[documentary] The Water Front: [Nov. 2009 address] [Dec. 2010 address]








The Water Front: Water Privatization and Bottled Water

Posted in


What if you lived by the largest body of fresh water in the world but could no longer afford to use it? - The Water Front, a documentary film by Liz Miller, is the story of one communitys determined resistance to water privatization.

Highland Park, Michigan, was once the center of the early 20th centurys booming automobile industry the location of the first assembly line implemented by the Ford Motor Company, enabling mass production. Now, the post-industrial city is in financial crisis and the state of Michigan has appointed an Emergency Financial Manager, with the same power as an elected mayor, to sort it out. Seeing the municipal water plant as a potential source of revenue, the manager raises the water rates to impossible levels, with some residents receiving water bills as high as $10,000. If they are unable to pay, the water is shut off. Highland Parks residents, who are mostly poor or low-income and people of colour, have organized a campaign to prevent the water plant from impending privatization, and to assert water, an essential life resource, as a human right.

The fight for water in Highland Park mirrors water justice struggles around the world. As activist and resident Marian Kramer notes in the film, The fight in Highland Park is the fight in . . . Detroit, in Flint, in Johannesburg, South Africa, in China - in all the places when it comes to the question of water - it becomes a global problem.

The Water Front also touches upon the growing bottled water industry and its critical connection with water privatization including that of municipal water systems, like the water plant in Highland Park. The marketing of bottled water, which the industry claims is a healthier, purer, and more convenient product, has lead to a distrust of public tap water systems. This is despite the fact that tap water is subject to more stringent regulations, is far cheaper, more widely available and environmentally sustainable, particularly when considering the pollution caused by plastic bottles and the manufacturing, transportation and disposal of bottled water. In addition, the shift towards bottled water helps deflect from the need to call for increased funding and prioritization of safe public water services, leaving the door open for neglectful governments keen on transferring public service costs over to the private sector. Therefore, bottled water sets the stage for water privatization - a trend that communities, students, labour and environmental groups, continue to resist!


NEW! The Corporate Stranglehold over the United Nations

Posted October 19th, 2009 by richard

A new REPORT from the Polaris Institute outlines how water multinationals play an increasing role in controlling the United Nations' agenda on water issues.

The report deals with the corporate stranglehold inside the UN by water services companies, the food and beverage industry, plus numerous other large water using multinational corporations and their business associations.

Read the full report HERE
[see polaris.pdf]







News Item: : A Small Victory: Water Privatization scheme shot down in Highland Park
(Category: News)
Posted by ktaylor
Tuesday May 25 2004 - 07:12:42

Yesterday, working people across southeastern Michigan won a small but significant victory in the fight against corporate control. By a vote of 4-1, the Highland Park City Council voted down a plan to turn over control of its water system to privatizers.

The fight against water privatization has been going on for well over a year. It began when the Highland Park Water and Sewage Department, which is part of the Detroit Water and Sewage system, began a series of mass shutoffs of residential water service, while leaving corporate customers untouched (even though the corporations account for more than three-fourths of the overdue money).

The shutoffs began about the same time that Highland Park, facing severe economic crisis, was put into a form of receivership, and then-Governor Engler appointed an "Emergency Financial Manager" for municipal services. This overseer was installed in order to make all sorts of cuts in municipal services, as a means to "put Highland Park back on its feet".

The crown jewel in the plan of this unelected "Manager", Ramona Henderson-Pearson, was to turn over control of the water system to a private management firm, the
Rothchild-Wright Group LLC. It was this proposal that was debated and ultimately rejected at last night's meeting.

Residents of Highland Park united with anti-privatization activists from Detroit and across the state to oppose the plan. They packed two public hearings held by the City Council, the first on May 17 and the second yesterday, to demonstrate their opposition to turning over their water to a private firm.

The stale formality that usually accompany such meetings went out the window within minutes of the Highland Park City Council President Pro Tempore Ameenah Omar banging the gavel. Residents refused to hold in their anger and disgust with what many regarded as a "dog and pony show" by the City Council members and the representatives of RWG.

Every time that the representative of RWG -- Mr. Wright himself! -- evaded an answer, residents spoke up and demanded that he stop "shucking and jiving" and directly answer the question. This conscious evasion by Wright took place whether the questions came from the public or from the members of the Council.

Members of the Detroit Socialist Party and Socialist Party of Michigan attended both public hearings at the request of members of the Highland Park Human Rights Coalition, the main community organization that sought to stop the privatization scheme.

The DSP and SPMI comrades, joined at the first meeting by Mary-Alice Herbert, Socialist candidate for vice president, talked with Highland Park residents about the situation they are facing, with an eye toward working with them to find a real solution that works for the working people of the city.

While those of us who attended the meeting may not have realized it at first, it became obvious at the meeting yesterday that our presence at these meetings had an impact. Wright, in attempting to evade yet another question from a Highland Park resident about the need to turn over the water system to a private company, launched into an attack on the Socialist Party.

Calling us "streetcorner revolutionaries", Wright sought to wrap himself in the colors of "America" and saw himself as representing "reality". In reply, SPMI Chair Matt Erard stepped up to the speaker's podium and explained that, for Socialists, the reality is that working people built this country and, in turn, that Highland Park, like the rest of the U.S., should work for working people.

In closing his brief comments, Erard also made it clear that, in the Socialists' view, water is a right, not a commodity, and pointedly asked Wright what kind of "reality" he lives in and seeks to bring to Highland Park. Our comrade's comments draw loud applause from the people attending the meeting and stunned silence from Wright.

As the meeting drew to a close, Councilwoman Omar took the opportunity to make a statement. She stated that when she came into the meeting, she was "totally prepared" to vote for the privatization scheme. However, because of the fact that Wright was unable to make his case before the citizens of Highland Park (and, though it went unsaid, his inability to deal with the "streetcorner revolutionaries"), she had decided to "vehemently oppose" the plan.

As the formal vote tally rejecting the plan was read, Highland Park residents broke into celebration, as Wright and his sole support on the City Council, Frank Ross, quietly slipped out the back door.

