November 17, 2014


Turning the Tides of Privatization – 180 Municipalities in 15 Years Return Water Systems to Public. In the past 15 years, privatized water supplies have been increasingly transferred back to public ownership, and in the past month, France, Italy and Switzerland have been hit hard by floods and landslides. New York says ‘no’ to a desalination plant, and environmental groups say ‘no’ to an expanded tar sands pipeline running from Canada to Wisconsin. Circle of Blue WaterNews

Canada: Secrecy and sleaze dominate global ‘privatization industry’. International policy expert Dexter Whitfield says nearly a quarter of privatizations end in disaster, adding: “If you’re told a car has a 22 per cent failure rate, you would never buy it.”  National Union of Public and General Employees

Stephen Colbert’s hilarious take on Nestlé privatizing drinking water.Nestle will do anything to keep Americans from drinking the commie water flowing out of their communal taps.  The Colbert Report

IN: Investment Bank May Lead Indiana Toll Road Bid. A northern Indiana county’s commissioners have turned to an investment bank to lead a proposed seven-county consortium that would bid on the Indiana Toll Road’s lease. Private tollway operator ITR Concession Co. filed for bankruptcy protection in September, citing more than $6 billion in debt. A federal bankruptcy court judge has given the Chicago-based company permission to sell the 75-year lease it holds on the road to help pay back its creditors. Dow Jones Bankruptcy & Debt

NJ: NJ Lawmakers Fast-Track Water Utility Privatization. The legislation would “allow distressed water-supply facilities and wastewater treatment plants owned by municipalities to be more rapidly sold or leased to private entities,” according to NJ Spotlight. Opponents include consumer advocates and environmentalists. They say the bill could mean higher rates for customers. One vocal opponent is the Landis Sewerage Authority. Water Online

GA: USG Begins new plan to Privatize housing. The upcoming launch of the housing privatization plan at nine public universities across the state by the University System of Georgia (USG) has caused some concern at Tech. . . Critics of the measure, including Sen. Mike Crane (R-Newnan), who voted against the referendum in the Georgia Senate, say that the proposition gives an unfair advantage to corporations running USG-owned property over those that run private apartments off-campus. . . Another common criticism of Proposition 1 is that the wording was confusing and that many voters, including Tech students, were not properly educated on the effect of the measure. Technique

TX: Online toll roads – opinion. Internet old-timers – those of us over age 25 – remember a time when the web was called the Information Superhighway. The debate over net neutrality has us thinking about another sort of highway: the Trans-Texas Corridor. . . . This degree of private control over infrastructure raised the spectre of a highway built more to benefit contractors than Texas communities. The toll road could bypass towns and exits could be designed to feed contractor-owned fast food joints instead of local restaurants. . . . Both concrete highways and Internet infrastructure should exist simply to get people from point A to point B. But telecoms want the ability to manipulate every part of that online trip and make you pay extra or drive slower if you go somewhere they don’t like.