January 21, 2013


Privatizing Public Land For Solar Companies

Critics of opening up public lands to renewable energy development have been known to refer to the process as “privatization,” pointing out that once public land is leased to energy companies, that land is essentially no longer public. At issue is the Genesis Solar project, being built by Florida developer NextEra on 1,950 acres of your California desert BLM land north of Ford Dry Lake, backed by $825 million in loan guarantees funded by your tax dollars.  KCET

DE: Port of Wilmington Privatization

State Senator Bobby Marshall discusses legislation that would require General Assembly review of any deals that would privatize the Port of Wilmington. The Senate approved bill is expected to go to the Del. House this week.  WDEL

NY: Legislators oppose LIPA privatization plan

Long Island lawmakers are expressing serious concerns about Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s plans to sell LIPA’s assets to a private company, requesting instead that he revisit the notion of making it a fully public utility. Newsday

IL: FAA OKs request to privatize Midway Airport

Chicago was given federal approval Friday to privatize Midway International Airport, and the city promptly began asking potential buyers to get in touch. The city hopes to lease Midway for up to 40 years in a deal that would generate enough cash to pay off the airport’s roughly $1.4 billion debt, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said. Profits would be split between the private operator and the city.  NWI.com

VA: Wrangling over, it’s decision time on port privatization

After months of turmoil about the possible privatization of the port of Hampton Roads, the process enters the critical, decision-making phase Tuesday. The Virginian-Pilot

VA: Editorial: Virginia’s toll road shell game

In 1995, the Dulles Greenway, the first privately financed toll road built in over a century, opened in Northern Virginia. But the Greenway’s backers overestimated demand and the amount of tolls drivers were willing to pay, and it has been losing money ever since. After it went bankrupt, the toll road was subsequently purchased by Macquarie, an Australian consortium. Greenway traffic was up slightly last year despite an 8 percent toll hike, but still running 23 percent below its 2005 peak. This dismal history has not stopped Virginia House Transportation Committee Chairman Joe May, R-Leesburg, from introducing legislation that would saddle Virginia taxpayers with this white elephant. His rationale for purchasing the money-losing Greenway is to lower tolls.  Washington Examiner

PA: Senior Dem leader: Stop Pa. lottery privatization

Local state Rep. Mike Hanna is joining a chorus of legislators in Harrisburg who want to stop Gov. Tom Corbett’s effort to put the Pennsylvania Lottery in the hands of a foreign company. Hanna, among the most senior Democratic leaders in the state House, joined his party leaders last week in announcing a fight against Republican Corbett’s plan to turn over management of the lottery to Camelot Global Services, which is based in the United Kingdom.  Lock Haven Express

PA: Private group to advocate for privatizing Pennsylvania liquor stores

A new coalition of citizens, businesses and groups supporting liquor privatization will announce next week a push for the state store divestiture plan GOP Gov. Tom Corbett soon will unveil, a leading advocate said Friday… Jay Ostrich, spokesman for the Commonwealth Foundation, who attended a meeting with Corbett‘s aides this week on privatization, said with the governor‘s backing, “We think this measure will be unstoppable.” Tribune-Review

LA: Privatization under way for LSU hospital

A private operator has agreed to run the LSU hospital in Lake Charles, La., that cares for the uninsured, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration announced Friday. The agreement is part of the administration’s efforts to move away from a university-run public hospital system… Thousands of workers at the LSU health facilities will face layoffs under the plans and will have to reapply for their jobs with the private hospital operators.  ModernHealthCare