Who needs a cost-benefit analysis? Not Southern California
By Lloyd G. Carter
When Assembly Member Alyson Huber of El Dorado Hills failed to get an economic feasibility analysis bill on the controversial proposed peripheral canal out of committee recently, she was probably unaware that a similar challenge had been made to the finances of the State Water Project in 1960 by the late George “Elfie” Ballis, a legendary figure in Central California water and farmworker politics.
Huber’s bill (AB 550) would have required express approval of the Legislature for any “conveyance facility, an honest cost-benefit analysis of a peripheral canal or tunnel around the Delta” (which proponents claim would help the Delta) and prohibit any diminishing or negative impact on Delta water supplies, water rights, or water users. It failed to clear the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife on a 7-5 vote. But the vote was not along party lines. It was based on geography. North State legislators, including committee chairman Jared Huffman voted for it. The Southern California Committee members voted against it.Read More »