The decision "paves the way for a private corporation to profit from a vital public resource for decades to come," said Nisha Swinton of Food & Water Watch. (Photo: Mike Mozart/flickr/cc)
The decision "paves the way for a private corporation to profit from a vital public resource for decades to come," said Nisha Swinton of Food & Water Watch. (Photo: Mike Mozart/flickr/cc)

The decision “paves the way for a private corporation to profit from a vital public resource for decades to come,” said Nisha Swinton of Food & Water Watch. (Photo: Mike Mozart/flickr/cc)

TND Guest Contributor: Andrea Germanos 

It was a win for corporate control of public water on Thursday for one Maine town.

The winner in the case is Nestlé Waters of North America, which operates locally as Poland Spring. Fryeburg, Maine property owner Bruce Taylor and advocacy group Food & Water Watch had challenged the decision by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that afforded the company the right to bottle and sell off water from the aquifer.

The Portland, Maine Press Herald reports:

The contract gives Poland Spring – a subsidiary of Nestle Waters – leasing rights to withdraw up to 603,000 gallons of water per day at the same basic rate as Fryeburg residents.

Taylor and Food and Water Watch had argued that the water district’s charter didn’t allow for bulk extraction, bottling and reselling of the water, but Maine’s top court disagreed, upholding the deal that allows the company to lease premises and purchase water. The court found “that there was no abuse of discretion or violation of statutory provision,” theAssociated Press reports. The ruling states, “The proposed agreement was for twenty-five years, with the option of four additional five-year extensions.”

The Bangor Daily News points out that

All three of the PUC’s commissioners recused themselves from the case over conflicts of interest, as they each had business involvement with Nestle Waters prior to their appointment to the commission. The impasse resulted in new state law allowing Gov. Paul LePage to appoint as alternate commissioners three retired judges: Paul Rudman, John Atwood and Francis Marsano.

Colin Woodard explored this conflict of interest in depth back in 2013 for the Press Herald in an article entitled “For regulators and Nestlé Waters, conflict by the gallon.” And while some residents may welcome the $12,000 a month the new contract makes Nestle pay to the town and believe that the company is operating fairly, Woodard’s reporting also pointed to the approach to water as a commodity that has raised the ire of critics in Fryeburg and beyond:

Some residents question the arrangement and mistrust the motives of Nestle SA, whose global CEO, Peter Brabeck, has repeatedly argued that water is not a human right, apart from the 6.6 gallons per day he says a person needs for hydration and basic hygiene. Water used for other purposes must have “a price,” he has said regularly, in order to spur necessary infrastructure investments needed to conserve a precious resource he predicts the planet will run short of long before oil.

Nisha Swinton, a senior organizer with Food & Water Watch issued a statement following the decision, calling it “a profound loss for Maine’s citizens” that “paves the way for a private corporation to profit from a vital public resource for decades to come.”

“Water is a basic right,” she added. “No private company should be allowed to rake in profits from water while leaving a local community high and dry. As we’ve seen in communities around the country, selling off Fryeburg’s water will do nothing to help the town’s residents.

“Nestlé has a long history of bullying communities into selling off public assets for private profit. Unfortunately, they’ve won this round,” Swinton said.

mcmurray

mcmurray

TND Guest Contributor:  Nadia Prupis

The devastating wildfire in the Canadian province of Alberta has grown tenfold, destroying more than 100,000 hectares (roughly 247,000 acres) by Friday morning as convoys of trucks and helicopter airlifts continued evacuating the town of Fort McMurray.

Between 80,000 and 90,000 people have already been forced to flee from their homes as Alberta declared a state of emergency. Officials said about 25,000 people have taken refuge in nearby tar sands work camps, and the trucks will escort them further south.

CBC News reports:

From there, many will make their way on to Edmonton or Calgary, to be housed in evacuation centres or with family or friends.

Those in the convoys will be the first residents to see the carnage created by the terrifying wildfire that tore into town Tuesday, raining embers and consuming neighbourhoods and, at times, seeming to threaten the entire community.

Without rainfall, efforts to slow or stop the blaze will be futile, according to Chad Morrison, the province’s manager of wildfire prevention.

“Let me be clear: air tankers are not going to stop this fire,” Morrison said. “It is going to continue to push through these dry conditions until we actually get some significant rain.”

