Bureaucrats in California are getting called out for misrepresenting the science while trying to thwart a desalinization plant.
Steven Greenhut writes:
The Coastal Commission’s stated concern that a proposed Huntington Beach desalination plant’s intake pipes pose a threat to small and microscopic plankton has been rebutted in a letter from three prominent California marine biologists.
Anthony Koslow, Eric Miller and John McGowan—marine biologists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla—were responding to comments made at a Dec. 1 panel about ocean desalination in Ventura County by Tom Luster, the agency’s lead staffer on the desalination issue.
Luster actually had cited Koslow, Miller and McGowan’s research in arguing against open intakes given a 75 percent reduction in plankton off Southern California since the early 1970s. Citing the Scripps research Luster said it would be “hard to maintain and enhance marine life like the Coastal Act requires in a situation like this and so open intakes have a hurdle to overcome.”
In a sternly worded Dec. 29 rebuttal letter, Koslow, Miller and McGowan said Luster’s comment reflected “an inaccurate understanding of our research,” adding that their paper showed “many of the taxa are predominantly distributed offshore but share the same trend as more coastal taxa.”