Residents and anti-privatization activists continued their celebration outside of the Municipal Building, congratulating each other and pledging to continue the fight. This last part is most important; speaking to reporters after the vote, Wright stated he and the privatizers "will not take 'No' for an answer", and will keep on trying to take over Highland Park's water.

Even though Wright (and his pet Councilman Ross) would like to credit "the Socialists" and "streetcorner revolutionaries" for their defeat, all credit is due to the members and activists of the Highland Park Human Rights Coalition and, through them, the working people of Highland Park. They were the ones who kept on with the difficult work of organizing against the corporate colossus, and they deserve all the praise for keeping the city's water system out of the hands of the corporate privatizers.

The struggle continues, and we in the SPMI could not be prouder of our allies in this struggle.







Major Privatizers




Who are the major water companies?

American International Group






RWE-Thames Water/American Water Works




Suez-Ondeo/United Water


Veolia Environnement



American International Group

Insurance Company Acquires Privately Owned Water Utility

New York City-based American International Group (AIG) is one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world, with revenues of $100 billion in 2004 alone. On May 18, 2005 the company announced that it will control through purchase the water and wastewater services of small communities throughout 17 states.

The company has been plagued with allegations of widespread scandals and fraud, including:

AIG has contributed over $3 million to federal election campaigns since 2001, with 60% of that total going to Republicans.

In recent years, AIGlike other large financial firmshas been purchasing energy assets, inexpensively, from energy companies in financial distress. In just the last couple of years, AIG has acquired ownership stakes in 2,535 megawatts (MW) of power plants in the United States, and 100% ownership of the Southern Star Central natural gas pipeline, which runs from Texas to Wyoming.

In May 2005, AIG announced the purchase of a water utility, Utilities, Inc., whose customer base is primarily spread throughout small rural and suburban communities in 17 states. Though small by comparison to water industry giants such as Veolia, United Water, American Water or Aqua America, Utilities, Inc. claims it is the largest privately held water utility in the country. With AIGs acquisition, water and wastewater service in the small communities served by Utilities, Inc. will no longer be owned by a privately held company but by a publicly traded corporation under market performance pressures.

Utilities, Inc. has roughly 300,000 customers:

Below are the details of AIGs current energy assets.


1. Dartmouth, Massachusetts 68 MW natural gas power plant. AIG owns 100%.

2. Front Range, a 480 MW natural gas plant outside Colorado Springs, Colorado. Its a 50/50 venture with AIG and Colorado Springs Utilities.

3. Vandolah, a 680 MW natural gas power plant located in Hardee County, Florida. AIG is the sole owner.

4. MassPower 258 MW natural gas power plant in Springfield, Massachusetts. AIG owns 33.7%, John Hancock Insurance owns 17.5%, ArcLight (an affiliate of John Hancock) owns 17.5%, Goldman Sachs owns 14.7%, United States Power Fund owns 12.5% and El Paso Corp. owns 4.1%.

5. Cambria 98 MW coal power plant in Edensburg, Pennsylvania. AIG is the sole owner.

6. Gilberton 82 MW coal power plant in Frackville, Pennsylvania. AIG owns 25%, Goldman Sachs owns 19.6%, , FPL owns 5.4% and RI-CORP owns 50%.

7.    Panther Creek 83 MW coal power plant in Carbon County, Pennsylvania, a joint venture of Goldman Sachs and AIG.

8. Mt. Poso 58 MW coal power plant in Bakersfield, California. AIG owns 16%.

9. ACE 102 MW coal power plant in Trona, California. AIG owns 13%.

10. Orlando, Florida 114.5 MW natural gas power plant. A joint venture between AIG and ArcLight.

11. Colver, Pennsylvania 106 MW power plant. AIG owns 27.5%.

12. Bonneville 85 MW power plant in Las Vegas. AIG owns half.

13. Orange 104 MW natural gas power plant in Bartow, Florida. The power plant is a 50/50 partnership between AIG and the Wall Street investment bank Bear Sterns.

14. Mulberry 120 MW natural gas power plant in Bartow, Florida. AIG owns 46.75%, General Electric owns 7.5% and Bear Stearns owns 45.75%.

15. AIG owns 22.4% of SEMASS, a 78 MW waste-to-energy plant in Rochester, Massachusetts. DLJ Merchant Banking Partners is the other stakeholder.

16. AIG owns 24.9% of American Ref-Fuel Company of Southeastern Connecticut, which operates an 18 MW waste-to-energy power facility in Preston, Connecticut. DLJ Merchant Banking Partners is the other stakeholder.






Bechtel Group Inc., one of the lead contractors in the reconstruction of Iraq, has a 100-year history of capitalizing on environmentally unsustainable technologies and reaping immense profits at the expense of societies and the environment. Bechtel is involved in troubling operations in the water, nuclear, energy and public works sector. Their track record documents a trail of environmental destruction, disregard for human rights and financial mismanagement of projects that have affected communities all over the world. The several multimillion-dollar contracts awarded by the U.S. government to reconstruct devastated Iraq covers key elements of that countrys infrastructure, including electrical grids, water and wastewater systems. These contracts do not bode well for the people of Iraq.