Meanwhile, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said in a press briefing Thursday that it is unclear when Fort McMurray residents will be able to return home—but it won’t be soon.

“The damage to the community of Fort McMurray is extensive and the city is not safe for residents,” Notley said. “It is simply not possible, nor is it responsible, to speculate on a time when citizens will be able to return. We do know that it will not be a matter of days.”

The fire comes after an especially dry and warm winter for Alberta, which is also a central region in tar sands production, leading many climate advocates to frame the wildfire as adevastating consequence of the fossil fuel era—one with a catastrophic human toll.

However, as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pointed out during a recent news conference, linking those factors amid an ongoing tragedy risks appearing insensitive to the residents’ ordeal.

“Anytime we try to make a political argument out of one particular disaster, I think there’s a bit of a shortcut that can sometimes not have the desired outcome,” he said.

To that end, many are instead focusing their attention on contributing to rescue efforts.Rabble‘s Mercedes Allen writes:

In the immediate short term, the best way to help is to donate to the Red Cross. If you’d like to do that the easy way, you can pledge $5 for every time you text ‘redcross’ to 30333 (yes, you can do it more than once).

[….] Evacuated residents should email wildfire@rmwb.ca with their name and location to confirm that they are safe, if they haven’t already. People can offer and receive help via the Facebook Open Source Help Page and on Twitter@YMMHelp. There is also evacuation advice for those who still need it at@RMWoodBuffalo and @511AlbertaThe Globe and Mail has more tips. CBC has information on mitigating wildfire health hazards.

Supporters Of AB Rescues has information for pet owners needing temporary pet housing and advises people who still have animals in their home but are not home to “contact Pulse 780 743 7000 or RMWB by-law at 780 788 4200.”

In Calgary, evacuees were greeted with solidarity from Syrian refugees who had resettled in Canada after fleeing war at home. One woman, Rita Khanchet, who was granted asylum in Canada along with her husband and son just five months prior, posted a message in Arabic to a private Facebook group for new immigrants that read, “[Canadians] gave us everything. And now it’s time to return the favor.”

The post was shared to the Syrian Refugee Support Group page, and offers of help reportedly came within hours. “All the Syrians are saying, ‘I’m ready to give, I’m ready to give,'” the group’s co-founder, Saima Jamal, told the Calgary Herald.

Meanwhile, on the ground, evacuees described seeing “apocalyptic” scenes as they were escorted out of town on the truck convoy. One resident, Erica Decker, who was forced to take shelter in the worker camps until the evacuation continued, told the Guardian that her family “knew we wouldn’t have anything to go back to.”

“It was like something out of a movie,” she said of their fiery exit to Edmonton. “It was absolutely apocalyptic. There were vehicles stranded everywhere. The sky was black and orange. There were—and are still—so many people trapped.”

dave janda logo

 

dave janda logo

TND Podcast Spotlight:  Operation Freedom |

Topics on this week’s show: Illegal Immigration, Geo-Engineering, Benghazi, Manipulation of financial markets, New World Order Syndicate, Obama Care, Free Market Health Reform,Putin, The Ukraine, ISIS, Syria, The Constitution, Natural resources, Reserve currency, Corruption, gold, silver Global Elite, International Banking Cabal, debt, Federal Reserve, Too Big To Fail Banks, Crony Capitalism, Debt Ceiling, Financial implosion, Recession, Economic Depression, Freedom, Liberty

To listen to individual segments, click on guest names below.  If you’d like to download an mp3 of the entire show, right click here and “save as” (or equivalent for your specific web browser).

Sunday, April 3, 2016 segments/guests:

# # # # #

About Dr. Dave Janda:

Janda_Dave---photo

David H. Janda, M.D. is an orthopedic surgeon based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and a member of a nine-member orthopedic surgery group. In addition, Dr. Janda is the director and founder of the Institute for Preventative Sports Medicine, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is the only health care cost containment organization of its kind in North America. Dr. Janda also produces “Operation Freedom,” a 2 hour weekly radio program on Ann Arbor, MI based WAAM 1600 AM. Click here for the show archive.

