Interview: S. David Freeman

IN APRIL 2009, a man of big hats, big talk and big reputation, S. David Freeman, was appointed Deputy Mayor of the City of Los Angeles for Energy and Environment. The job vaulted the Tennessean and former General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power back into the forefront of water issues just as the State Legislature tried to pass a massive block of water bills. Last week, that legislation failed, and Freeman thinks that’s just as well for Los Angeles.

Interior appropriations chair questions legality of Cadiz pipeline right-of-way

US SENATOR Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Interior appropriations committee, has challenged Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to certify the legality of plans by Cadiz Inc to use a 42-mile-long stretch of a Mojave railway line for part of a groundwater project in San Bernardino County.

Meanwhile, lobbyists for the speculators behind the project, Cadiz Inc, have been courting Southland public utilities to sign on to the project, possibly including a lucrative groundwater contract with the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.

UPDATE: 8/31/2009, 4.02pm  — Cadiz reply after the jump

FURTHER UPDATE: 9/2/2009 — LADWP update after the jump

The governor’s spokesman speaks

UPDATED AUGUST 28TH, 11.59AM and again at 4.35pm: In response to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s insistence that he will not sign a water bill to solve California’s quagmire in the Bay-Delta “if it fails to include a water infrastructure bond that expands our water storage capacity – both surface storage and groundwater” this question was put to the governor’s press office on Tuesday August 25th:

Q: “Does he have any specific groundwater storage sites in mind? While underground storage has much to be said for it in preventing evaporative loss, one private groundwater ‘storage’ company is already advertising the governor’s endorsement. On June 5, the private water speculator Cadiz, Inc released an otherwise untraceable endorsement from him for a controversial groundwater project in the Mojave.  This also includes mining the native groundwater.

(See graphic for the stock market bump in Cadiz shares caused by the endorsement)

Cadiz to undergo new review

Publication yesterday by the Pacific Institute of the 2001 Department of Interior environmental impact report of the Cadiz groundwater project in the Mojave prompted the announcement by Cadiz Inc today that it would be seeking a new review, the scope of which is unclear.

The governor writes

Questioned on August 6 about his endorsement of the Cadiz, Inc groundwater project proposed for the Mojave Desert, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today replied.

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