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End the Billion Dollar Owens Lake Rip-off of LA Ratepayers by Ted “Elmer Gantry” Schade


VOICES - During the past decade the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control Officer Ted Schade has extracted $1.2 billion

from Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) Ratepayers, increasing their water bills by up to 20%.  This Ratepayer money has been used to build Ted’s Empire in the Great Basin (Alpine, Inyo, and Mono Counties) in order to control dust from Owens Lake.  

The dust, a form of particulate matter  air pollution, is blown off the dry lake bed by wind.  Owens Lake has been largely dry since the Los Angeles Aqueduct was completed in 1913 by DWP’s Chief Engineer William Mulholland.  This aqueduct has made possible the delivery of water necessary for the growth and survival of Los Angeles for the past century.  As an organization deeply concerned about Owens Lake, DWP has worked diligently to successfully reduce the lake dust to an entirely safe level.

The Great Basin, which has a population density of only two people per square mile, is not experiencing any documentable adverse health effects from the current level of Owens Lake dust. 

However, Schade continues to exaggerate the dangers of dust in the Great Basin with the religious fervor of Elmer Gantry.  

He demands further dust reduction based on the US EPA PM regulations, even though they are not scientifically valid in California.  

Also, he co-authored an April 2012 report that claims over 9,000 deaths per year in California can be attributed to Owens Lake dust exposure. 

Then, amazingly, Schade requested in a July 2012 letter that the Great Basin be EXEMPTED from costly dust-related regulations   by claiming the dust is NOT dangerous in this sparsely populated area.  Like Elmer, Ted is a hypocritical charlatan!   

All the while, PRECIOUS California water, equal to the amount used by the City of San Francisco (over thirty billion gallons a year), continues to be pumped into Owens Lake, where it simply evaporates.   

Instead of agreeing to the much less wasteful dust control proposed by DWP, Shade has hired $750 per hour attorneys and has demanded $400 million more for dust control done his way.  His demand is so outrageous that DWP filed an October 12, 2012 federal lawsuit against Ted’s Empire.  

This lawsuit has wide support from Ratepayers, the entire Los Angeles City Council, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, homeowners associations, and others. 

Until Shade stops misrepresenting the dangers of the Owens Lake dust and agrees to efficiently and economically control it, a new advocacy group appropriately named IRATE (Irate Ratepayers Against Ted’s Empire) will advocate and promote an IMMEDIATE AND TOTAL boycott of the Great Basin, particularly Mammoth Lakes

IRATE has extensive expertise in the flawed PM (dust) science that is being misused by unaccountable regulators like Schade and in effective ways to do Ratepayer advocacy.  

IRATE is organizing the BOYCOTT with assistance from as many Ratepayers as possible in order to stop the water waste at Owens Lake and end Ted’s billion dollar rip-off.

(Harold Callahan and Dr. James Enstrom are the founders of IRATE. Contact Dr. Enstrom here: [email protected]  IRATE has no connection with DWP or any other organization including CityWatch. Views and content are those of Callahan and Enstrom)




Vol 11 Issue 12

Pub: Feb 8, 2013

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