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Georg_Soros-300x200

Georg_Soros-300x200

A Nebraska-based, billionaire-funded, anti-fossil fuel group is pushing Iowa’s attorney general into investigating ExxonMobil, among other oil producers, for hiding its knowledge of so-called man-made global warming. Bold Alliance, a self-proclaimed grassroots group, is circulating a petition across the Hawkeye State asking citizens to advocate their state’s attorney general, Tom Miller, begin investigating Exxon. The group’s…

FLINT WATER

FLINT WATERTND Guest Contributor: Janet Phelan |

If you wonder how the US could be supporting Turkey that is waging a veritable war on its civil Kurdish population, maybe you should take a look at the way people are being treated in America frist. Back in the mid-twentieth century, the city of Flint, Michigan was a bustling industrial town. Home to General Motors car manufacturing plants, Flintonians enjoyed union wages with an average annual income higher than San Franciscans or Chicagoans.

When the General Motors plants began to close in the 1980s, a blue collar work force was left without the blue collar jobs. Unemployment soared. The plant jobs had attracted a largely black population and Flint, once a boom town, became a bust town. In 2011 a state of financial emergency was declared by Governor Rick Snyder.  Out of 80,000 industrial jobs, Flint was reportedly left with only 8,000.

Lesson 1: Government disinterested and negligent

It was only after Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, an Iraqi immigrant and director of pediatric residency at a local hospital, made public her findings that the children of Flint were being poisoned with lead from drinking water that the government was forced to act. The results of her lead screening documented the profound level of lead in Flint children’s systems and made Dr. Attisha an overnight global hero. Said Dr. Attisha in a recent interview, “….when we shared our results at our press conference we were attacked. They were like ‘No, this is wrong, you are an unfortunate researcher, you’re causing near hysteria, our numbers are not consistent with your numbers.’”

It is due to Dr. Attisha’s persistence that the story of the children of Flint being poisoned with lead, an irreversible neurotoxin, was finally brought to light.

One of the disturbing aspects of the Flint situation is how many people at how many levels of government knew about the problem and did not act. Officials at local, state and federal level are implicated in knowing about the leaded water problem and failing to act. 

Lesson 2: Flint is not an aberration

 As this story gains impetus, reports are coming in from other areas of the country indicating a similar problem with lead in the water. The Chicago Tribune recently ran a story revealing that the aging infrastructure in Chicago is also  producing lead poisoned water.

“More than two years after federal researchers found high levels of lead in homes where water mains had been replaced or new meters installed, city officials still do little to caution Chicagoans about potential health risks posed by work that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is speeding up across the city,” reported the Tribune.  

An article in the New York Times, published February 8, recites a similar problem with leaded water in Sebring, Ohio. As with Flint, months went by before the city took any action at all. The article cites other such instances in Washington, DC as well as cities in North Carolina, South Carolina and Jackson, Mississippi, where “officials waited six months to disclose thecontamination….”

It was reported in January that the Navajo water supply had been poisoned by leakage from uranium mines.

A recent article at philly.com states that “Lead poisoning in PA, NJ, may be worse than Flint.” According to the article, government data shows that “18 cities in Pennsylvania and 11 in New Jersey may have an even higher share of children with dangerously elevated levels of lead than does Flint.”

The article attributes the Pennsylvania and New Jersey levels to consumption of lead paint chips in older houses.

Lesson 3:  Politicians use Flint for political currency

Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton was quick to get on the Flint bandwagon. In an NPR interview, Clinton said, “The idea that you would have a community in the United States of America of nearly 100,000 people who were drinking and bathing in lead-contaminated water infuriates me.”

Clinton visited Flint in February and spoke at a local church, calling for Congress to pass an emergency funding bill to help Flint. “What happened in Flint is immoral,” she declared. “The children of Flint are just as precious as the children of any other part of America.”

However, Hillary’s efforts did not achieve the desired result. It was shortly reported that, as US Senator from New York, Clinton had voted against a bill which would have banned a fuel additive which was contaminating water supplies across the country.  MTBE was used to make fuel burn cleaner but was found to be a carcinogen. In 2000, a federal investigation found that wells in at least thirty- one states were at risk for MTBE contamination.  The legislation to ban MTBE was passed by Congress in 2005. Clinton voted against the ban.

Apparently, Clinton’s campaign promises to Flint fell on jaundiced ears. In the recent primary election in Michigan, Clinton was walloped by presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. The Republican Presidential candidates have all condemned the failure of government to address the Flint water crisis  but have failed to suggest any remedy or assistance.

