In an interview with Charlie Rose on “CBS This Morning” May 18, Governor Jerry Brown called for tax hikes to bring down a budget deficit of nearly $16 billion – while promoting the construction of a budget-busting $14 billion peripheral canal or tunnel.

Brown’s estimate of the cost of the canal at $14 billion is up from the “over $10 billion” estimate he made in January.

However, the real cost of the canal, proposed under the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to divert more water from the California Delta to corporate agribusiness and Southern California, is much larger. Economist Jerry Kasower in 2009 estimated that the actual cost of the project would range from $23 billion to $53.8 billion, depending on whether a canal or tunnel is chosen.

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