Monterey Bay desalination project is approved despite environmental injustice concerns
By Dan Gillmor
27 June 2015
A plan to build a massive solar and wind power plant (or possibly another power cluster) on the small California beach town of Morro Bay, California is being held up as an example of how a major power plant can be built with local and even indigenous communities’ support. In the case of Morro Bay, such “support” comes from the state of California, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), and the city of Morro Bay itself, which approved the project at a cost of $4 billion.
As explained by the Morro Bay Community Coalition, the $4 billion cost of the power plant involves four phases of construction, with the first phase to be completed by 2025, followed by three more phases over the next 40 years. The Morro Bay Community Coalition is an umbrella organization that includes local business people, environmentalists, and the Morro Bay Community Council. It was formed on August 22, 2013, with the purpose of organizing opposition to the project.
In an interview with this reporter, the group’s co-chair, Jim White, described the opposition to the project as “a grassroots movement that has developed around it over the past couple of years.” In addition, the group’s co-chair, Mark DeCesare, explained that “the only folks who are opposed to the project are the folks who live it, and the people who work to make it happen, and those are the folks who make the opposition.” DeCesare continued, adding, “the state is in the hands of the developers, no different than a drug dealer in the middle of the night. They’re going to buy up the local business people and make them their enemies.”
The San Francisco Chronicle reported in June that the developers are moving forward with construction of the