Saturday, January 30, 2016

Republican Rep. August admits helping Aqua America lobbyists Privatize our drinking water.

Some things seem pretty obvious, like this headline in the Journal Sentinel...

Concerns raised about bill allowing purchase of municipal water systems

Republicans brag business can do things more efficiently, but that's only because it fattens their corporate bottom line, it's not to save customers money. It also brings the corporate campaign contributions too.

I don't know about you, but privatizing our water supply sounds like an evil plot from an old James Bond movie. The question I have is where were the Democrats when this came down? JS:
A bill quickly moving through the Legislature that would ease restrictions on the private purchase of municipal water systems is being pushed by a Pennsylvania company whose aggressive growth strategy has resulted in nearly 200 acquisitions in the last decade. Aqua America Inc. operates water systems in eight states, including Illinois. The company is now eyeing Wisconsin — a potential market where virtually all water and sewer systems are owned and operated by municipalities.
Small government has always been an excuse to sell it off. Water is just another high demand commodity private industry can't wait to get their hands on. Their lobbyist have totally edged out the interests of you and me, the freeloading public who have gotten used to drinking it without much thought. Rep. Tyler August even admitted he was kowtowing to the interest of lobbyists...would I kid you?
Rep. Tyler August (R-Lake Geneva) said he introduced the bill after meeting with representatives of Aqua America and its lobbyist, Steve Foti, a former GOP legislator ... emphasized the decision remains in the hands of local elected officials on whether to keep or sell water operations. "It was a way to give communities an option, if they think someone else could do a better job," August said. "I really thought it was a simple change."
Heck, Aqua America has such a great record too....
The company has encountered consumer backlash in some of its markets over service, water quality and other issues. In December 2014, Fort Wayne, Ind., bought back its water system from Aqua America and paid a total of $67 million after residents complained about low water pressure and hard water that damaged appliances. Kimberly Joyce of Aqua America (said), “Just because we are an investor-owned company doesn't mean we are only focused on profits."
That quote is so insulting...and yet the bad news doesn't end there.

Big Government, One-Size-Fits-All Republicans out to Kill Off Local Control!!! That's not hyperbole. Meddling locals will be written out of having a final say, leaving the decision up to our "leaders." Sure we can vote them out, but only after the fact:
In addition to removing barriers to out-of-the-state ownership, the Wisconsin legislation would change the law on the use of referendums to approve or reject a deal. Critics say the changes will diminish the public's voice; supporters say it puts decision-making in the hands of local elected officials. The bill would make referendums optional. Citizens would have 60 days to get the signatures of 10% of the voters in the municipality to force a referendum. The League of Wisconsin Municipalities supports the bill because the organization prefers decision-making by elected officials — not by referendums.
This is sailing through the legislature folks, and there's not a thing anybody can do about it. There's more at Wisconsin Gazette and the Huffington Post

6 comments:

Lead poisoning in Flint said...

The average person needs to ask themselves a question.

What could possibly go wrong with adding the profit motive to public drinking water?

Anonymous said...

Where were the Democrats?

Well, one of them - drivin'-under-the-influence Josh Zepnick - is a cosponsor of this legislation. Maybe he's legislating under the influence, too. Someone needs to primary his a** yesterday.

nonquixote said...

Excuses from the man-child who just got caught with his hand in the cookie jar or should I rephrase that to both hands in the pie safe. Of course he was just looking out for his own (strike)constituents'(/strike) best interests.

Anonymous said...

Aqua America is the second largest publicly traded water privateer in this country. It works through the National Association of Water Companies, which a member of ALEC. WAWC last April started a national campaign, at truthfromthetap.com, promoting water privatization.

Aqua specializes in buying up municipal water systems, then jacking up prices. A good expose done in 2008 by Food & Water Watch showing Aqua's awful operations can be found at https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/sites/default/files/Aqua%20America%20Report%20Oct%202008.pdf , with an updated 2014 report at https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/sites/default/files/Aqua%20America%20Profile%20IB%20May%202014.pdf . Aqua has gone into
promoting the expansion of fracking, with water companies selling their water for the fracking industry operations, and see treatment of wastewater from fracking as a lucrative business opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Tyler August has yet to say how much money came into his possession from Aqua America upon hiS sponsorship of their legislation. Pay to Play continues to be alive and well in the Wisconsin legislature and once again the people of this state are its victims. The answer to all of this corruption is to drive the Republican legislators from office by using the most powerful tool known to man......"VOTE!"

Democurmudgeon said...

And when the public catches on, Republicans will again blame government for being bad and untrustworthy. And that plays right into their small government/small minded meme.