Lesson 4: Chemical and biological abuses of US populations are epidemic

The indifference or complicity of various levels of government to the poisoning of Flint, Michigan has historical equivalents.  The Tuskegee experiments, in which African American males were put into an experimental study group, without their consent, to track how untreated syphilis affected their health, is a well- known stain on US health policy history. More recently, a number of prestigious universities were caught using “premies”—babies born prematurely– in experimental studies which ran the risk of causing blindness or death to the infants. The families were not informed of the risks of the studies.  

Another unplumbed depth of degradation lies in the buried history of A-South, a psychiatric inpatient unit at the posh UCLA medical center in West Los Angeles, California. A-South was a detached unit which was razed to the ground about ten years ago.  It is known that human experimentation was ongoing at A-South, which at least for some period of time only serviced welfare patients.

Officials with the hospital continue to deny that A-South ever existed.  It has recently been reported that patients housed on A-South were receiving drugs known to be deleterious to their well- being as well as electroshock therapy in excess of what are considered therapeutic levels. It is also known that A-South patients were refused the right to refuse harmful treatment. At least one physician, Dr. Derek Ott, who served as a resident on A-South in the 1990s, has been cited as causing the death of one of his patients.

Ott was reportedly reprimanded by the medical board and did not face loss of his license to practice medicine. UCLA has refused to release names of other physicians who did their residency on A-South.

The trajectory of what happened to the daughters of Melissa Diegel reveals that courts are involved in terminating the parental rights of parents in order to feed medically challenged children into experimental drug programs. Kayla and Hannah Diegel, both of whom have a rare mitochondrial disease, were taken from their mother after she questioned treatment her children were receiving at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The two Diegel daughters have apparently been enrolled in drug test trials with Translational Genomics Research Institute. Diegel’s story illuminates the primacy of scientific experimentation over human and civil  and family rights.

After the Church hearings in the 1970’s, MKULTRA, which was the US’s experimental program dealing with mind control, was reportedly disbanded. Nicholas West reports in Activistpost that the search for mind control technologies has only accelerated.

Lesson 5:  What else is in the water?

Lead poisoning lasts a life time.  Once lead enters the neurosystem, it does not exit. Children exposed to lead face a life sentence of diminished learning capacity, lowered IQ and behavior problems.

Lead contamination is not the only challenge facing US water systems. As of 2006, sixty-nine percent of Americans were serviced by water systems that employ fluoride.  Fluoride affects the hippocampus in the brain, inducing docility and passivity in those who ingest it, and was used to dose and daze the denizens of Eastern European concentration camps, during Hitler’s reign of terror.

Another item of concern is the use of chloramines to disinfect water. Chloramine is produced when chlorine is added to ammonia. According to Dr. Winn Parker, chloramine is known to cause breast cancer and miscarriages, and can cause further deleterious effects when imbibed by someone who faces health challenges, such as kidney problems

Recent reports have also raised the bar of alarm on the leakage of pharmaceuticals, such as estrogens, antibiotics and psychiatric medications, into US water supplies. Reports from both the WHO and Harvard University have minimized this as a risk to health. However, articles in medical journals—some going back thirty years—have discussed the problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria in drinking water and the potential effects on public health.

And finally, there are also the unanswered questions as to why the US has covertly reconfigured water systems country-wide as “double line” water systems. As reconfigured, this double line system allows for the introduction of another substance into preselected service lines. In other words, some preselected homes can get an injection into their service lines of the “something else” that  is in the top secret second line, without  the recipients’ knowledge or consent. Queries as to the reasons for the reconfiguration have resulted in official invocations of “National Security.”

Water is life. As the residents of Flint learned, something as precious as water and human lives can now be subject to politicization, scientific experimental imperatives and even, God forbid, a potential eugenics impetus.

# # # #

janet phelanJanet Phelan is an investigative journalist whose articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The San Bernardino County Sentinel, The Santa Monica Daily Press, The Long Beach Press Telegram, Oui Magazine and other regional and national publications. In 2004 she “jumped ship” and now exclusively writes for independent media.  Her poetry has been published in Gambit, Libera, Applezaba Review, Nausea One and other magazines. Her first book, The Hitler Poems, was published in 2005.   Her groundbreaking expose, EXILE, was published in May of 2014 and is available at Thebookpatch.com.   Formerly a talk show host (KSKQ, Republic Broadcasting Network) Janet maintains a vigorous schedule guesting on radio shows across America and Canada. She currently resides in Latin America.  Click here to follow her on Facebook.  Visit her website:  JanetPhelan.com

This article first appeared at the New Eastern Outlook and is reprinted with permission.

ron paul weekly column

ron paul weekly columnTND Guest Contributor:  Dr. Ron Paul

During her appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Attorney General Loretta Lynch admitted that she asked the FBI to examine whether the federal government should take legal action against so-called climate change deniers. Attorney General Lynch is not responding to any criminal acts committed by climate change skeptics. Instead, she is responding to requests from those frustrated that dissenters from the alleged climate change consensuses have successfully blocked attempts to create new government programs to fight climate change.

