Approval of Escondido power plant restart triggers local generation charge to ratepayers
Story and photos by Nadin Abbott
March 21, 2013 (San Diego)—East County residents savored victory following the California Public Utilities Commission’s unanimous rejection today of Quail Brush, a gas-fired power plant proposed near Mission Trails. Commissioners also rejected the Pio Pico plant in Otay Mesa, but approved refiring an Escondido power plant.
But according to Lane Sharman, co-founder with Bill Powers of the San Diego Energy District Foundation, a grassroots group trying to get community based utilities, this vote did something else. It added one more tax to your utility bill. Not only are rate payers to pay for energy distribution and transmission distribution, but now a local generation charge as well. Effectively, ratepayers will be subsidizing utilities, according to Sharman.
Commission allows repowering of Escondido plant
“Today’s rejection of Quail Brush is not only a victory for the environment. It’s a victory for our community. It sends a message that San Diego County shouldn’t rely on old-school, power plant technology and that we can accelerate our efforts to develop renewable, cleaner forms of energy, like rooftop solar and fuel cells.”—Supervisor Dianne Jacob
March 21, 2013 (San Diego) – Before a packed audience in San Diego today, the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously denied SDG&E’s requests to build Quail Brush and Pio Pico, gas-powered peaker plants near Mission Trails Regional Park and in Otay Mesa. The Commission did, however, authorize repowering of an existing but idle gas plant in Escondido.
Public meeting and vote set for March 21 on 3 local power plants, though judge denies public entry to March 20 with energy industry representatives and state regulators
By Miriam Raftery
March 18, 2013 (San Diego)— Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor today denied an injunction sought by Masada Disenhouse, who had asked the court to halt the California Public Utilities Commission from holding a closed-door, invitation-only meeting with energy industry stakeholders at the Scripps Seaside Forum in San Diego on Wednesday, March 20.
SUIT FILED TO STOP CLOSED-DOOR PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION MEETING WITH ENERGY COMPANIES IN SAN DIEGO
By Miriam Raftery
March 13, 2013 (San Diego)—The law firm of former City Attorney Mike Aguirre has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Masada Disenhouse seeking an injunction to halt the California Public Utilities Commission from holding a closed-door , invitation-only meeting with energy industry stakeholders at the Scripps Seaside Forum in San Diego on March 20. Disenhouse asked to attend, but her name was removed from the list.
“California Government Code section 11123 requires that all meetings of a state body shall be open and public, and all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting of a state body,” the lawsuit states. The suit further notes that Government Code section 11120 requires that “proceedings of public agencies be conducted openly so that the people may be informed.”
QUAIL BRUSH HEARING MOVED TO SAN DIEGO MARCH 21: ENVIRONMENTAL LEADER ACCUSES CPUC CHAIR OF ILLEGAL ACTION, CALLS FOR PEEVEY’S RECUSAL FROM VOTE
By Miriam Raftery
March 4, 2013 (San Diego) – The California Public Utilities Commission has announced that it has moved a hearing on the Quail Brush power plant from San Francisco to San Diego . The hearing, at which a vote is expected, is set for March 21 at the Conference Center Hearing Room, 5520 Overland Ave., San Diego 92123 Click for Map.
The announcement comes after five postponements of the hearing, amid allegations that CPUC's Chairman violated state open meetings law to exert undue influence; project opponents are calling for his recusal from the vote.
The California Energy Commission, meanwhile, has cancelled a public workshop set for March 3 at Grossmont College.
Quail Brush, a gas-fired power plant proposed near Mission Trails Regional Park, has generated strong community opposition. Save Mission Trails, an activist group battling the project, has announced it plans to stage a rally at 8 a.m. prior to the 9 a.m. hearing.