Many would consider Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to be the Democrats' biggest double whammy, but California residents are learning when it comes to whammies it’s tough to beat the formerly Golden State’s water utilities.
Proving no good deed goes unpunished, the DailyNews.com reports that residents who have raced through 3–minute showers, driven dirty cars, and paid to have drought–tolerant landscaping installed won’t get to enjoy lower water bills as a result of reduced consumption. “Throughout California, consumers have conserved during this four-year drought and purchased less water from their utilities, leaving some water agencies operating in the red and drawing down reserves. Officials now say they need to pass some of the costs back to customers.”
In a normal situation, a company faced with declining revenue from its product could lower prices to encourage demand, but a water utility in a drought situation doesn’t have that luxury.
If there were more water to sell there wouldn’t be a drought in the first place.
Taking a page from another customer–insensitive industry, the Water Agency in San Francisco wants approval from its board to hit customers with a “conservation surcharge” of an additional 18 percent.
This reminds me of the “fuel surcharge” airlines imposed when jet fuel prices were high and failed to refund when fuel prices became lower.
The “conservation surcharge” is dangerously close to the punch line I once read on a T-shirt: “Beatings will continue until morale improves.”
In Los Angeles the utility’s problem is customers were too responsible. The mayor called for residents to cut water usage by 20 percent and low and behold Los Angelinos used 10 percent less than was predicted after the conservation call.
That leaves the Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power (DWP) with a $110.7 million shortfall in revenue that will have to be partially recovered by raising rates by 4 percent in January.
DWP is pleading poverty because it has “to keep paying employees and maintaining pipes, treatment facilities, aqueducts and reservoirs. Also, they face additional costs during the drought, for public outreach and enforcing water-use restrictions.”
It seems to me DWP could save the money being spent on “public outreach” since the response to conserve water has been much better than expected, but this is government and conservation is only for the taxpayers.
Yet that increase is not the only additional foray into our pocketbooks. “Los Angeles city officials are analyzing a broader 'base' rate proposal, which would help repair and replace outdated infrastructure.”
Which only serves to show once again in California under Democrats you’re taxed if you do and taxed if you don’t.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.