|Promoting a sustainable energy future|
RWE-Thames Water/American Water Works
Thames Water has topped lists of worst polluters in England and Wales for two of the past three years. In case after case, regulators and magistrates found that Thames was aware of conditions that led to raw sewage discharges and could have easily prevented the pollution. But putting public health and the environment at risk, and a willingness to plead guilty and pay the occasional fine, appears to be integrated into Thames’ corporate culture, and perhaps its business strategy.
Thames’ pollution-friendly business model is being exported to the rest of the world as part of the increasing concentration and consolidation of transnational corporations pushing to privatize the world’s water.
Thames Water was fully acquired by the German energy conglomerate RWE AG in January 2003. RWE is one of the world’s largest energy giants with more than 640 subsidiaries worldwide and annual revenues of more than $50 billion. RWE is in turn acquiring American Water Works through Thames Water—the largest publicly held U.S.-based water utility with 16 million customers in 29 states and three Canadian provinces. Thames is the operational manager of RWE’s international water business, including the management of the U.S. properties owned by American Water Works. Thames/RWE is gaining yet more control of U.S. water and wastewater services by entering into an agreement with Operations Management International (OMI), a Denver (US)-based firm. The corporate web is spun.
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