This bit of “truthiness” was exposed at the Delta Protection Commission (DPC) meeting on January 26. That was also the meeting at which Resources Deputy Secretary Jerry Meral addressed the DPC.
Meral, who is trying to midwife the BDCP, told the DPC that every concern of Delta counties and Delta people will be considered and addressed. One observer notes that if someone had said “We want you to paint the intake purple,” he would have said that they would consider that. He described the phase that they are now in as a “document producing process”. Nothing was said about improved analyses or analyses of alternatives. Just producing documents.
Meral said that the people who fear conversion of agricultural land to habitat should remember two things: (1) conversion might just mean easements which allow continued farming; and (2) maybe there should be more emphasis on lands in the Western Delta that are already State owned. Interesting, but the State owned lands on Sherman and Twitchell are heavily subsided, so it is not possible to easily convert them into tidal or even sub-tidal wetlands.
In response to a question, Meral told the Commission that BDCP is not required to do a cost-benefit analysis, although he conceded that it might be a good idea. He said that Chapter 8 of the BDCP will include the cost but that they would have to evaluate the benefits.
There was also a question about Governor Brown’s suggestion that ecosystem restoration, for which some money is included in the water bond, could be delayed while conveyance moved ahead. (In other words, they could take the water bond off the 2012 ballot and still go ahead with plans to start digging.) Meral said that it isn’t necessary to have all the ecosystem restoration money right away, but there are early implementation actions, and there does have to be guaranteed financing for restoration. He was vague about how that might be done.
It becomes more and more ridiculous to refer to BDCP as a habitat conservation plan as habitat conservation is increasingly revealed to be window dressing for the real plan to build conveyance.