We Respond to Register Letters!

On Dec. 17, the Register published a letter from Eugene F. Page III who lamented that environmental activism “has gone way beyond protecting the environment.” As proof, he cited opposition to desalination plants and concluded the attitude of environmentalists is “that if man builds it, it must be bad.” We're going to assume Page Three was referring to the Poseidon Saltwater Desalination Project in Huntington Beach which, if approved, would have become the nation's largest desalination plant and the first of 15 proposed for California. But on Dec. 16, the HB City Council voted down the Poseidon project, in part because of environmental concerns. Environmentalists weren't alone in their opposition to the plant. State officials, too, worried that bacteria and brine levels would significantly increase in Huntington's already polluted waters. The power-hungry plant's daily energy consumption would be enough to light 35,000 homes, or one Jackson family ranch. In addition, it would produce water at a Perrier-like premium—at $800 per acre-foot, more than three times the price of water siphoned from local reservoirs or poached from other regions—How you like us now, Frisco!?And there's no guarantee the thing would work: Poseidon's only other plant, in Tampa Bay, went bankrupt, plagued by tiny mussels that consistently clogged its intake screens. So, Page Tres, not everything built by man is bad, just those things built on bad science or in Riverside.

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