Read the reports:
Corporate profile: Bechtel: Profiting from Destruction. Why the Corporate Invasion of Iraq Must be Stopped pdf document [582 KB]

[see bechtel.pdf]

Report: Bechtel's Dry Run - Iraqis suffer water crisispdf document [84 KB]

[see bechtel2.pdf]

In the News:

December 2: Lawmakers grill Big Dig managers on problems with leaks
October 14: A Nice Little War to Fill the Coffers
May 7: Rumsfeld's Old Flame
May 5: Inside Bechtel's spin machine: How the controversial construction giant manipulates media
April 17: Bechtel nowhere near done. Reconstruction in Iraq going slowly -- airports patched up, but water, power way behind

August 23: Private droughts: The poor are not profitable, and foreign firms are pulling the plug
April 28: The Spin Doctor Is In: Examining Corporate PR at Bechtel
May 12: Bechtel And Blood For Water: War As An Excuse For Enlarging Corporate Rule
April 24: Bechtel's Friends in High Places
April 18: Bechtel Has Ties in Washington, and to Iraq
March 25: Bechtel to get richer in post-war Iraq






Biwater, a British water corporation, was created in 1989 to cash in on Margaret Thatcher's controversial privatization of the United Kingdom's regional water authorities. The privatization plan - which led to extreme rate increases, massive cut-offs, and a public health crisis, while Biwater and other privateers reaped profit margins four to five times more than the industry norm - created corporate fiefdoms.  These private monopolies were guaranteed the ability to raise rates without recourse, and from the huge government subsidies they received, to gain large profits despite poor performance. Since then, Biwater has applied the same profits-first, service-maybe philosophy to the water sectors in 27 other countries around the world, where sweetheart deals with governments and international lending institutions limited the corporation's liability.

In Dar es Salaam, Biwater felt no remorse in saddling the Tanzanian people with $145 million of debt, while investing only $6.5 million in standpipes and meters, two controversial technologies used to collect money. Four years into a 30-year concession contract in Nelspruit, South Africa, Biwater has been unable to raise sufficient capital (which was the original rational for privatization), has tripled rates and now refuses to expand access because they cannot guarantee cost-recovery and corporate profits. To cover up its failings, Biwater often resorts to threatening those who publish accounts critical of its operations with legal proceedings. There is a Biwater pattern: Write contracts to which they have no intention of complying. Saddle poor governments with infrastructure investment in order to limit their own risk. Gorge profits by raising rates within their monopoly and not reinvesting them into infrastructure. Threaten critics and squelch dissent. If it still does not result in corporate profits, take their money and run.

Biwater cooperates in many countries with the Dutch NUON Corporation through the joint venture company named Cascal.

Read the report:
Corporate Profile: Biwater plc pdf document [155 KB]

In the News:

June 14: City Water directors deported in contract wrangle
May 25: Flagship water privatisation fails in Tanzania
May 23: Tanzania water privatisation plan hits snag
May 17:  Government terminates firm's water contract
May 14: Govt dumps City Water

August 23: Private droughts: The poor are not profitable, and foreign firms are pulling the plug







RWE-Thames Water/American Water Works


See our updated and expanded profile of RWE-Thames that has just been released!

Click here to view this PDF document.

Link to Cal-Am/RWE Water Watch

Thames Water has topped lists of worst polluters in England and Wales for two of the past three years. In case after case, regulators and magistrates found that Thames was aware of conditions that led to raw sewage discharges and could have easily prevented the pollution. But putting public health and the environment at risk, and a willingness to plead guilty and pay the occasional fine, appears to be integrated into Thames corporate culture, and perhaps its business strategy.

Thames pollution-friendly business model is being exported to the rest of the world as part of the increasing concentration and consolidation of transnational corporations pushing to privatize the worlds water.

Thames Water was fully acquired by the German energy conglomerate RWE AG in January 2003. RWE is one of the worlds largest energy giants with more than 640 subsidiaries worldwide and annual revenues of more than $50 billion. RWE is in turn acquiring American Water Works through Thames Waterthe largest publicly held U.S.-based water utility with 16 million customers in 29 states and three Canadian provinces. Thames is the operational manager of RWEs international water business, including the management of the U.S. properties owned by American Water Works. Thames/RWE is gaining yet more control of U.S. water and wastewater services by entering into an agreement with Operations Management International (OMI), a Denver (US)-based firm. The corporate web is spun.

Read the report:
Corporate Profile: RWE-ThamesWater/American Water Works pdf document [57 KB]

In the News:
July 18: Paying for Thames Water's failings 
July 14: Kentucky American sues to block vote 
July 14: Plugging water leaks could supply half a million new homes 
June 13: RWE doesn't have city's interests at heart 
June 8: Legal hassling - Don't force citizens to sue city for water vote
May 22: Getting to know RWE - Local utility a cog in hardball game
April 29: American Water sub sues Kentucky for Rate Increase
April 26: Thames Water fined 60,000 for polluting Oxfordshire brook
February 18: Thames Water caught short - fined 50,000 
February 8: Undetected leak led to Stanford Brook pollution 
January 20: Thames Water fined for polluting brook 

December 4: Thames Water fined for polluting Hendon brook 
October 18: Thames Water fined for fish kill 
October 1: Thames Water fined for sewage in stream 
August 4: Raw sewage floods London's River Thames
July 30: Strategy calls for new offerings at American Water

November 4: Jakarta unit drains Thames cash
August 23: Private droughts: The poor are not profitable, and foreign firms are pulling the plug
July 30: Repeat offenders take the shine off pollution reductions
April 29: Thames Water reported for 'misappropriation'
March 24: Thames Water ready to soak Londoners
February 27: Competition authority to keep tabs on E.ON and RWE  
February 7: German Giant Taking Over American Water Supply

December 19: Thames defender not objective or qualified
December 8: RWE: German conglomerate, determined to explode onto the U.S. water scene
August 12: Conglomerates see gold in water
August 11: Top bosses 'hijacking' eco-summit 
August 6: Lobby groups query Thames Water pay 
January 17: RWE Announces the Acqusition of American Water Works

October 1: Thames Water top UK polluter, says govt body

February 22: Water firm fined for flooding homes with sewage








SAUR was established in 1933 and became a subsidiary of the Bouygues Group in 1984. The company provides water to almost 31 million people throughout the world 6 million consumers are served in SAURs homeland: France. France has given the world wonderful wine and bread and it has also developed the model of water privatization that is pushed by the World Bank, the European Union and many bilateral agencies.

SAUR has managed to hold a dominant role in Africa, particularly in French West-Africa where it is involved in several controversial projects.

SAUR International, the international holding company of SAUR, claims to serve a total of 45 million people in energy and water services combined. This part of the group was created in 1995 in order to expand to new markets and reap the benefits from increased multilateral funding to private water utilities. Electricite de France, another major corporation that invests heavily in energy internationally and holds a monopoly on the French energy market, bought a 23% share in SAUR international in 1995 through a subsidiary configuration.

