January 19, 2013 (Santee) – The California Public Utilities Commission is expected to soon hold a hearing on its proposed decision finding that Quail Brush and Pio Pico gas-fired power plants are not needed.
A letter from Preserve Wild Santee states that the CPUC decision has twice been delayed due to “industry lobbying behind closed doors.” Preserve Wild Santee, an environmental group that has lobbied against the power plants, now asks citizens to write to Governor Jerry Brown and ask him to speak out for the public interest and prevent SDG&E/Congentrix from obtaining a decision that would allow “another ratepayer rip-off.”
Peak electricity demand has been stable in San Diego and statewide since 1999. Generation capacity of gas-fired plants is in excess of 30% now. The Los Angeles basin will add 2,000 MW of gas-fired power plants this summer that will further balloon generation capacity. Yet another 2,000 MW are slated for construction elsewhere in California, the letter notes, saddling the public with at least $1.2 billion in construction and finance costs for just Pio Pico and Quail Brush.
Quail Brush would be located next to Mission Trails Park in an environmentally sensitive area and has drawn widespread and virtually unanimous opposition locally including Santee Mayor Randy Voepel, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, Santee’s City Council, the Santee school district, environmental organizations and residents’ groups.