Posted on | October 9, 2009 | No Comments
ONE month ago, the Sacramento Bee, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Contra Costa Times, Capitol Weekly, Aquafornia, this website and others followed the California legislature down to the last weary minutes of regular session (intro here, news roll here, conclusion here). For the first time in a quarter of a century, there was a slim chance that a package of water bills aimed at securing the future of safe water supplies from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta might pass.
They didn’t. Arnold Schwarzenegger threatened legislature that unless Delta bills contained $5bn worth of infrastructure goodies favored by the governor, he would veto them. No water legislation left the assembly and senate.
In a reprise of that failure, Schwarzenegger has demanded water bills to his desk by the end of business today or threatened to veto more than 700 other unrelated bills actually passed by the legislature.
One month ago, we watched. Today, with sympathy to the hostage legislation, my plan is to do much needed clean up in the garden. Aquafornia has today’s countdown plus a heartening item from On the public record assuring us that “the machinery for what the big water bills would do is already churning.”
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times editorial pages carry an op-ed urging Mayor Villaraigosa to stop playing politics with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and to appoint someone who actually knows how to run a utility.
Richard Nemec writes:
What’s needed is a leader with professional credentials whom the vast majority of dedicated city utility workers will follow, and someone who can go toe to toe with big-name state energy officials and private-sector utility CEOs. There are former senior managers from the DWP running smaller municipal utilities in Southern California who would be viable candidates. There are former chief executives from private-sector utilities that might be lured out of retirement to take the DWP through its latest transition. That transition is simple: Move out of the recession, address global climate change, shrink reliance on coal-fired generation and become a champion for aggressive energy efficiency and renewable-based generation, and do it without a lot of rate increases. All this should be bipartisan work that gets across-the-board support at City Hall.
Needed… leader… professional credentials…viable candidates … transition is simple … move out of the recession … address global climate change… … do it without a lot of rate increases?
UPDATE: A friend with a wicked sense of humor informs me that another pet project favored by the Governor of California and Mayor of Los Angeles, the Cadiz groundwater mining scheme for the Mojave desert, is up 4.84 on the stock market. A new post on the subject would require a new category: “a good drought.”
Thanks to food editor Amy Scattergood at LA Weekly for the item about the governor’s breakfast.
This post has been updated and re-titled to reflect new art featuring the governor’s breakfast.