New California Policy Center Study Offers Next Generation Infrastructure Solutions

By California Policy Center
December 1, 2016

For Immediate Release
December 1, 2016
California Policy Center
Lee Schalk at 916-258-2396
lee@calpolicycenter.org
New California Policy Center Study Offers Next Generation Infrastructure Solutions
Study explores how private infrastructure investment can increase water supply, bolster energy, and modernize transportation systems.

LOS ANGELES — Today the California Policy Center released a new study investigating California’s infrastructure challenges and exploring how private infrastructure investment can increase California’s water supply and modernize its energy and transportation systems. The study explains how private investment, such as that funded through public employee pension systems, can bring the state’s infrastructure into the 21st century better than the current reliance on traditional municipal bond financing.

The six-part study, the product of a nearly a year of collaboration by the authors, can be viewed online here:

Part One: Introduction
Part Two: Water Reuse
Part Three: Water Storage
Part Four: Desalination
Part Five: Energy and Transportation
Part Six: Financing Models and Policy Recommendations

The complete study can be downloaded and viewed in printable PDF here.

The study suggests that private infrastructure investment could increase the development speed and quality of infrastructure projects, provide a steady source of yield for public investment funds like CalPERS, and transfer the risk of major infrastructure investments from the taxpayer to the private sector.

Private sector investment, says the study, would serve twin goals of rebuilding California’s water, energy, and transportation assets while providing safe and lucrative investment opportunities for pension funds — not to mention create thousands of new jobs and attract new residents and businesses.

The study explains how current policies have been unable to raise enough money to build and maintain infrastructure commensurate with the needs of a growing population. Instead, state policy has embraced conservation. While the study doesn’t oppose conservation per se, it argues that current and future Californians deserve abundant and affordable water, power and mobility. Current state policies that enforce scarcity are ultimately inconsistent with a prosperous and growing California.

California’s water, energy and transportation infrastructure has not been adequately maintained. The state’s water infrastructure has not been expanded since the 1970’s and is designed to accommodate 20 million residents when California now has nearly 40 million residents. Its transportation infrastructure is considered one of the worst maintained in the U.S. Its energy infrastructure is increasingly oriented towards renewables, without a clear plan to realize the distribution and storage upgrades necessary to realize this dramatic shift.

Now is the time to upgrade California’s infrastructure; private investment can alleviate the water shortages, traffic jams, and high energy prices plaguing the state.

“As Californians, we can create a better future for our state by pursuing exciting private investment alternatives to infrastructure improvements that embrace prosperity and abundance,” said Ed Ring, vice president of policy research at the California Policy Center and co-author of the report. “It’s time to take a new approach to solve our state’s water, energy, and transportation needs while at the same time providing investment opportunities for our public sector pension funds.”

For more information, visit CaliforniaPolicyCenter.org. To schedule an interview, contact Lee Schalk at 916-258-2396 or lee@calpolicycenter.org.

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