Read the report:
SAUR: A Corporate Profile pdf document [303 KB]

In the News:

August 23: Private droughts: The poor are not profitable, and foreign firms are pulling the plug






Suez-Ondeo/United Water

Suez has 125 million customers in 40 countries with subsidiaries such as Ondeo and United Water. Their 2002 revenue was 6.4 billion which makes it the largest water corporation in the world. But the company is racked with debt, with a net loss in 2002 of $950 million, and continues to lose profits every quarter. Suez has lost several of its high profile contracts, such as Atlanta (US) and Puerto Rico and been forced to re-negotiate contracts in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Manila (the Philippines). It is no longer profitable being a shareholder of this multinational corporation. But nothing is as bad as being one of their customers. Suez has been scrambling to do whatever it takes to turn its financial fortunes around. That means that as water divisions Ondeo and United Water grab control of a citys water system, a top priority is cutting costs, because low costs mean higher revenues. So, Suez slashes water system staffs to inadequate levels, fails to perform necessary maintenance, tries to delay or avoid altogether any costly infrastructure investments, screams for higher rates, more money from government or both, and blames public officials, or just the public, for all the companys problems. Customers end up paying more for less.

NEW! Read the correspondence between Public Citizen and Suez:

May 13, 2005: Letter to United Water (U.S. Suez subsidiary) from Public Citizen
June 9, 2005: Reply from Suez
June 27, 2005: Letter to Suez from Public Citizen

Read the reports:
Corporate Profile: Suez/United Water pdf document [448 KB] en francais, en espanol

In the News:
August: Suez will leave, but government plans re-privatization - Workers call 48 hour strike 
August: Bolivian government and Suez keep civil society in the dark 
August: The Failure of Suez in Santa Fe 
July 12: Suez Strikes Back in Bolivia 
July: Suez prepares to bring legal action against Bolivia in World Bank-related court 
June: Day of action against Suezs exploitative practices 
June 17: Sonia Vihar plant a tough jinx to crack
April: United Water fails again 
January 24: Suez allowed to raise tariffs in Argentina 
January 19: Chirac to plead case of Suez in Argentina

September 9: Suez' World Water Wars
Mexico's Water for Sale? French Multinational Wants Mexico's Water
August 23: Private droughts: The poor are not profitable, and foreign firms are pulling the plug
June 26: Suez Degremont Kills Indian Workers
June 25: Activists blame Suez-Degremont for worker deaths
June 23: Halifax flushes P3 deal with Suez
June 21: Cleanup contract goes down the drain

Water for All initiated a new collaborative website to help coordinate our global campaign focusing on the water transnational, Suez. The website is tri-lingal and collects information regarding the abuses, problematic projects, community protests, and exploitative policies of Suez, Go to:
English -
Spanish -
French -





Veolia Environnement

Veolia Environnement operates hundreds of private sector water projects in almost 50 countries around the world, reaching an estimated 110 million people. Until 2002, Veolia, formerly known as Vivendi Environnement, was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vivendi Universal, and as such was swirling in a maelstrom of corporate corruption and chaos. Bribery convictions, raids on corporate offices by evidence-seeking securities investigators, class action suits filed by shareholders on both sides of the Atlantic, collapses in both its stock price and its credit rating, massive debt necessitating a fire-sale of assets, a discredited and ultimately ousted corporate chieftain, dizzying financial uncertainty, an identity crisislittle wonder that Veolia has scrambled to distance itself from its erstwhile corporate parent. But whatever distance the water company manages to put between itself and Vivendi in the eyes of the financial community, the company cant distance itself from its recorda record reflecting a corporation that views water not as a right or a necessity of life, but as an opportunity for monopoly profits. While Veolias focus remains developed urban markets in Europe, the US, and Asia, the corporation is hedging its bets with increasingly substantive roles in service delivery in the developing world, often in collusion with the World Bank.

Read the report:
Corporate Profile: Vivendi/Veolia pdf document [168 KB]

In the News:
Sept. 15: Pennichuck CEO blasts mayor for OK of French firm to run waterworks
Aug. 12: Lawsuit asks court to stop construction of St. Croix treatment plant
July 27: More bad news for Veolia - Demand for investigation grows
July 6: Veolia over troubled water
July 2: Ex-worker files suit against utility 
Jan. 8: No fines likely for water company

Sept. 24: Water Barons Lose Another One: Massachusetts Community Rejects Privatization Scheme
June 7: Former Vivendi CFO Under Investigation
Jan. 16: Former USFilter employee investigated by Rockland, MA for corrupt practices

Aug. 23: Private droughts: The poor are not profitable, and foreign firms are pulling the plug










Cassandra Anderson
Unfiltered News
2009 October 1

The Federal government, influenced by the United Nations, is stealing American land and resources as Agenda 21 Sustainable Development is implemented in all states. Sustainable Development seems appealing and desirable on the surface, but it is actually a plot to erase humans entirely from 50% of American land, with a ban on extraction of resources, like water!

Dr. Michael Coffman, the creator of the Agenda 21 map, covertly obtained secret United Nations documents he used to compile the map which illustrates the resource acquisition goals of the Globalists at the UN. While Sustainable Development appears to be benign, its accompanying Global Biodiversity Assessment report states that only one billion people can be sustained in an industrial society!

An example of this is playing out right now in California, regarding the man made drought. This situation affects every American, as Californias Central Valley supplies our country with 50% of its vegetable, fruits and nuts (, see the California Agricultural Statistical Review report). The federal Endangered Species Act, regarding the threatened smelt minnow, is being used to severly restrict the water pump that delivers water from the Delta to the Central Valley farmlands, thus creating the drought condition. Both the federal Department of Interior and the federal Department of Commerce are claiming jurisdiction in order to control water resources.