These climate change censors claim that the argument over climate change is settled and the deniers’ success in blocking congressional action is harming the public. Therefore, the government must disregard the First Amendment and silence anyone who dares question the reigning climate change dogma. This argument ignores the many reputable scientists who have questioned the magnitude, effects, and role of human action in causing climate change.

If successful, the climate change censors could set a precedent that could silence numerous other views. For example, many people believe the argument over whether we should audit, and then end, the Federal Reserve is settled. Therefore, the deniers of Austrian economics are harming the public by making it more difficult for Congress to restore a free-market monetary policy. So why shouldn’t the government silence Paul Krugman?

The climate change censorship movement is part of a larger effort to silence political speech. Other recent examples include the IRS’s harassment of tea party groups as well as that agency’s (fortunately thwarted) attempt to impose new rules on advocacy organizations that would have limited their ability to criticize a politician’s record in the months before an election.

The IRS and many state legislators and officials are also trying to force public policy groups to hand over the names of their donors. This type of disclosure can make individuals fearful that, if they support a pro-liberty group, they will face retaliation from the government.

Efforts to silence government critics may have increased in recent years; however, the sad fact is the US Government has a long and shameful history of censoring speech. It is not surprising that war and national security have served as convenient excuses to limit political speech. So-called liberal presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt both supported wartime crackdowns on free speech.

Today, many neoconservatives are using the war on terror to justify crackdowns on free speech, increased surveillance of unpopular religious groups like Muslims, and increased government control of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Some critics of US foreign policy have even been forbidden to enter the country.

Many opponents of government restrictions on the First Amendment and other rights of Muslims support government actions targeting so-called “right-wing extremists.” These fair-weather civil liberties defenders are the mirror image of conservatives who support restricting the free speech rights of Muslims in the name of national security, yet clam to oppose authoritarian government. Defending speech we do not agree with is necessary to effectively protect the speech we support.

A government that believes it can run our lives, run the economy, and run the world will inevitably come to believe it can, and should, have the power to silence its critics. Eliminating the welfare-warfare state is the key to protecting our free speech, and other liberties, from an authoritarian government.

# # # # #

rpilogo-final The above appeared at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity website and is reprinted with permission.  To visit the website, click here. Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity is a project of Dr. Paul’s Foundation for Rational Economics and Education (F.R.E.E.), founded in the 1970s as an educational organization. The Institute continues and expands Dr. Paul’s lifetime of public advocacy for a peaceful foreign policy and the protection of civil liberties at home.  The Institute mobilizes colleagues and collaborators of Dr. Paul’s to participate in a broad coalition to educate and advocate for fundamental changes in our foreign and domestic policy.  To support the institute’s important work, click here. TND full (1)

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huh - stupid

huh - stupid

The University of Oregon historian who wrote a study claiming glaciers are sexist said in an interview Friday that the general public isn’t educated enough about feminism to understand his research. In the interview, Dr. Mark Carey claims that when his studies are “described to nonspecialists, the research can be misunderstood and potentially misrepresented.” “People and…

fukushima_01

fukushima_01TND Guest Contributor:  Joshua Krause

This Friday, it will officially have been 5 years since the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami disabled Tepco’s nuclear power plant in Fukushima. But despite the passing of 5 years, we still don’t really know much damage this disaster really caused. We don’t know what the long-term effects will be on the environment, or on the people of Japan, and both Tepco and the Japanese government have lied to the world about the gravity of the situation.

And the situation is still much more serious than they’ve been letting on. We know that plant is still leaking radiation, we know the ocean and the area surrounding Fukushima is still radioactive, and we know that the nuclear power plant is a flimsy house of cards that could crumble at any moment.

