Despite repeated warnings about a systemic failure of California’s #oroville dam, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is coming under new fire for not fixing the concrete spillway over costs despite multiple warnings. Now the spillway is falling apart and more rains are coming. The dam provides water to one of the largest farming communities as well as local residents. Brown, however, did find billions of dollars to spend on his high-speed train and #illegal immigrants.
He even hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to fight Trump’s policy agenda for the princely sum of $25,000 a month. Now Brown is asking the same administration for federal assistance despite declaring war with the White House on everything from sanctuary cities to global warming to the temporary travel ban. Critics say Brown’s priorities are misplaced and he’s doing what he’s always done for decades: Being an obstructionist.
Jerry Brown joins anti-Trump 'resistance' in unusual State of the State speech https://t.co/cFiu5OIpHQ— Christopher Cadelago (@CapitolAlert) January 24, 2017
For years Brown has blamed the California drought on climate change, using the natural phenomenon to push draconian global warming regulations. But scientists have written numerous studies showing the drought wasn’t unusual and there have been longer dry spells in the past. Brown, however, maintained it was man’s fault. And his supporters have reiterated the governor couldn’t have predicted the disastrous rain and snowfall across the state.
After getting pummeled by heavy rain for weeks, California’s reservoirs are largely filled with many of them overflowing. Instead of reinforcing the crumbling dam’s infrastructure during the drought, Brown spent state funds creating welfare programs for illegal immigrants, including free driver’s licenses and paid college tuition. He also funneled billions into the high-speed rail that has been a pet project for decades. Currently it’s behind schedule and over budget.
In California, all eyes on dam's eroding spillway as storms loom https://t.co/yXOit47F15— Esfandiari (@nezy_esfandiari) February 14, 2017
Racing against the clock
With rain expected on Thursday, officials are trying to fix a giant sinkhole that formed on the dam’s concrete spillway and strengthen the walls. The damage was so great, 188,000 people had to be evacuated and are still waiting to return home. And parts of the dam’s wall are also buckling. Officials are trying to reduce the lake level another fifty feet before the heavy rains return.
The San Jose Mercury News reported that since 2005, various groups concerned about erosion have been asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to force California to strengthen the walls of the Oroville dam with concrete. FERC denied the request, citing the state’s unwillingness to spend the needed $100 million in repair costs. But when Brown prepared a "wish list" of projects for Trump’s $1 trillion anticipated infrastructure project, the dam wasn’t included.
U. of California rolls out $25M to fund illegal immigrants' education https://t.co/9JxMPhVa2p— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) May 12, 2016
Train to nowhere
The $100 billion high-speed rail, however, did get added. Brown’s spending billions for a train to nowhere and aiding illegal immigrants is angering his constituents. The conservative group Turning Point USA noted Brown spends $25 billion a year supporting illegal immigrants and nothing on repairs for the Oroville dam.
Now, fixing the spillway will cost the state $200 million, twice the original estimate. And the dam’s walls need to be reinforced ahead of the rains or the state could see a breach and thousands of residents could be flooded. #Jerry Brown