Californias water usage is divided as follows:

48 % Environmental (federally regulated)
41 % Agricultural
11 % Urban

Interestingly, the subagencies of these two federal agencies that supplied the biological opinions are influenced by the United Nations. The UN was created in 1945, and the following year, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) was created by the UN to act as a scientific advisor. The US Fish and Wildlife Service, a subagency of the Department of Interior, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Marine Fisheries Service, subagencies of the Department of Commerce, are memebers of the IUCN, and supplied the biological opinions. There are many lawsuits disputing the validity of these opinions.

The UNs scientific advisor, the IUCN also counts the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) as a memeber. The NRDC is the lead Plaintiff in compelling the water cut off. It is important to note that the NRDC has a budget of $87 million dollars, and is funded by the philanthropic Ford Foundation. You can check out their website to see the bills they are promoting for sustainablility, like the Clean Water Restoration Act (S787), which could put all water under federal contol, the Law of Sea Treaty that would give the UN incredible power over American marine waterways and the Global Warming Cap and Trade bill.

Further, this is an example of the global to local battle combining governmental and non governmental agencies to accomplish the objectives of Agenda 21, per Sustainable Development and legal expert Michael Shaw. The IUCN has many NGOs as members including the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, the National Wildlife Federation and the National Audubon Society. Most people do want to support natural flora and fauna, but it is false environmentalism when the underlying intention is mass depopulation.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is an abomination, according to Michael Shaw, as it opens the door for federal authority over State sovereignty. The US Constitution grants the federal government no authority over wildlife! Under the Constitution, States have jurisdiction over essentially all land. Beginning in 1900, federal officials operating under the commerce clause enforced federal law to gain authority over certain poaching activities. The adoption of the initial Endangered Species Act was in the 1940s and the current Endangered Species Act of 1973 is based on a United Nations model! The Department of Interior is now in charge of listing species that they deem endangered or threatened- imagine the power in that. The dubious biological opinions have caused massive resource loss and economic upheaval. For instance, just this year alone, the water restrictions on the Delta have spilled over 600,000 acre feet of usable water into the Pacific Ocean!

Another example of federal intervention, according to Mike Henry at

is the Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992, which reduces water delivery or export by 1.2 million acre feet of water each year! Even when California has wet years, the amount of water allowed for delivery is still reduced by 1.2 million acres of water, despite the existence of more water; the amount delivered is based on contracts, not the water level, and the excess water flows into the Pacific.

There is even more federal intervention with the CW Jones pump that was built by the federal government. The pump will be paid off by 2030, yet the federal Bureau of Reclamation under the Department of Interior will still own and maintain it. Its time to assert the 10th Amendment.

Michael Shaw encourages people to educate themselves, their communities and their state and local governments. You can find out more at his great website that also contains free downloadable information at

Thanks to Dr. Michael Coffman, president of Sovereignty International at

and Mike Henry of







By NWV News writer Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
October 20, 2009

Conservatives are warning Americans about the ambitions of federal lawmakers to control all waters within the United States including those on private property, in the latest power grab by progressive politicians.

According to the American Land Rights Association, the Obama Administration and Congress are attempting to pass the Clean Water Restoration Act of 2009 (S787) that would amend the 1972 Clean Water Act and replace the words "navigable waters" with "waters of the United States."

"The US Constitution's Tenth Amendment automatically reserves power for controlling waters to the states, not to the Oval Office and US Congress," said political strategist Mike Baker.

"This is just one more power grab by out-of-control politicians who only adhere to constitutional law when it suits them," he added.

Section 3, Paragraph 8 stipulates that "this Act will treat, as waters of the United States, those features that were treated as such pursuant to the regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Corps of Engineers in existence before the dates of the decisions referred to in paragraph (10), including--

(A) all waters which are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide;

(B) all interstate waters, including interstate wetlands;

(C) all other waters, such as intrastate lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, or natural ponds;

(D) all impoundments of waters of the United States;

(E) tributaries of the aforementioned waters;

(F) the territorial seas;

(G) wetlands adjacent to the aforementioned waters."

After being overuled by the U. S. Supreme Court in two recent decisions that the words "navigable waters" in the Clean Water Act limited federal agencies to regulation of navigable waters only, Democrats and liberal Republicans in Congress are striking back.

They are attempting to pass the Clean Water Restoration Act of 2009 (S 787) that would amend the 1972 Clean Water Act and replace the words "navigable waters" with "waters of the United States."

"The bill also defines "waters of the United States" with such breathtaking scope that federal agencies would be required to regulate use of every square inch of the U.S., both public and private," according to the American Land Rights Association.

"Obviously, those behind this legislation have only contempt for the Constitution, limited government and private property rights. To understand what the framers of the Constitution intended, one need only look to their writings and the writings of those from whom they took wisdom and direction," said officials at ALRA.

"This is a terrible bill that would give the Federal government jurisdiction over anything that is wet including seasonal mud flats. This means that the Feds could enter your property and dictate what you can do with bodies of water on your land," said political strategist Mike Baker.

"It also means that the Great Lake States and Provinces could not protect the Great Lakes from being pumped dry to feed the growth of California and the Southwest. In that area, Democrat Senator Russ Feingold has sold out his own state: Wisconsin."

"Senate Bill 787 will change federal jurisdiction over navigable water, to give the federal government control over all water everwhere, in municiple reservoirs, and on private lands, and in private wells. This bill ignores state water law authority and the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution," stated Barbara H. Peterson, a farm lands protection activist.

"If the Feds own the water, then they can do anything they want to with it, and I have to ask permission to get a drink or water my animals," she stated.

Earlier Stories:

1 - Br. Gregory Williams: Control the Water, Control the Population, Sept. 26, 2009
2 - Devvy Kidd: Major Bills to Defeat After August Recess, Aug. 31, 2209
3 - Devvy Kidd: Rewarding Crooks and Incompetents, May 11, 2009
4 - Dr. Michael Coffman: Separating People from their Water, Jan. 22, 2009 [below]

2009 NWV - All Rights Reserved






By Dr. Michael S. Coffman Ph. D.
January 22, 2004

As the United Nations restructures itself to become a world government vis-a-vis global governance, it is being formed around the principles of sustainable development as defined by Agenda 21. Signed by the U.S. during the Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro in 1992, Agenda 21 is a 40-chapter manifesto to reorganize the world using socialist and pantheistic principles to protect Earth .