But as bad as the situation was and still is at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant, believe it or not, it could have been far worse. In fact, Japan’s former Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, admitted that the country came within a “paper thin margin” of an apocalyptic disaster.

In an interview with The Telegraph to mark the fifth anniversary of the tragedy, Naoto Kan described the panic and disarray at the highest levels of the Japanese government as it fought to control multiple meltdowns at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station.

He said he considered evacuating the capital, Tokyo, along with all other areas within 160 miles of the plant, and declaring martial law. “The future existence of Japan as a whole was at stake,” he said. “Something on that scale, an evacuation of 50 million, it would have been like a losing a huge war.”

Could you imagine? I don’t think an evacuation of 50 million people has ever been attempted before, much less in a country that already has such a high population density. If the worst case scenario had come to pass, it would have been the biggest humanitarian disaster in history, and that’s not counting what the effects would have been outside of Japan. As for what that worst case scenario might have been, Prime Minister Kan explained:

“When we got the report that power had been cut and the coolant had stopped working, that sent a shiver down my spine,” Mr Kan said. “From March 11, when the incident happened, until the 15th, the effects [of radioactive contamination] were expanding geographically.

“From the 16th to the 20th we were able to halt the spread of radiation but the margin left for us was paper-thin. If the [fuel rods] had burnt through [in] all six reactors, that would definitely have affected Tokyo.

“From a very early stage I had a very high concern for Tokyo. I was forming ideas for a Tokyo evacuation plan in my head. In the 1923 earthquake the government ordered martial law –I did think of the possibility of having to set up such emergency law if it really came down to it.

“We were only able to avert a 250-kilometre (160-mile) evacuation zone [around the plant] by a wafer-thin margin, thanks to the efforts of people who risked their lives. Next time, we might not be so lucky.”

This would have spelled the end of Japan as we know it today. It would have also had huge ramification for the rest of the world. For five years we’ve been freaking out about the radioactive pollution that’s spewing out of that plant and into the Pacific Ocean. There’s no telling how screwed up the environment would have been if that plant had completely melted down.

In all likelihood, it would have also been utterly devastating for the global economy, which at the time was still reeling from the crash of 2008. Japan was and still is the world’s third largest economy. There’s a good chance that this disaster would have shattered markets everywhere, and ushered in a global depression. We would still be picking up the pieces today.

And worst of all, that rickety power plant is still sitting there, and Japan is still struggling to make it safe again. As bad as the Fukushima disaster could have been, we’re not out of the woods yet.

Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .

This work was published at The Daily Sheeple and is reprinted with permission.

Keno Dam 2

Keno Dam 2Yesterday, Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) questioned Deputy Secretary of the Interior Mike Connor about the administration’s role in the proposed removal of four dams on the Klamath River in Northern California and Oregon. Citing an agreement signed by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, the State of California, the State of Oregon, and PacifiCorp to create a “non-federal entity” to remove the dams, LaMalfa demanded that Connor explain where Interior derived the authority to engage in removal of the Klamath Dams.

“We’re seeing an administration that claims to be the most transparent in history engaged in closed meetings, neck-deep in a shell corporation, and requiring stakeholders to sign nondisclosure agreements just to learn how they’ll be affected,” said LaMalfa. “This seems like a front company in a process designed to avoid public scrutiny and avoid open government laws. The administration is moving forward with its goal of dam removal while ignoring the water supply issues that impact thousands of residents.”

Deputy Secretary Connor refused to answer whether the non-federal entity would be required to comply with the Freedom of Information Act and other open government laws. While Connor claimed that Interior had no involvement with the non-federal entity, he later admitted that federal employees were working on the project.

LaMalfa also referred to recent meetings held between Interior, California, Oregon and PacifiCorp officials and a hand-picked group of stakeholders, at which all attendees were required to sign nondisclosure agreements in order to participate. Deputy Secretary Connor admitted that such agreements, which prohibit participants from speaking publicly about the meetings, had been required.

“It is entirely inappropriate for public employees to participate in secret meetings and force those who lives could be impacted to sign nondisclosure agreements,” LaMalfa added. “For the record, I want you to know that I’ll be submitting a Freedom of Information Act request to your office for documents related to these meetings.”

Video of LaMalfa’s exchange with Secretary Jewell and Deputy Secretary Connor may be found at the following link:

PART 1:

PART 2:

Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.

Source:  link.