Wednesday, May 3, 2017

In Wisconsin, is it time to say "Welcome Back Perrier?"

A couple of more thoughts as the Wisconsin groundwater giveaway bill speeds to right-wing GOP Gov. and special interest tool Scott Walker's signature:

*  The bill, SB 76, was goosed along despite known water conservation science and falling lake and stream levels near high-capacity well pumping like the Little Plover River, below - - 

 - - and there are nearly 13,000 such permitted wells already in Wisconsin that are allowed to withdraw at least 100,000 gallons daily, some much more - - by massive industry donations documented by the invaluable Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. Read the posting:
The bill was backed by a host of powerful special interest business and agriculture groups – see here – including the Dairy Business AssociationWisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.
The agriculture industry and more than a dozen other influential special interests represented by WMC, including business, manufacturing, real estate and construction, contributed $16.7 million between January 2011 and December 2016 to Republican legislators. These same interests also contributed another $33.2 million to Walker during the period. That’s almost $50 million combined.
In particular, large vegetable growers and other mega farms sharply increased their contributions to GOP legislative fundraising committees during the second half of 2016 after a similar bill failed to pass early last year. Large potato and vegetable growers doled out more than $136,000 in individual and corporate campaign contributions in 2016 to current legislators, including about $126,300 to Republicans and $10,250 to Democratic lawmakers.
*  The bill creates a new and valuable permanent property right similar to the way water ownership has been defined in Western states exclusively for existing Wisconsin high-capacity well permit holders - - a right which no doubt will be extended to future applicants - - by allowing high-capacity pumping permits to be retained forever even transferred to a new owner without any government approval.

So if Acme123 Potato Farms has one of these permits, or 10, for example, could it sell them to or rename itself Sweet Springs Bottled Waters the day after the bill becomes state law?

SB 76 only says the high-capacity permit cannot be transferred for a use that is "inconsistent" with the use for which the permit was originally issued. 

It doesn't say 'must be identical to...," and any newly-minted attorney who just passed the bar could drive a water-bottle semi right through that loophole.

You say potatoes, I say bottles, both are products which humans can purchase and consume, and there you have it in the name of every Wisconsin special interests' favorite talking point: 'certainty.'

And if need be, the law created when Walker signs SB 76 could be amended to open the floodgates with the same big-business financed GOP majorities that brought it about in the first place.

Remember that the Great Lakes Compact included the so-called 'Michigan exception' that allowed its home state bottled water businesses like Nestle's infamously obfuscatorily-named "Ice Mountain" brand to truck unlimited amounts of Great Lakes water out of the Great Lakes basin in containers no larger than 5.7 gallons.

Could Wisconsin's already-depleted Central Sands groundwater be headed out of state in plastic bottles?

Is it time to say, "Welcome Back Perrier and Friends," now that Nestle took over Perrier?

Don't bet against it because major corporations right now can have anything in Wisconsin they want in Walker's regulation-free 'chamber of commerce mentality' government.


Scott Pitta said...

Perrier is not welcome in Adams County.

The GOP war against water will hopefully sink their boat in the next election.

Scott Pitta said...

Perrier is not welcome in Adams County.

The GOP war against water will sink their boat in the next election.

Anonymous said...

Boycott them!