Agenda 21 represents a major fundamental change in the role of government in social and land-use policy. Under its concept of sustainability, the primary purpose of government will no longer be to serve the people. Rather, the focus of Agenda 21 is to protect nature from people. Governance will be by consensus among "stakeholders and partnerships." The concept of elected representation that holds the government accountable to the citizens will be eliminated.

Agenda 21 requires that by 2000 "All States...have designed and initiated costed and targeted national action programmes, and to have put in place appropriate institutional structures and legal instruments to implement Agenda 21. The Clinton Administration responded creating the President's Council on Sustainable Development which published its report entitled Sustainable America in 1996. Chapter 18 of Agenda 21 requires that all States implement integrated watershed management plans "for the protection and conservation of the potential sources of freshwater supply, including protection of mountain slopes and riverbanks and other relevant development and conservation activities.

The Clinton Administration eagerly took up the challenge. In the U.S. State Department's 1997 report on its progress to the UN, the U.S. proudly stated, Agenda 21 sets ambitious objectives [for the United States to] move toward integrated water resource management, a holistic approach that treats water resources as an integral part of the ecosystem. Among the many programs spawned by Sustainable America to fulfill the fresh water protection requirements of Agenda 21 include the American Heritage Rivers (AHRI), and the Clean Water (CWI) initiatives. Neither program was voted on by the U.S. Congress. Instead, they are being implemented through executive order.

The American Heritage Rivers (AHR) program is designed to restore and protect rivers using non-elected authorities within portions of, or "entire watersheds," potentially including all of the Mississippi watershed. Over 50% of the entire U.S. could technically come under the 1998 program.

Although both federal programs no longer are front-burner issues, they nonetheless are sleeping giants designed to gradually give the federal government power to control land use throughout America. For instance, the AHRI also makes it clear that "entire watersheds" are likely to be impacted by a designation of just a portion of them as an AHR. Technically, the entire Mississippi River watershed, covering 40 percent of America ? the breadbasket of America ? is now under the AHR program! While no effort is presently underway to extend this jurisdiction to watersheds upstream from the designated rivers, the option remains for future bureaucrats to gradually extend their jurisdiction.

The CWI has had a far greater, and more immediate impact. The CWIs 1998 Clean Water Action Plan called for obliterating 5,000 miles of roads each year on federal land, and setting aside a whopping "two million miles of conservation buffers on agricultural lands." The potential impact of this program is enormous. Tens of thousands of miles of road have now been withdrawn from public use on federal land. In just one consequence, many of the huge forest fires experienced since 1998 were greatly magnified when firefighters and equipment could not immediately access the fires using formerly existing roads. These roads were typically closed by digging huge holes in the roads called tank-traps, and ripping out bridges and culverts ? often causing major erosion and siltation to the very streams the road closures were supposed to protect.

The Department of Agricultures Stream Corridor Plan called for conservation corridors to equal the 100 year flood plain for a river in width, which could be many miles wide for some rivers. While seemingly innocuous, even a 100 foot buffer strip along two million miles totals a staggering 76,000 square miles (48 million acres), an area equivalent to the entire state of Nebraska! Much of this land contains some of the most productive land in America. In many cases the corridors would have an enormous economic impact on farmers and other landowners. Court challenges to this and other onerous provisions of the clean water initiative finally forced the federal agencies to back down when they realized they had no legal authority to force private citizens to obey their arbitrary and capricious regulations.

Ostensibly done to protect water quality, the road obliteration and river corridor plans create defacto wilderness reserves and corridors very similar to the requirements of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The treaty came within an hour of being ratified in 1994 when Sovereignty International, an educational and UN watchdog organization, provided irrefutable evidence to the U.S. Senate that the treaty would have required up to one-half of America be put into wilderness reserves and corridors!

Promoted as a plan to "reinvent government," both the AHRI and CWI are touted as "ground up," "community based" efforts under the control of local people called "River Communities" and "Watershed Councils." In fact, each step is under the "top down" control of the feds. By definition, a River Community under the AHRI is "self-defined by the members of the community." In practice, River Communities and Watershed Councils include anyone, especially environmental NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations). They are self-appointed, not elected. They are accountable to federal bureaucrats, not local and state elected officials.

These sometimes special interest non-elected entities are empowered to prioritize federal programs, and therefore funding. In doing so, agenda-driven non-elected people within the AHRI and CWI have the power to withhold monies from communities that dont toe the federal line, while rewarding those that do. History has provided clear proof to the age-old adage of "he who controls the money controls the people."

Protecting Mother Earth from use by humans in this way is not God ordained stewardship. Rather, it is regulation based on the desire to control people and their activities in a misguided belief that Mother Earth's needs are more important than human needs.

2004 Michael Coffman - All Rights Reserved










By Tom DeWeese
October 8, 2008

Over the summer he was all the rage - a Texas oil billionaire ready to make a difference and get the U.S. off of foreign oil dependency. Pickens certainly advocates drilling more American oil, but also came up with a reasonable-sounding plan to make wind power a reality. "We're the Saudi Arabia of Wind," he said. Then he spent $58 million to sell the idea to the American people and to force pro-wind legislation through Congress.

People quickly responded to support his efforts. Environmentalists praised him. Pro- free market advocates have flocked to him, invited him to address their conferences and hailed him as a hero. That's the Public Relations story. It's not the whole story.

I've written many times of the dangers of Public/Private Partnerships (PPPs). This is corporations and governments joining forces in an unholy alliance to use government power and private money to take over such public entities as highways and water systems using eminent domain, non-compete clauses and profit guarantees. It's not free enterprise and it's not limited government. It's corporate fascism that creates government-sanctioned monopolies.

Pickens has developed a creative twist to the PPP model and now he plans to get rich with other people's water. Water? But most Americans thought his plan was about wind. It appears that the wind idea is a clever smokescreen to the real moneymaker.

