This week, environmental activists have been pointing out how California’s new water restrictions don’t even apply to some of the major corporations that are actually causing the problem. The unprecedented water restrictions forces cities and towns to cut their water usage by 25% over the next 9 months by limiting the water consumption of average citizens, under the threat of strict penalties.
However, oil and water companies that are highly subsidized and protected by the government are exempt. To make matters worse, most of these companies were actually handed the property that they are destroying through government grants, when the land was supposed to be protected.
Zack Malitz of the environmental protection group Credo told Reuters that oil companies are largely responsible for the problems that California is seeing with their water.
“Governor Brown is forcing ordinary Californians to shoulder the burden of the drought by cutting their personal water use while giving the oil industry a continuing license to break the law and poison our water. Fracking and toxic injection wells may not be the largest uses of water in California, but they are undoubtedly some of the stupidest,” Malitz said.
Other activists have pointed out the blatant protectionism that is taking place with this new executive order.
“This corporate welfare giveaway is an outrage and warrants a major investigation. For more than five months we have requested data on Nestle water use. City Hall has not complied with our request, or given any indication that it will. Sacramentans deserve to know how their money is being spent and what they’re getting for it. In this case, they’re getting ripped off,” activist Andy Conn told the Daily Kos.
Also this week, after the executive order was signed, protests occupied the Nestle water plant in Sacremento, over concerns that the plant takes over 80 million gallons of water from local aquafiers.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.