Garamendi shifts with the political tides

It's past time for Orange County to start looking at other water resources.

Red County; The Ancient Mariner

Few would argue that we’re in a water crisis.  Whether that crisis is natural or man-made is debatable, but as we enter our fourth year of a drought and our imported water availability continues to drop, its past time for Orange County to start looking at other water resources.

Seawater desalination is a new water source whose time has come.  It’s technologically feasible, its cost-competitive and – despite what Lt. Governor John Garamendi says – it IS environmentally sensitive.  You may have read the article in the Orange County Register on Wednesday that Garamendi wrote a letter opposing the seawater desalination facility in Huntington Beach.  This is an extremely odd stance for him to take since he APPROVED the Carlsbad desalination plant which is virtually the same facility, proposed by the same applicant, using the same process to purify the same amount of water as the one he now opposes in Huntington Beach.  So what changed?  Nothing but the politics.

Last year when he approved the 50 million gallon per day desalination facility in Carlsbad he wasn’t running for Congress.  This year he decided to run for a seat in Washington and his environmental credentials were being challenged by extremists on the left, so to placate environmental special interests, he said he opposed the Huntington Beach project.  This is a bigger flip-flop than John Kerry ever attempted.  Garamendi voted to support desalination before he opposed it.

Grasping at straws to justify his tortured logic, Garamendi said that he opposed the Huntington Beach project because he thought wastewater recycling should be considered first.  The irony is that here in Orange County, we’ve been drinking purified wastewater for months (The Groundwater Replenishment System has been online since February of 2008) while San Diego County where he approved the Carlsbad desalination project has no potable wastewater treatment program.

This nutty logic worked well enough to keep the enviro-extremists at bay long enough for him to win his primary race on September 1st and considering the voting propensity of the Bay, as the Democrat he’ll coast into Congress.

What about Garamendi’s claim that desalination would “kill fish?”  We’ll dissect that claim in Part II… Stay tuned

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