Was the Diablo desal an election scam?

July 15, 2016
Supervisor Adam Hill

Supervisor Adam Hill

OPINION by DEBBIE PETERSON

About the time that 3rd District Supervisor Adam Hill indicated he would be running for a third term, he and PG&E staff from the Diablo nuclear power plant collaborated over lunch at his home to sell desalinated water to South County. On August 28, 2015, under threat of an emergency, the board of supervisors approved $300,000 from Flood Control Reserves to fund a feasibility study of the details in the Diablo proposal.

While he was advocating for large sums for the South County feasibility study, Hill was also demanding that the Paso Robles Basin be cut out of the Flood Control District management and budget and made part of a special district supported by his donors, the Resnicks of recent Justin Vineyard oak desecration fame.

On March 22, based on the feasibility study and promises from PG&E that desal would continue even if the plant shut down, Hill sold the board on allocating $900,000 from the Flood Control District to explore doing a deal with Diablo.

Hill then touted, as one of his greatest accomplishments, his ability to bring more water to South County through his relationship with PG&E.

Although they must have known for weeks or months, PG&E waited until after Adam Hill got through the June 7 primary election to announce the Diablo nuclear plant would be shutting down in 2025 and that PG&E would be breaking its promise to continue with the desal project.

Just days after the announcement, an Adam Hill insider told me what many had long suspected: the Diablo desal deal was never planned to happen, and never anything more than an election scam.

Adam Hill and PG&E not only conned their community out of nearly $1.5 million, but diverted valuable staff intellect and time from the very critical solutions their customers and constituents so desperately need. They effectively hijacked our water, both North and South County, during 18 months of critical shortages to further their own agendas. And while our water supplies dwindled, our electricity company and elected representative stole from us the very resources we needed to solve our problem.

Debbie Peterson is the former mayor of Grover Beach.


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30 Comments

  1. chrisinpaso says:

    I recall back in the 1960s, when nuclear power plants were also considered as a possibility for desalinization. Nothing new in the basic concept for the project. However, it seems that if the project made any commercial sense at all, a private company, be it PG&E or an independent investor (e.g. a private equity fund), would have been willing to bear the initial costs for feasibility studies. If not, the project was not worth pursuing in the first place.

    (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  2. Thomas A says:

    Fire Adam Hill.

    (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
  3. obispan says:

    About time. If it’s Debbie Peterson against Dan Carpenter, sorry Dan, just my opinion. But that is not the case. Dan now, maybe Debbie later, but no more east coast part-time college instructor political animal. Adam Hill took advantage of SLO County naivety to propagate his corruption. This is not about how you felt about Jerry Lenthall at the time or whether you were more inclined towards Kurt Kupper’s or Hans Heilmann’s interpretation of property rights. Hill is a criminal who associates with criminals. Get him out now. I don’t care which way his replacement votes on any particular issue at this time.

    (29) 45 Total Votes - 37 up - 8 down
    • Rich in MB says:

      Exactly right Obispan.
      The important thing is freeing our community of Adam Hill, anyone would be an improvement.
      Lets not let the political game keep Adam Hill in a position of power one day longer!

      (24) 32 Total Votes - 28 up - 4 down
      • lizdoukas says:

        Citizens, please understand men/women in the position of power with like interests and like desired outcomes–it’s as close to insider trading as you can get with the interplay between Supervisors, Mayors, City Councilpersons, persons employed by PG&E…look at the complaints with the PUC and what has gone on there…we are OUT, they are IN, and they are going to do whatever is best for them, financially, politically, every other way–they truly believe they are entitled–and who is going to stop them??? I and others have contacted just about every agency, representative, anyone with potential oversight within the State of California to get rid of this county-wide corruption–has it been stopped or quelled or their actions questioned in any way other than through citizens speaking up?? NO!!!

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
        • lizdoukas says:

          OH, and why do you think the City of Grover Beach had to bond its citizens into the next century?? Do you think it’s because they saved all our hard-earned tax money, gas tax revenues, all our resources available and kept up with maintaining the streets and infrasctructure and making it their “Number One Priority”?? NO!! We’ve paid Mayor Shoals’ “consultants” with buckets full ‘o money over these past years he has been in office with projects, programs, ideas, plans that never come to fruition and generate tax dollars. Councilman Jeff Lee just last council meeting was wondering why they were going over “goals” and programs again after having done so in the recent past–they are directing our resources in the wrong direction, year after year. How can a town of less than 14,000 pay millions of dollars to our City Attorney?? We now have a city attorney, assistance city attorney, city clerk, assistant city clerk…we’ve had a city manager, assistant city manager–REALLY??!!??

          (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down

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