Gov. Jerry Brown was very clear Wednesday about his support for a $14 billion plan to build two water tunnels that would help move water for farmers and other Californians.
“I want to get shit done,” Brown told reporters, at a press conference to announce the plans with Interior Sec. Ken Salazar.
The governor’s entry into controversial water politics comes only weeks after he pushed through an expensive and unpopular plan to begin construction of a high-speed rail project. By pursuing these massive infrastructure programs, the governor could be putting at risk his fall tax initiative, which would boost taxes on the wealthy and hike the sales tax by a quarter cent, critics say.
The proposal, which has the backing of the Obama administration, also calls for restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a vast network of marshes and sloughs that has seen ecological decline as the state’s farms and cities have increasingly tapped it for trillions of gallons of water each year.
Environmentalists and a number of Northern California lawmakers, lined up in opposition, were preparing for a Capitol rally protesting the proposal Tuesday.