Home > Uncategorized > No Money For Clean Water To Protect Public Health, While Private Water Companies And Their Environmental Friends Seek Bailout For Lost Profits Under The Guise Of A “Relief Program”

No Money For Clean Water To Protect Public Health, While Private Water Companies And Their Environmental Friends Seek Bailout For Lost Profits Under The Guise Of A “Relief Program”

NJ environmental groups have their heads up their asses – again

So busy providing cover for Gov. Murphy they’re blind to corporate power

Perhaps folks missed a critical point that was buried in all the platitudes, but just yesterday, a broad coalition, which includes NJ environmental groups – Jersey Water Works – was given an Op-Ed platform at NJ Spotlight, see:

That Op-Ed opportunistically and cynically used COVID as a new found justification for their longstanding Foundation and corporate funded self serving project that seeks investments in clean water infrastructure.

That COVID opportunism alone is bad enough, but buried in all the platitudes, was a shameless attempt to obtain a publicly funded bailout of lost corporate revenues and profits.

Adding insult to injury, that shameless corporate bailout proposal was wrapped into a program purporting to benefit low income people:

The recommendations would first ensure that everyone can access water by extending the suspension of water shutoffs until 120 days after the end of the declared health emergency, waiving late fees, reconnecting service, and helping low-income water users pay arrears after the shutoff moratorium ends.

Note that JWW wants those “arrears” paid. They are not letting poor people off the hook.

And here’s the way those “arrears” would be paid, including a bailout of ALL the revenue and profits water companies lost during the COVID shut down, under the guise of a “relief program”:

The recommendations also proposed a relief program for water and wastewater utilities. State leaders could use a portion of available state and federal COVID-19 relief funds to offset water and wastewater utilities’ lost operating revenues.

Did you get that?

Let me repeat: private water companies, acting through a broad “collaborative” which includes NJ environmental groups, are using a public health crisis as justification for a “relief program” that would guarantee their revenues and profits would not be reduced as a result of the COVID emergency shutdown.

Did the environmental groups that are members of the Jersey Water Works coalition sign off on that corporate “relief program”?

This corporate bailout proposal – a recommendation to Gov. Murphy – seems to have generated no pushback.

I say this because just one day after this Op-Ed ran, NJ Spotlight today reports that Gov. Murphy has abandoned his commitment to provide $80 million for lead line replacement, see:

After they signed off on the JWW coalition’s corporate bailout request, NJ Future had no problem with this:

“The short-term outlooks pretty bleak,’’ conceded Gary Brune, policy manager at New Jersey Future, an organization that has been in the forefront of having the state better manage its issues with water infrastructure. “Obviously, the lead proposals haven’t gone anywhere.’’

After they signed off on the JWW coalition’s corporate bailout request, Environment NJ had no problem with this:

“The budget crunch is painful and it’s going to hurt everybody,’’ said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. “Everything has changed. It does feel like lead isn’t on anyone’s radar screen.’’

Clean Water Action is a member of the JWW collaborative. Their consultant Dave Pringle had no problem with this:

“It’s really a tough situation,’’ said Dave Pringle, a consultant for Clean Water Action. “We clearly don’t have the money for the things that need to be funded.’’

WTF are these people thinking?

They make no demands for progressive ways to finance budget deficits caused by the COVID emergency – like special one time tax increases on the wealthy and corporations – or progressive ways to allocate any necessary austerity measures – like cuts to police and prisons and corporate subsidies – yet they swallow, with no resistance, cuts to public health programs targeted at poor and black people while they endorse a private water corporation bailout under the guise of a “relief program”.

What world do they live in?

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