Trump’s plan to sell our water to Wall Street is bad for everyone, but particularly bad for places like Baltimore.
Cities, especially in Blue States with large low-income populations, can now expect to face ramped up efforts to privatize important community resources and essential public services.
In Baltimore, residents are especially concerned with the aspects of the plan that would encourage and subsidize privatizing water services. Privatizing water often leads to higher rates, worse service and cuts to local water jobs.
Trump’s plan, which opens up the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to private water corporations, threatens Baltimore’s access to the main source of federal assistance to help the city comply with its wastewater consent decree.
It dramatically shifts the burden of improving our nation's infrastructure to state and local governments, while Trump’s proposed budget cuts more in infrastructure funding than the plan would provide.
Together, this is a dangerous combination.
Meanwhile, the infrastructure agenda also calls for billions in federal subsidies to incentivize Wall Street and corporations to privatize public assets and calls for a rollback of environmental regulations to fast track large projects including oil and gas pipelines that could threaten public water supplies.
This infrastructure plan comes just as French multinational company Suez and Wall Street firm KKR are lobbying Baltimore’s city officials to privatize the water system through a 50-year lease.
Baltimore advocates delivered a letter, signed by 20 organizations in Baltimore, to the Board of Estimates opposing Suez and KKR’s proposed lease and all forms of water privatization in the city.
The groups asserted that water bills would skyrocket to allow Wall Street to profit, leading to even more unaffordable bills, shut offs and tax sales.