Bill Borden Responds on Poseidon ‘Myths’

Dear John,

Thank you for your question in regard to a recent column.

You are asking me to prove that there  are no public funds being used for the Poseidon project. You are a pretty smart guy and must know that it is philosophically impossible to prove a negative. If you are making the claim that public funds are being used, then it is you who should do the proving.

I will advise that no municipal bonds are being used and that the project is not being subsidised. If you are able to prove that public funds are being used, your other readers and I would be very interested in the details.

One area frequently misconstrued as public funding is the subsity given as an incentive to MWD, not Poseidon.

Further, Poseidon in Carlsbad issued tax free bonds, but as you know these are not public funds.

You indicate that you will have other questions regarding this column. While I always respond to reader questions, I have no thirst for an ongoing dialogue on this column or any other column. I write 52 a year and can’t keep dwelling on one over another.

Thank you again for reading my column and taking the time to write.


Bill Borden

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4 thoughts on “Bill Borden Responds on Poseidon ‘Myths’”

  1. Bill,

    For a Republican, your approval of public “incentive” monies and tax exempt bonds is almost miraculous. $350,000,000 of public MWD money to make a formerally private endeavor competitive with a public utility doesn’t make make sense. Why would We, the public, help finance a private company that will, in turn, cause our water rates to go up? The gall of Poseidon to then turn to the Calif. IBank to help them float tax exempt bonds for another 1/2 billion dollars boggles the mind. Isn’t this the kind of chicanery that got us nationally & globally into the fix the economy is in right now. Poseidon’s ONLY collateral is the $350,000,000 in water subsidies that it got from MWD. They have NO record of being able to build an ocean desalination plant that operates. Are we simply taking their word? They have no money. CitiBank spun them off as a toxic asset. Sure, they do nice lunching, give to political campaigns, do a great power point and hire expensive attorneys (a flock of them). But at the end of the day, what’s in it for us? the ol “reliable source of water” gig? We’re all built on the same fault line. They’ll go under just like the rest of us, besides, Huntington Beach doesn’t need their water. South Orange County does. Let them build it there.

  2. Bonds = Debt. Someone is gonna pay just like how toll roads go belly up at the tax payer’s expense, the same thing will happen here. Their bonds aren’t rated very high by the way. Probably because their past projects have had issues with contractors going out of business. The real costs of Desal seem to be misstated. At $2,000 an acre foot it’s just not gonna work out.

    Desal will make Orange County look like Los Angeles. Do we want dirtier air? More traffic? More toll roads? More urbanization? I don’t. That’s why I live in Orange County.

  3. Poseidon Resources building history at Tampa Bay: 2 Contractors hired went Bankrupt. Tampa Bay had to sell water bonds and assume the project. Plant was 5 months behind schedule and delivered less water at higher costs. Ask the SDWCWA what is the true costs of manufactured water. $3,000.00 per acre feet compared to $850.00 per acre feet from present sources. Who makes up the difference. The taxpayers.
    Using Poseidon Resources figures, they initially claimed the price tag was to be $275 Million to build Carlsbad.. Now at $500M going to $700M Why the creative accounting. Has anyone seen a Financial Statement on Poseidon Resources Where is the due diligence on a company that will take the money and swims out into the ocean leaving the taxpayers to make up the difference. Remember, Poseidon Resources has never built a Water Desalination plant. Ask your HB politicians where are the Performance Bond and the Completion Bond from Poseidon Resources. You expect us to ask for Bonding to protect the taxpayers.
    Milt Dardis
    Ethics: We have no Stinking Ethics

  4. Reading Bill Borden’s view of the world as it is played out in Huntington Beach’s media provides us with an insight into the challenges that come with age. After reading his recent contribution to the Register on the topic of desalination I was left with the opinion that it is time for Bill to reflect more on the toll that humans suffer as the twilight years cast shadows over their life.
    Setting up bogus straw men, e.g. “they reject a sensible plan without offering one of their own”, and then issuing a trite rejection does not contribute anything to the complex issues we face as we debate solutions to the world’s water crisis. Sadly it makes a much stronger comment about the difficulties we must face as the twilight years envelop us.

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