March 7, 2011 (San Diego) – A federal judge has cancelled a public hearing challenging Sunrise Powerlink. The trial was slated to begin today in downtown San Diego, but instead the judge has notified plaintiffs that he will be ruling based on the record. The decision comes as a disappointment to Powerlink opponents, who say they looked forward to having their day in court.
Organizers of a “stop Powerlink” march to the courthouse have announced they will still hold a rally outside SDG&E headquarters today at 12:30 at 101 Ash Street, where speakers will include Supervisor Dianne Jacob, Michael Shamas, executive director of the Utility Consumers Action Network (UCAN), and. Dave Elliot, tribal member of the Manzanita Band of Kumeyaay.
SDG&E/Sempra has pushed forward with construction, disrupting traffic and businesses in areas such as Alpine despite numerous legal challenges that have not even been heard yet in court--and could potentially stop the project, opponents note.
The state’s environmental impact report found that Powerlink will pose a “severe and unmitigatible fire hazard” for fire-prone areas in East County already devastated by firestorms. Towers hundreds of feet high will also mar views in designated scenic view corridors and federal forest lands in East County.
The suit was filed by three East County organizations: Protect Our Communities Foundation, East County Community Action Coalition, and Backcountry Against Dumps.
SDG&E says the 1,000 MW, $1.8 billion project is necessary to meet our region’s future energy needs and will also provide construction jobs in Imperial County and San Diego’s East County. Opponents counter that demand for energy can be met through rooftop solar and other alternatives without the need for Powerlink.
For a copy of the “Stop the Sunrise Powerlink!” flyer, click here.
For more details on the rally, email christyyoder-SunrisePL@yahoo.com or call 9858)876-5772.