MULTINATIONAL WATER COMPANY SEEKS STATE LEGISLATION TO DEFEAT
LOCAL CONTROL EFFORTS
AB 1397 Would Rescind Eminent Domain Powers
of Municipal Water Districts
California American Water Co., a subsidiary of the German multinational
RWE, has helped introduce AB 1397 (Arambula) into the California
legislature. The proposed legislation would drastically change
the rules regarding eminent domain as it applies to private water
companies. Its purpose is to protect Cal Am and other private
water companies from communities seeking public ownership of their
Felton, California is one such community. Its water works were
recently purchased by Cal Am/RWE. Feltons residents, dismayed
by Cal Am/RWEs poor service and spiking rate increases,
have organized a grassroots campaign to take over its water works.
The campaign is on the verge of success, as residents will be
voting on a bond measure this summer to provide the funds for
purchasing the system from Cal Am/RWE.
AB 1397, if enacted, would defeat efforts such as those in Felton.
Public purchases of private water companies can only occur if
the public authorities have the power to exercise eminent domain.
Current law allows eminent domain to be used if it is shown to
be the public interest. Under AB 1397, the public essentially
loses this power.
Assemblymember Arambulas office, facing an outcry of protest,
has promised to amend AB 1397. However, an amendment will not
change the basic premise of the bill that Cal Am/RWE and
other private water companies deserve at least some protection
from eminent domain. Current law already provides adequate protection
to multinational water companies. The State Legislature should
be supporting community campaigns against foreign takeovers of
local water resources.
Private multinationals view water as the 21 Centurys "blue
gold", a source of huge profits as water resources become
scarce. Join the world wide resistance to water privatization.
Help defeat Cal Am/RWEs blatant special legislation. Thanks
to all who wrote letters to Assemblymember Arambula. Now let the
Judicial Committee of the California Assembly know you oppose
AB 1397 and any change to current eminent domain law. Urge the
committee to reject this ill-advised bill.
Addresses and Talking Points for Letter in Opposition:
For citizens and organizations residing in a district represented
by an Assemblymember who sits on the Judiciary Committee:
Address and send letter to your Assemblyperson, cc. Dave Jones,
Chair, Judiciary Committee. For others: Address and send letter
District 9 Dave Jones (Dem.) CHAIR
Capitol Office: State Capitol, Room 3126; Sacramento 94249-0009.
Phone (916) 319-2009. Fax (916) 319-2109.
District 7 Noreen Evans (Dem).
Cities: Vallejo, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Calistoga, Roseland,
District Office: 50 D Street, Suite 301, Santa rose, CA 9540.
Phone: (707) 546-4500 Fax: (707) 546-9031.
her from this link.
District 66 Ray Haynes (Rep.)
Cities: Riverside, Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore
Capitol Office: State Capitol Room 4158; Sacramento, CA 94249-0066.
Phone: (916) 319-2066 Fax: (916) 319-2166
District 67 Tom Harman (Rep.)
Cities: Huntington Beach, Anaheim, Cypress, Westminster, Seal
Beach, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Stanton.
Capitol Office: P.O. Box 942849 Sacramento, CA 94249-0067. Phone:
(916) 319-2067 Fax: (916) 319-2167
District 40 John Laird (Dem)
Cities: Santa Cruz, Monterey, Scotts Valley, Aptos, Morgan Hill,
Capitol Office: State Capitol, Room 5160, Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 319-2027
Fax: (916) 319-2127
District 4 Tim Leslie (Rep.)
Cities: Roseville, Rocklin, South Lake Tahoe, Auburn, Placerville,
Lincoln, Markleeville, Rio Linda, Georgetown, Antelope, Loomis.
Capitol Office: State Capitol Room 4164; Sacramento, CA 94249-0004.
Phone: (916) 319-2004 Fax: (916) 319-2104
District 40 Lloyd E. Levine (Dem.)
Cities: Los Angeles, including Van Nuys, Northridge, Canoga Park,
Capitol Office: State Capitol Room 5136 Sacramento, CA 94249-0040.
Phone: (916) 319-2040 Fax: (916) 319-2141
District 22 Sally J. Lieber (Dem)
Cities: San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Cupertino.
Capitol Office: State Capitol Room 3091; P.O. Box 942849 Sacramento,
CA 94249-0022 Phone: (916) 319-2022 Fax: (916) 319-2122
District 39 Cindy Montanez (Dem)
Cities: (San Fernando Valley, between I-405 and I-210) parts of
Los Angeles, San Fernando, Panorama City, and Pacoima. (Two freeways,
I-405 and I-210, bracket this San Fernando Valley district.)
Capitol Office: State Capitol, Room 3013; P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento,
CA 94249-0039. Phone: (916) 319-2039. Fax: (916) 319-2139.