Supporters of the proposed Black Rock reservoir near Yakima are admitting they made a $2 billion error in estimating how much money would come from electricity produced by the project.
[…] Charlie de la Chapelle, a Yakima Valley fruit grower who is vice chairman of the alliance, said the grass-roots group regrets the mistake.
“We apologize for the error. We vow to scrutinize numbers we release more carefully and stand behind our other public statements,” de la Chapelle said.
Chapelle should run for President.
The Yakima Basin Storage Alliance now estimates that power sales will generate $412 million over forty years. Due to a calculation error an initial report had estimated power benefits at $2.4 billion.
Correcting the error reduced the current projected Black Rock benefits to $3.8 billion, an amount that is less than the estimated construction cost of $4.2 billion.
Of course, the US Bureau of Reclamation estimates that the reservoir would only return about 30 cents on the dollar, but I wouldn’t worry about the over $2 billion discrepancy because, you know… the YBSA has vowed to “scrutinize” its numbers.
Hmm. I don’t know enough about the environmental and economic impact of the Black Rock project to take a position one way or the other. The Yakima Basin is a crucial agricultural region to our state and our nation, and with global warming threatening the Cascade ice pack, water shortages could reach crisis proportions within decades. But it’s stupid-ass shit like this that makes taxpayers suspicious of all big, public infrastructure projects.
Overestimating the power revenues by 600 percent. Gimme a break.
Let’s be clear. Whatever the reservoir’s merits, the YBSA and its political supporters in Benton and Yakima counties are seeking to finance this project primarily through huge state and federal subsidies. If the project makes economic and environmental sense, fine. I could support it. Just be honest about the numbers.
And while you’re at it, why not be honest about the flow of tax revenues in this state, and stop lying to your constituents by perpetuating the myth that dollars flow East to West? Your dams, your irrigation projects, your freeways and your universities were built primarily with state and federal tax dollars. Nobody’s asking for any “thank you’s” — we’re just tired of all the “fuck you’s.”