Tonight – Huntington Beach residents – Come Help Your Council fight the Poseidon Scam!


So!  All of you Huntington Beach residents who have come to realize what a total ripoff – AND environmental calamity – the proposed Poseidon desalination plant would be – your loyal City Council could really use your support at tonight’s meeting – 6pm at City Hall, Yorktown just east of Main Street.

In July, the Coastal Commission will be deciding whether or not to grant these water pirates a permit – the most important decision for the future of this ill-advised project.

Tonight, Mayor Connie Boardman – as Surf City Voice reported here the other day – is proposing sending a letter to the Commission letting them know that the current HB Council vehemently opposes the Poseidon proposal as “currently presented.”

This is in stark contrast to the slavering support the corporation got from previous incarnations of the Council, which at one point consisted of a 6-1 majority regularly wined, dined, and heavily campaign-financed by Poseidon.

The corporation, blindsided by Connie’s move, is guaranteed to show up crying foul and yammering all manner of legal threats.

Our dear Mayor, champion of taxpayers, the environment, AND fire pits!

The Mayor needs your support, in droves.  We believe we now have a 5-2 majority against proceeding with Poseidon’s HB plant, but they are VERY persuasive lobbyists, and scary threateners, and there are billions of dollars of their profits at stake.

So PLEASE show up – and let new councilmembers Jim Katapodis and Dave Sullivan know you have their backs when they stand up to this behemoth!  (Boardman, Shaw, and Hardy are rock-solid.)  We MAY even win over previously pro-Poseidon councilman Joe Carchio, judging by his recent rumblings.  The better of a showing the public makes, the smoother our path to triumph!

I wondered if the recent departure of Bonfire Hater Bill Burke from the Coastal Commission had anything to do with the timing of this apparently sudden move – Connie says no, this was planned before that unexpected development.  But his departure is probably a good sign for us – as much as he pretends his opposition to fire pits is based on environmental and health reasons, Burke has always been a bitter foe to Huntington Beach’s real environmental concerns.

Prepare your 1-to-3 minute talk!

You’ll have up to 3 minutes to speak before the Council about this, if you show up and fill out a card by 6 (or soon after.)  And your friends can watch you on TV!  Or if you’re too shy or unprepared, someone will hand you a sign to help show your support for the Mayor’s move.

For a quick refresher course on why we oppose this boondoggle, consult the No Deal With Poseidon website, created by Gus Ayer shortly before his untimely death, and updated since then by Merle Moshiri of Residents 4 Responsible Desalination.    It’s a treasure trove of important info, and you can sign up there too to help in the struggle.  But MY quick summary, my four main points, would be:

  • We don’t need this water, and will not;  most of the County has plenty groundwater reserves for decades into the future, while we’ve been conserving more and more;  all this water is needed for is more development into the OC’s undeveloped lands, and why should WE subsidize that?
  • The water created this way is far too expensive and energy-intensive, much more expensive than what we use now.  Poseidon’s previous projects in other parts of the country have been a dismal financial failure for THEM.  And, for this reason…
  • Poseidon is attempting a clever scheme to do what so many crooked corporations do nowadays with their willing government partners: privatize its profits while socializing its risks.   (Memorize that phrase, if you haven’t!)  Specifically they want OC’s cities and water boards to sign “take or pay” agreements to commit to buying their water BEFORE using any of the less expensive water we already have – and to do that for thirty years!  This is why we predict the boondoggle adding $5 BILLION to our water bills over the next three decades.  And, remember, UNNECESSARILY!
  • Last of all, ON TOP of all that, Poseidon’s method of desalination will make a deathly mess out of our ocean with the deluges of heavy brine it will emit nonstop.  (This is in stark contrast to the techniques employed by a more responsible company that’s currently making a desal plant in Dana Point.)

All of Orange County needs to worry about skyrocketing water bills if this scheme goes through;  but we Huntington Beach residents should be especially concerned about the damage to our coastline.  I hope a whole mess of you show up, and only regret that I am stuck playing piano in San Diego!  Here’s a pretty well-balanced recent KOCE report, and I think our side comes out easily the most convincing.  (Hat-tip to the sourpuss Roy Reynolds at OC Politics)

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.