May 14, 2012
Monterey Herald, Monterey, California

Cal Am plan outrageous

The Cal Am proposal for an alternative to the Regional Desalination Project is the most audaciously outrageous proposal since George III tried the same shenanigan that led to the American Revolution. According to this proposal, submitted April 23 to the California Public Utilities Commission, the project could quadruple Cal Am's rate base along with its shareholders' profits without any representation by ratepayers who would foot the entire bill. Talk about taxation without representation! Does Cal Am live in the same America the rest of us do?

In addition to its fantasy financing scheme, with no risk to shareholders, Cal Am intends to flaunt county law forbidding a private company from building a desalination plant by claiming the entire project is under the auspices of the CPUC, a state agency not subject to county authority. For the same reason, Cal Am claims it does not need the new Environmental Impact Report required by a local Monterey County judge. So, with its old EIR in its pocket, private Cal Am in its view can build a desalination plant in Monterey County though a local private company cannot. Equality under the law? Not in Cal Am's America.

California American?

Ron Weitzman

Weitzman, who lives in Carmel, is president of WaterPlus.

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