additional $30 million would fund water-efficiency projects (i.e., green businesses) that reduce greenhouse gases. Another $4 million would help control “invasive aquatic plants” plus $18 million to protect fish and respond “to problems of human/wildlife conflict from animals seeking food and water.” How much do state lawyers charge to resolve disputes between mountain lions and ranchers?

But most—$660 million in general-obligations bonds—is for flood control. According to Mr. Brown, climate change makes “extreme weather events” more likely. “All of a sudden, when you’re all focused on drought, you can get massive storms that flood through these channels and overflow and cause havoc,” he explained last week to dunderheads in the press too thick to understand this connection.

The real reason for the spending is that the bonds that voters approved in 2006 for flood protection expire next year. Now that the legislature has appropriated the money, the state has until 2020 to choose how to spend it. Maybe the Governor plans to build a giant ark to save wildlife when rising sea levels inundate the state.


  1. Once again...


    Desalination anyone???

    [The real drought is in intelligence, common sense, and innovation.]

    1. I make 240 (fresh) gallons a day on my boat. Most islands have muni reverse osmosis plants that churn out 30,000 gallons an hour or more.
      Expensive? Maybe. How much R.O. could you buy for $1.1 Billion?