When Gov. Gavin Newsom was photographed dining at an opulent Napa Valley restaurant during a surge in coronavirus cases, many Californians saw it as hypocrisy. For opponents of a planned $1 billion desalination plant along the Orange County coast, however, the optics were menacing.
Poseidon boasts that the facility will provide a local, inexhaustible source of water for Southern California. Critics complain that Newsom and his political appointees are exerting heavy influence to benefit a private company that would produce some of the state’s most expensive supplies.