Huntington Beach Councilmember Joe Carchio lashed back at the Surf City Voice today for a commentary that criticized him, three other city council members and one HB planning commissioner for sitting at a table with Poseidon CEOs at a recent water summit that depicted environmentalists as villains and desalination as one solution to the water management crisis in the state of California.
The OC Water Summit, held May 14 at Disneyland’s Grand Californian hotel, which is currently in the middle of a major labor struggle with members of a hotel union, was organized by two Orange County water districts but was sponsored by various corporations, including Poseidon Resources Inc., which has a water privatization and desalination plant proposal currently before the Municipal Water District of Orange County and the city of Huntington Beach.
Carchio sent the SCV an e-mail or text message which stated, “John hard to believe you did learn something about the state of emergency our water system is in did you not listen to Jose and Laura explaning (sic) our situation shame on you for critizing (sic) officials for trying to learn more and solutions no matter where you sit Thanks Joe Carchio.”
Later, at a meeting at city hall, Carchio recounted a childhood experience as a metaphor for his meeting with Poseidon officials. “Just because I had lunch with Ted Williams of the Red Sox doesn’t mean that I am a Red Sox fan.”
Carchio, who clearly supported the proposed desalination plant as early as 2004 when he ran and lost for city council, stated that he is open minded about the desalination plant. “I have not decided how I’m going to vote yet,” he said, referring to the Environmental Impact Report and franchise agreement that will come to the city council for a vote.
Carchio said that he will meet with Merle Moshiri, president of Residents For Responsible Desalination, a Huntington Beach residents group that is opposed to the desalination plant, and said he wants to find out more about various other desalination plants as well, including one slated for Dana Point, which is considered much more environmentally friendly than the plant proposed by Poseidon.
Regardless of whether he ends up supporting Poseidon or not, Carchio said, the instability of the Delta levees creates the need for some type of desalination program in the future.