An investigative series in the Contra Costa Times up north says that an environmental program to benefit the delicate Sacramento-San Joaquin delta instead provided cash and cheap water for wealthy landowners in Kern County. The paper includes in that group the holdings of Stewart and Lynda Resnick, the Beverly Hills power couple. Excerpt:
No one appears to have benefitted more than companies owned or controlled by Stewart Resnick, a Beverly Hills billionaire, philanthropist and major political donor whose companies, including Paramount Farms, own more than 115,000 acres in Kern County. Resnick's water and farm companies collected about 20 cents of every dollar spent by the program.
Those companies sold $30.6 million of water to the state program, participated as a partner in an additional $16 million in sales and received an additional $3.8 million in checks and credits for sales through public water agencies, documents show.
"For a program that was supposed to benefit the environment, it apparently did two things — it didn't benefit the environment and it appears to have enriched private individuals using public money," said Jonas Minton, a water policy adviser to the Planning and Conservation League, a California environmental advocacy group.
Company policy is not to talk to the press, so no response from the Resnicks' side. Via Chance of Rain