Thursday, 28 October 2010

Is this headline in California's future?

$9 billion project now tunnel to nowhere
New Jersey governor says state too broke 

Trenton, N.J. (AP) - The biggest public works project in the U.S. - a $9 billion-plus train tunnel connecting New Jersey and New York City - is dead in its tracks…
It also leaves New Jersey with nothing but a $600 million hole in the side of the hill.
(headline on page 6 of today’s Stockton Record, no link available)

The obvious comparison is the $10+ billion Delta water supply tunnel envisioned in the deceptively titled Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) that still doesn’t have a credible financing plan or economic analysis to justify the cost. 

Governor Christie is much admired by Meg Whitman and was out here campaigning for her.  He is also discussed as a potential Republican nominee for President.  California (both its government and its households) is a lot more “broke” than New Jersey, and has a weaker economic outlook.

The apparant refusal of BDCP to even analyze lower cost alternatives, including but not limited to a smaller tunnel, is simply bad government.  [Afternoon update: I am encouraged that the new FAQs posted by the BDCP state clearly that they in fact are evaluating, smaller tunnel options.  I had heard otherwise, but perhaps that is just what certain interest groups are urging them to do.]

About the Author

Ethan Jacob

Author & Editor

I am Ethan Jacob Executive Director of the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific, where I have a joint faculty appointment in the Eberhardt School of Business and the Public Policy Program in the McGeorge School of Law..

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