Roberts County, Texas sits on top of the Ogallala Aquifer, a huge underground reservoir that stretches all the way to South Dakota. It so happens that T. Boone Pickens has a ranch in Roberts County and he set aside eight acres of that land for drilling into the aquifer.

Here comes the interesting part. Pickens turned those eight acres into a "town." To pull off that feat, Pickens needed a special change in Texas law to allow it. It's interesting to note that he made $1.2 million in contributions in 2006, apparently to the right legislators. Can't say for sure, but he did get his special privilege and a town was born on eight acres of the Pickens ranch, complete with two whole voters - both of whom happen to work for T. Boone Pickens. Then there was an election in the new town and the two voters agreed at the polls to make this eight-acre municipality a special fresh-water district.

Now Pickens' little town has all the power of any community. He can issue tax-free bonds (meaning he can borrow at a largely discounted rate), and he has the power of eminent domain, if he needs it. Why is that important? Pickens plans to run a pipeline for his water to the Dallas area [300 miles SE] where he will sell it. He also plans to use the same route for his wind power transmission lines.

To construct the pipeline he will have to cross a lot of private land. Those landowners will receive (if they haven't already) a letter from T. Boone Pickens explaining that he wants to buy some of their land. If they refuse he will simply use the power of eminent domain to take it.

Welcome to business in the 2000s. Just don't call it free enterprise, and don't call its perpetrators heroes. Judge Roy Bean would have strung Pickens up in the nearest tree. He knew a rustler when he saw one.

2008 Tom DeWeese - All Rights Reserved







By Dan Reed, USA TODAY




SWEETWATER, Texas Get ready, America, T. Boone Pickens is coming to your living room.

The legendary Texas oilman, corporate raider, shareholder-rights crusader, philanthropist and deep-pocketed moneyman for conservative politicians and causes, wants to drive the USA's political and economic agenda.

"We're paying $700 billion a year for foreign oil. It's breaking us as a nation, and I want to elevate that question to the presidential debate, to make it the No. 1 issue of the campaign this year," Pickens says.

Today, Pickens will take the wraps off what he's calling the Pickens Plan for cutting the USA's demand for foreign oil by more than a third in less than a decade. To promote it, he is bankrolling what his aides say will be the biggest public policy ad campaign ever. The website,, goes live today.

Jay Rosser, Pickens' ever-present public relations man, promises that Pickens' face will be seen on Americans' televisions this fall almost as frequently as John McCain's and Barack Obama's.

"Neither presidential candidate is talking about solving the oil problem. So we're going to make 'em talk about it," Pickens says.

"Nixon said in 1970 that we were importing 20% of our oil and that by 1980 it would be 0%. That didn't happen," Pickens says. "It went to 42% in 1991 with the Gulf War. It's just under 70% now. Where do you think we're going to be in 10 years when our economy is busted and we're importing 80% of our oil?"

Finding solutions to other major issues, including health care, are important, he concedes. But "If you don't solve the energy problem, it's going to break us before we even get to solving health care and some of these other important issues." And it has to be done with the same sense of urgency that President Eisenhower had when he pushed the rapid development of the interstate highway system during the Cold War.

Of course, Pickens also has a particular solution in mind.

Wind. And natural gas.

Last week, Pickens loaded up his $60 million, top-of-the-line Gulfstream G550 corporate jet with reporters and a few associates from his Dallas-based BP Capital energy hedge fund and related companies and flew here to illustrate just how big and achievable his vision is.

There's not much to Sweetwater except for wild grasses, scraggy mesquite trees and rattlesnakes (Sweetwater hosts its famous Rattlesnake Roundup each spring). The gently rolling terrain and vegetation make it ideal for raising cattle, which is what its first settlers did in the 19th century, and what their descendants do today. A regional oil boom in the 1950s and 1960s poured money into the area's economy, as have two oil revivals since: one in the 1980s and one now.

But the exciting new industry in town is wind energy. You can drive for 150 miles along Interstate 20 and never be out of sight of a giant wind turbine, claims Sweetwater Mayor Greg Wortham, who does double duty as executive director of the West Texas Wind Energy Consortium.

Were it a country all by itself, Nolan County, Texas, would rank sixth on the list of wind-energy-producing nations, says Wortham. Year-round wind conditions, the terrain, low land prices and a small population make it an ideal location for wind farms. It already produces more wind-generated electricity in a year than all of California. And the business is growing so fast that he struggles to define it by numbers. By year's end, there'll be more than 1,500 turbines in Nolan County, representing a $5 billion investment. In the multicounty Rolling Plains region, there are already 2,000 operating turbines.

Add those operating further west, the Permian Basin region around Midland and Odessa, and the entire area has more than 3,000 turbines operating, producing about 6,000 megawatts of electricity about equal to the power produced by two to three nuclear power plants.

Growth potential

The growth potential is, well, electrifying.

New turbine towers are going up at a rate of three to four a day in the Sweetwater area, Wortham says. "It depends on the (Texas) Public Utility Commission, but the number could be 20,000 ultimately," Wortham says.

Pickens, who over the past two years has become the USA's biggest wind-power booster, is quick to note that "there could be lots of Sweetwaters out there," especially in the nation's midsection, where winds are ideal for power generation.

Indeed, though Sweetwater is a windy place, plenty of locations farther north in the Great Plains are even better suited to wind farming. One is about 250 miles north of Sweetwater, near Pampa, northeast of Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle. That's where Pickens is building what would be the world's largest wind farm, four times larger than the current titleholder near here. So far, he has spent $2 billion on the project, including a record purchase of nearly 700 wind turbines this year from General Electric. He expects to spend up to $10 billion on the project and to begin generating electricity in 2011.

Though Pickens doesn't own a single wind turbine in the Sweetwater area, Wortham was eager to play host to the oil baron and the reporters traveling with him. Sweetwater, he says, is proof that wind power has much more potential than its many skeptics believe.

