Sloppy research

We’ll have more to say later about the quality of research in the new PPIC report.

We will note here, though, that for a January 11 article on the PPIC report, KQED’s Climate Watch  blog interviewed PPIC economist and report author Ellen Hanak. “She recounted the story of a  2004 levee break on the Jones Tract, one of the Delta’s islands, which cost $90 million to repair. ‘That was the state that paid it,’ she said.”

This is nonsense. CalEMA (the California Emergency Management Agency) project worksheets, closeout documentation, and project documentation show that the total cost of Jones Tract repairs was about $29 million, and FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) paid 75% of that.

This exaggerated figure isn’t in the report. But how credible can the report itself be when one of its principal authors is that careless with facts?

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