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People Power Just Trumped Corporate Power: Oregon County Rejects Nestle Water-Grab


#1

People Power Just Trumped Corporate Power: Oregon County Rejects Nestle Water-Grab

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Voters in one Oregon county on Tuesday approved a ban on commercial bottled water production, stopping a years-long effort by Swiss transnational Nestle to sell over 100 million gallons of water a year from the Columbia River Gorge.

"This is really a resounding victory for everyone who cares about protecting not only our water supply, but water supplies around the world," said Aurora del Val with Local Water Alliance, which filed the ballot measure petition.


#2

The PEOPLE have spoken and won once again! Bravo, to Oregon voters, activists, farmers, workers all...your hard work paid off. I will bet the Nestle boardroom got very quiet and then, after they caught their breath, they began yet another search for water resources in other states to try and usurp...sad to say.


#3

The environmental movement grows the world over which was anticipated by those in power.

This is why all of those trade agreements being pursued. They see this as a way to heading that movement off.


#4

I'm not familiar with Oregon's laws and politics, but I've seen other instances where the corporation gets the state to nullify local decisions (especially environmental rights decisions). Local fracking bans come to mind.

So I hope this battle IS finally over. If so it will assuredly strengthen the Community and Environmenal Rights Movement. Here in Virginia the state and the feds are cooperating with the natural gas pipeline companies to ride roughshod over both citizens' property rights and local ordinances designed to protect both those rights and the environment. If democracy means anything it means the right for local communities to protect their citizens' rights and their local environment.


#7

So, you can not export water in the form of water, but in the form of livestock, produce, or hay it is o.k. For me the issue is who owners that water, what is its value and how do you make sure it is used equitably.


#8

Congratulations to the people of Hood River County and the organizers of this ballot measure.

And i agree with the comments above by @SuspiraDeProfundis and @MountainMan23: This local victory is not safe from the never-ending predation of zombie corporations.

We the People of Earth must aim to:
- Absolutely disempower capital as an economic, social, and political force;
- Roll back almost 600 years of colonization, privatization, and commodification of land, life, people, and "resources";
- Institute a holistic, ecological, and democratic economy, that meets basic human needs without dehumanization; without ecological dis-integration; and without the structural looting and predation that lie at the root of both.


#9

Unfortunately, a bit north, here in B.C., the government is busy almost giving away vast quantities of water to Nestle.


#11

One for the good guys....


#13

Yeah. Nestle did win one in Maine recently. (boo)


#14

10 thumbs up if I could but you are exactly right.


#15

They were getting the water for free. After an uproar the Liberals agreed this was wrong and that Nestle should pay for the resources from the commons.

The fee is 2.25$ per one MILLION litres. They make their money back selling a single one litre bottle .

Ah the putrid and stinking smell of Capitalism in the morning!


#16

Our senator Ron Wyden who I would give a 6 out of 10 on most progressive issues is also backing Clinton.
So far the only U.S. Senator to back Bernie is our other Senator, Jeff Merkley.


#17

Yes indeed, NAFTA, TPP, TPIP and other treaties like it are exactly designed to usurp local and national laws and more importantly shut out the people's choices and voices.


#18

Screw those bone head "liberals" who are giving a new meaning to the word liberty, they are a woefully ignorant bunch, seriously folks!


#19

Unfortunately the southern states seem to swallow anything corporate America throws at it, well trained by their old English heritage of slave like obedience towards capital, wealth, money, authority, laws, etc crap and beat themselves over the head for not being the "blessed ones" . Stupid if I may say so, very stupid and self defeating. This is exactly the attitude that enables the crooks to take full advantage of those poor trusting self blaming weak minded enslaved subjects


#20

Exactly right. In 2009, we stopped Nestlé here in Wells and Kennebunk, Maine, from pumping the headwaters of our main public drinking water source; and, though they could have pursued this in the state court system, we felt they wouldn't because of the bad PR they would then elicit. Fryeburg, Maine, wasn't so fortunate; because, Nestlé had a lot more to lose there, since that's where one of their main bottling plants is located.

However, if Broker Oscama's trade agreements are passed with the investor-state dispute mechanisms in place that entail secret corporate-friendly tribunals, I have a feeling that Nestlé will stop worrying about PR. At that point, the only mechanism we will have to fight them is to try to instigate a nationwide boycott of their products.

There was at least one Maine politician who was saying "they" were going to work to carve water out of these trade agreements; but, in my opinion, that politician is usually more talk than substance; and, I've seen no mention of anyone working in that direction.

If we've any chance of saving water from privatization, we need to fight against these trade agreements, especially the TPP. If Clinton is elected, she will surely push to have them passed.


#21

In Colorado local ordinances banning fracking were overturned at the state level.

In Michigan all semblance of local governance was eviscerated by the Republican governor, resulting in the crisis in Flint, among other affronts to human heath and dignity.

In Pennsylvania the uphill battle by local governments against the state's efforts to stamp out local bans on fracking have gone back and forth like a tennis match.

And yes, some Southern states have similar problems ..


#22

QUOTE: As the Guardian reported ahead of the vote, some residents said politicians did not hold full public hearings, accepted trips from Nestlé to California, and presented negotiations between Nestlé and the state authorities as a done deal that was now out of ordinary people’s hands. UNQUOTE

Serves those cheapskates right, thinking they can bribe upstanding politicians with a mere trip to California, just a couple of hours by car. Nestle should have treated them to a choice between a 4 week ski holiday in Davos or a summer holiday in the Swiss Alps, and probably the outcome would have been different. :laughing:


#23

Putting water into millions of plastic bottles should be illegal.
It just creates tons of toxic waste... very little is recycled.
It also uses lots of energy, creates greenhouse gases and
takes people's money for water. It is an environmental disaster,
an unnecessary wasteful activity that is destroying the
planet. I don't buy anything in a plastic bottle myself.
Of course there are many things that are legal that should be
illegal and visa versa.


#24

I don't think this is as black and white an issue as it may seem, because sometimes you do need bottled water when your municipal water supply is impure. Here in Los Angeles they now "purify" our water with a compound called chloramine, which is a mixture of chlorine and ammonia, instead of straight chlorine.

Chloramine is very corrosive to water pipes in homes (think Flint), to water infrastructure like water treatment plants, city pipes, and water mains, and to appliances like washing machines, water heaters, and dishwashers. It is harmful when inhaled, especially when it is heated, as it is when taking a shower or washing dishes, and it can cause severe skin irritation in some people who are allergic to it. It does not clean the water as well as chlorine, and unlike chlorine, it is almost impossible to filter out of the water.

I now use only bottled spring water for drinking and cooking, and I have a friend who even bathes in it because of her sensitivity to chloramine. I have learned that there are better and safer ways to purify our water, but they are more expensive than chloramine, so they are not implemented.

Obviously, I am not in favor of corporations stealing our water and then selling it back to us, but there does have to be a way to get safe, clean water when we cannot trust our municipal water supply.