"People hear about the 8-foot-tall wind turbines at Logan airport in Boston or the five turbines at Atlantic City and think 'interesting,' " Wortham says. "But they don't see how we can get to the 300,000-megawatt-production level" established by the Bush administration as a national goal for 2030. "Once you come to Sweetwater, you see that it can be done, and be done pretty easily, not only here, but anywhere there are prime wind conditions. None of this existed seven years ago. Now, we produce enough electricity in this one county to power a large city, and we do it cheaply and cleanly."

Getting lots more electricity with wind is only half of the Pickens Plan. Increasing wind-power production by itself won't reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil because most of that oil is consumed as gasoline.

The key, Pickens says, is that wind energy can be used as a substitute for natural gas now burned to generate electricity. That, in turn, will make far more natural gas available for use as a transportation fuel. Pickens' plan is to produce enough wind power within 10 years to divert 20% of the natural gas now used to fuel power plants for use in cars and trucks. That's much more aggressive a growth plan for the development of wind energy than envisioned by the Department of Energy, which doesn't expect the USA to be getting 20% of its total energy needs from wind until at least 2030.

Pickens foresees as many as a third of the vehicles running on natural gas within only a few years. Julius Pretterebner, director of the Global Oil Group at Cambridge Energy Research Associates, says getting 15% to 20% of the USA's cars to run on natural gas in some cases, in mixtures with other fuels in dual-fuel vehicles by 2020 would be an outstanding achievement, and doing that will require federal support to expand the necessary infrastructure.

Powering vehicles with compressed or liquefied natural gas, CNG or LNG, has been Pickens' pet project since the late 1980s.Yet the concept has been very slow to catch on.

Distribution is a major problem. CNG drivers can, like Pickens, install inexpensive equipment to fill up at their homes. But with fewer than 800 natural gas filling stations around the USA, drivers can't count on being able to fill up wherever they go. So, for the most part, CNG, or LNG, has remained limited to fleet operators, such as local bus companies or big-city police departments.

And that's where David Friedman, research director in the vehicles program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, says most natural-gas-powered vehicles will continue to be operated because of the distribution problem, the lack of vehicles made specifically to run on CNG, and the cost of converting conventional vehicles to run on CNG.

"I honestly think (natural gas') role will be in medium- to heavy-duty vehicles and fleets and as a stepping stone to hydrogen fuel-cell-powered vehicles in the future," Friedman says. Only one car, a version of the Honda Civic, is available from the factory ready for CNG fuel, he says, and only at a significant premium over the price of a conventionally fueled version.

If you build it

Pickens aims to shout down the skeptics by taking his case to the people via his TV ad campaign. If the nation is to break its addiction to foreign oil, a network of CNG stations could be built along interstates and in major cities for a relatively small investment, he says. Some gasoline retailers have told him they would add CNG pumps to their stations once they're certain there'll be enough vehicles capable of running on natural gas to justify costs.

Washington, Pickens adds, can encourage the move to natural-gas-powered vehicles by providing modest economic incentives for fuel retailers to invest in CNG pumps at their stations, for automakers to build CNG-powered cars and for individuals to convert their existing vehicles to CNG use. And it should continue to provide tax incentives for another 10 years to encourage wind energy's rapid development as part of an overall plan to wean the nation from foreign oil, he says.

"It certainly would be cheaper than what they're doing already for nuclear," Pickens adds. But he's also in favor of developing more nuclear energy, and every form of alternative energy to reduce oil imports. "Try everything. Do everything. Nuclear. Biomass. Coal. Solar. You name it. I support them all," he says. "But there's only one energy source that can dramatically reduce the amount of oil we have to import each year, and that's (natural) gas."

Pickens is an outspoken believer in the so-called peak oil theory that holds that maximum world production has peaked at about 85 million barrels a day vs. current demand of about 86 million barrels a day and will never rise much above that even with lots of new drilling and production.

"Even people who continue driving gasoline-powered cars and trucks will benefit" from his plan, he says.

Critics could easily accuse Pickens of advocating a major new public policy initiative that will line his own pockets. He is, after all, a big player in both the wind power and natural gas businesses. Pickens says while his hedge fund will earn money for its investors, earning more money personally is meaningless: "I'm 80 years old and have $4 billion. I don't need any more money."

He's more concerned that his efforts to make reducing foreign oil dependency the No. 1 issue on the national agenda will be dismissed by the public and, therefore, by Washington. So he says he's carefully steering his plan clear of partisan bickering.

He's already enlisted an unlikely supporter: the Sierra Club. "I will be in the front row of the chorus cheering" him on, says Carl Pope, its executive director, who flew with Pickens to Sweetwater.

Pope sees wind and solar energy as inexpensive sources of power that, along with other non-carbon forms, can be pooled to greatly reduce the need for oil- and coal-fired electric-generating plants.

"When it's cloudy in Dallas and the wind's not blowing in Sweetwater, but the sun's blazing in the (Western) deserts, solar energy can run all those air conditioners in Dallas. When it's windy in Sweetwater and cloudy in the desert, wind energy from Sweetwater can heat homes in Chicago.

"Mr. Pickens and I probably don't see eye-to-eye on some other matters," Pope concedes. "But he's right on this one."

Setting goals, clearing roadblocks

Washington's role, Pope said, should be in setting the goal and clearing roadblocks such as the patchwork of state, regional and federal regulations that block the creation of a true national grid that can shift electricity from anywhere in the country to anywhere that it's needed.

Getting support from groups and people not ordinarily aligned with his conservative political views is important to Pickens. A lifelong Republican, he'll vote for McCain. But he's not involved with McCain's campaign, largely to keep his plan from being dismissed as mere campaign rhetoric.

"This has to be a bipartisan effort," says the man who four years ago offered $1 million to anyone who could disprove the charges made against Democrat nomine Sen. John Kerry by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

"This is not about Republicans vs. Democrats," Pickens says. "This is about saving our country from the ruination of spending $700 billion a year on oil imports. Ninety days after the oil hits our shores, it's all burned up, and we've got nothing to show for it. But they (foreign oil producers) still have our money. It's killing our economy."