Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What the Oroville Dam Spillway Fail Says About California's Priorities

About 200,000 people near the Oroville Dam were evacuated as the nation watched to see if hundreds of homes and businesses would be destroyed in a full breach of the dam's emergency spillway.   In the meantime, we find out that there were past warnings that it was unsafe.  According to a story in the Washington Post, the fix to keep the spillway safe would have cost about $100 million 11 years ago.  But, the State of California had other priorities.

Instead of taking care of its huge infrastructure problems, the state opted to build a high-speed bullet train between Los Angeles and San Francisco.   The original cost projection for that was $98.5 billion. Already, the easiest part of the "build" -- the Central Valley -- is seeing a 50% cost overrun (as being reported by the LA Times).  To put the original cost of the bullet train into perspective; it is more than 1000 times the money needed to fix the spillway.  By one estimate, California will have to spend $500 billion dollars over the next 2 decades to fix, expand, and maintain the State's infrastructure.

Instead, the priority was to build a bullet train to save the world from climate change, by getting cars off the roads and planes out of the air; even though some studies have concluded that the impact on climate change will be negligible. In the meantime, thousands of people are left at risk in Oroville. How many more are at risk from unfunded infrastructure hazards in California because of "climate change" projects like a bullet train?


The government was warned that the Oroville Dam emergency spillway was unsafe. It didn’t listen:

Taking California's bullet train to a greener future - LA Times:

High Speed Rail Won't Impact Climate Change - California Policy Center:

California's Bullet Train to Cost $98.5 Billion: What Else That Can Buy:

California's bullet train is hurtling toward a multibillion-dollar overrun, a confidential federal report warns:

California’s Crumbling Infrastructure: An Urgent Priority:

Shocking rain damage is wakeup call to fix ailing roads, infrastructure, experts say: 

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