Saturday, March 07, 2009

Staggeringly Inaccurate Los Angeles Times Headline - And The Story Isn't That Much Better!

There has been a battle for up in the Owen's Valley Inyo County over - what else? - water rights.

But instead of the local residents fighting the City of Los Angeles for taking their water - they are battling a power company that wants to pump more water out of the aquifer which would lower water levels throughout the area, damage local rural resident's wells, possibly drain a lake owned by a hunting club and likely damage the entire rural environment. So the local water committee supported the rural residents and the hunting club and recommended that Inyo County reject the plan.

And that is what the story very clearly says. But what does the headline say?


nyo County weighs rural residents' water needs against hunters' interests

The Planning Commission is expected to vote next week on whether to back a geothermal plant's request to pump water from an aquifer that also supplies a hunting club's scenic lake.

By Louis Sahagun

March 7, 2009

The Inyo County Planning Commission is expected to vote Wednesday on whether to recommend approval of a permit that would allow a geothermal plant to pump water from an aquifer that is the lifeblood of a 50-year-old hunting club, Little Lake Ranch, and its wetlands along U.S. 395.

Coso Operating Co. said it needs an additional 4,800 acre-feet of water a year to keep operating what it calls environmentally friendly steam-driven turbines already providing about 250,000 homes in the region about 200 miles north of Los Angeles with electricity.

Attorneys for the club of mostly Southern California hunters have argued that the pumping would irreversibly damage their scenic lake, local wells and the surrounding environment within a few years. The Inyo County Water Commission agreed and recently recommended that the county reject the proposal.

Yes, the water is being taken FROM the rural residents - as well as from the hunters. It is not the hunters versus the needs of the rural residents.

And then there is the error at the end of the 2nd paragraph - the claim that the plant services the 250,000 homes in the area. Well, between Inyo and Mono County combined - they don't even have 20,000 households - much less 250,000. The power is all sold to Southern California Edison and just added to the grid.

And not mentioned in the description of the 'environmentally-friendly' description of this project is the fact that this plant will ultimately destroy the existing aquifer - just as in just 20 years it already almost completely destroyed the aquifer it has been drawing water from. And the reason why this destruction of natural resources is being allowed?

Well - it's the state requirement that we generate 20% of our power from renewable resources - even though - in the long term - this type of energy generation is more damaging to the environment than coal.

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