Gov. Jerry Brown said in an interview televised this morning that the water project he proposes this year will be a $14 billion endeavor.
The Democratic governor's remark suggests the administration is fine-tuning its proposal for a peripheral canal or other way to move water through or around the Delta, even as a public announcement has been delayed. In January, Brown said the project would cost water users "well over $10 billion."
Brown was on "CBS This Morning" to promote his November ballot initiative to raise taxes and to defend the budget he revised on Monday. The state budget deficit has grown to $15.7 billion from the $9.2 billion Brown estimated in January.
"California is growing," Brown said in an interview taped Thursday. "This is not Europe ... We're very entrepreneurial, very innovative, and people are still coming here. You know, this is where they put in, they invented Facebook. Not in Texas, not in Arizona. Not in Manhattan, and certainly not under the, you know, the White House or the Congress. This is still the Wild West, and we're going to prove to the rest of this country and the world that we know how to do it."
Told by CBS' Charlie Rose that Facebook was invented in Cambridge, Mass., Brown said that after tinkering there, "they learned fast to get on a plane and get out to California, where all the other innovative people are."
Brown's comments about the water project came as he defended another multi-billion infrastructure project: high-speed rail.
"California's not stopping," Brown said. "We're not some tired country of Europe. We're a buoyant, dynamic society that will both discipline itself on a daily basis, but it will, on the long term, plant the seeds of future growth."