For Immediate Release
Wednesday, March 7, 2022
Stop Poseidon Coalition Members Azul, Surfrider Foundation, Sunrise Movement OC and California Coastal Protection Network Join Tribal and Community Groups to Press California Coastal Commission on Brookfield-Poseidon Transparency Issues
The 12 groups cited transparency concerns against Brookfield-Poseidon about the foreign entity’s postponement of its March scheduled permitting hearing
LOS ANGELES, CA (March 7, 2022) – The groups, including Azul, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, Oak View ComUNIDAD, Sunrise Movement OC, Sierra Club, Orange County Environmental Justice, Residents for Responsible Desalination, Café Coop, Society of Native Nations, Idle No More SoCal, Surfrider Foundation, and California Coastal Protection Network, wrote to California Coastal Commission executive director Jack Ainsworth on March 4th to detail concerns related to the postponement of the Commission’s previously scheduled March 17 permitting hearing on the proposed Brookfield-Poseidon Huntington Beach Desalination Plant.
In the letter, the groups expressed that the “postponement must not further expand the current unfair advantage Brookfield-Poseidon has over communities of concern and the general public who would be negatively impacted by this project. It is in the public’s interest to fully disclose the records of Brookfield-Poseidon’s lobbying activities during this delay period.”
The groups also reminded the Commission that its duty, via its environmental justice policy, includes integrating “principles of environmental justice, equality, and social equity into all aspects of the [its] program and operations, and to ensure public confidence in the Commission’s mission, process, and commitment to coastal equity.” Specific concerns include active lobbying efforts by the $650 billion-dollar foreign entity and its subsidiaries.
They also requested the Commission ensure that Brookfield-Poseidon submits records used to sway legislators and regulators, and a detailed log of its meetings. By doing so, they can be entered into the public record before the eventual hearing and the public has time to review them adequately.
The letter and transparency concerns listed can be found here.
Related: See the Stop Poseidon Coalition’s February 23 statement on Brookfield-Poseidon’s Postponement of California Coastal Commission Permit Hearing here.
See the Stop Poseidon’s Coalition statement calling foul on corporate polluter Brookfield-Poseidon’s greenwashing, announcement of an MOU with California Power Entity here.
Additional background: The proposed Brookfield-Poseidon plant would be susceptible to sea-level rise and flooding, as the coalition unveiled on February 11th in a science-based virtual simulation, available here. It depicts the grave dangers of permitting the Brookfield-Poseidon Huntington Beach Desalination Plant as extreme weather and the climate crisis will affect the plant’s proposed location and city-at-large within the next 20 to 50 years.
The film and accompanying simulations, designed utilizing existing scientific data and modeling, were developed by independent scientists at Virtual Planet, known for its immersive solutions to communicate climate change through virtual reality to local governments and the public. The tale of San Diego County’s excessively high-water rates at the hands of Poseidon Water should be avoided in Orange County.
Another critical step for Brookfield-Poseidon to obtain the resources for the unnecessary plant lies in its ability to secure public bonds from the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee (CDLAC). The private entity is trying to secure $1.1B in tax-exempt bonds to fund the project and other public subsidies. These CDLAC bonds come from a pool of dollars explicitly intended for affordable housing.
In September 2021, two of the coalition members – the California Coastkeeper Alliance and Orange County Coastkeeper – filed a lawsuit against the Santa Ana Regional Water Board for failing to adhere to the state’s Ocean Desalination Policy requirements when it authorized the construction of the Huntington Beach Desalination Plant by Brookfield’s Poseidon Resources LLC in April.