Weekend Open Thread: How STOOPID does Poseidon think this County is anyway?

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Vern here.  Over the fall and winter I had the opportunity to read some popular fiction I might otherwise not have.  And one famed trilogy culminated with the diminutive but brilliant heroine finally incapacitating her psychotic, mass-murdering, gigantic half-brother by nail-gunning his feet – at different angles – into the warehouse floor.

Don’t feel too bad for HIM – not only was he a sadistic mass murderer, he also “suffered” from a condition where he felt no pain.  The important thing was that she nail-gunned his feet from DIFFERENT, opposing angles, making it impossible, with all his strength, to pull them back out of the floor, and he could only stand and roar helplessly and not keep killing people.

Just so, that is how we have to go after Poseidon Resources Inc, which has been trying for 15 years now to saddle us with this insanely expensive, environmentally destructive, and totally unnecessary Huntington Beach desalination plant.  Hit them from all angles I say – the unnecessary expense, the pollution of air and ocean, the destruction of the SEHB neighborhood, the “moral hazard” they epitomize politically.  That drives guys like Steve Sheldon – the red-faced OCWD member and former Poseidon consultant – crazy!  He says, “You people are just throwing things against the wall to see what sticks!”  No, Steve, we are just telling the truth.

This came recently “over our transom,” from Dave Sullivan of Residents For Responsible Desalination (R4RD), who has a long-ass memory:

The once-fearsome water god Poseidon slinks away in disgrace.

Welcome to 2018!

2003 Was First Public Presentation by Poseidon.
The cost of desalination water: $800 per acre foot.
Cost of the project $250 Million with no taxpayer money.

This is Year 15 since I first saw a public presentation by Poseidon Resources of its proposed coastal seawater desalination project in Huntington Beach. The proposed project was to take the heated seawater discharge from the AES Huntington Beach Generating Station and use reverse osmosis to remove the salt and produce 50-Million gallons per day (MGD) of potable water at around $800 per acre-foot (AF). Poseidon’s product water would cost consumers less in future years than treated water imported from Northern California and the Colorado River.
Poseidon Resources had similar project proposals at power plants in Tampa Bay, Florida and Carlsbad, California where there were perceived needs for the product water.

2005 Poseidon’s Tampa Bay project goes Bankrupt.

By 2005, Poseidon’s Tampa Bay project had become a fiasco of bankruptcies, design deficiencies, and costly retrofits, which had to be borne by local ratepayers.

2006 Huntington Beach City Council gives Poseidon a Coastal Development Permit.
Cost of desalinated water: $850 – $950 per acre foot. Cost of project: $350 million.
A coastal development permit (CDP) was approved by a 4-to-3 vote in February 2006 despite a very flawed environmental impact report (EIR). The cost per acre-foot of product water was predicted to be less than that of imported water by 2015. Of note: At that time, Poseidon adamantly denied it needed, nor did they request, ratepayer subsidies.

2010 Huntington Beach City Council again approves the Coastal Development Permit.
Cost of desalinated water: $950 to $1050 per acre foot.
Cost of project: $700 Million.
The produced water was projected to cost less than imported water by 2026.

By 2010, Poseidon had gotten approvals for its Carlsbad project from the City. By the way, Poseidon claimed in 2010 that its HB project would be carbon neutral, which was the same claim Poseidon had made for its Carlsbad project that was found by the Coastal Commission to be an intentional lie. The project became operational in December 2015. The total cost for the water is about $2,400/AF to consumers – and increasing.

Of note: On Sept. 7, 2010 in a public hearing before the HB City Council, the Poseidon spokesman stated that the water from its Carlsbad project would cost “. . . between $1050 and $1150 per acre-foot”. Eight months later Poseidon presented a Term Sheet to the SDCWA where the water cost was nearly twice what was told the HB City Council.

October 19, 2017 Poseidon gets State Lands Commission go-ahead.
Cost of desalinated water: $1800 per acre foot with a taxpayer subsidy of $475.
Cost of project: $1 Billion.
Poseidon now negotiated that Orange County Water District (rate payers) will pay for and build the distribution system for the water which will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The cost of the water would be “no more” than 20% more than imported water. So instead of becoming cheaper than imported water desal will now be “no more than 20% more expensive.” And we pay for the pipes to get it to its destination.

Just how dumb does Poseidon think we are? We now know how dumb Poseidon thinks its project’s proponents are.

2018 Will be the Year Poseidon Survives or Passes Away.

NO REALLY – this is the year we make Poseidon quit wasting our time and money!!

Poseidon will try for permits from Regional Water Quality Control Board and Coastal Commission.

For the past 15 long years Poseidon has been attempting to get a local water agency to commit to purchasing their water, despite the price continuing to increase and better economic and environmental alternatives becoming available. We didn’t need it then – and we need it less now! Nonetheless, Orange County Water District keeps throwing money at studies for a project they don’t need.

But this year Poseidon has finally submitted applications for State permits they have needed all along. And although the laws protecting the environment have been clarified in new regulations adopted in 2015, Poseidon has refused to fully comply.

It’s been clear from the beginning that this project has only survived on support from politicians who benefit from Poseidon’s largesse – not from any real need for the water. But this year the project’s fate will hang on getting permits from the Regional Water Quality Control Board and Coastal Commission — regulators who have a duty to enforce California laws protecting ocean water quality and marine life.

When those meetings happen, R4RD will be there to make sure decision makers follow the law, not political expediency.

Yes, the end may finally be near.


Regards to all and Happy New Year!

-Dave Hamilton, V.P.
-Residents for Responsible Desalination

Poseidon Entrained.

Just SOME of our Previous Coverage of Poseidon:

This is your Weekend Open Thread.


About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.