Water for the People

When the Montana Supreme Court ruled last August that the city of Missoula could buy its own water system for $88.6 million, it was the conclusion of a years-long, David-and-Goliath battle between city leaders and one of Wall Street’s wealthiest private-equity firms, the Carlyle Group.

The tug-of-war that played out in Missoula may be increasingly common as private investors look to acquire some of the 25,000 aging publicly owned US utilities.

For Mayor John Engen, the prolonged battle was worth it. He hopes that “in 50 and 100 years, the citizens of Missoula will take for granted the fact that they own and operate a fine water system.”

Source: The Nation

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