READER’S EDITORIAL: THE BUZZ OVER POWERLINK--WHY WE SHOULD SUPPORT WORKERS ON THE LINE

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By Michelle Mann, Boulevard


“In a time of economic fallout it is nice that there are still jobs for good hard working Americans. That is what these guys are that are out building the power line.”

 

March 19, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) -- It is amazing to hear all the buzz about this new power line going in. It is astonishing how many people are trying to sabotage this project and oppose it. I would like to see all those people who are making such a stink about this project turn their power off. The only reason why these guys are out here building the power line is to provide power to those that are complaining.

 

If you don't like it so much then turn off your power. Make it so there is less of a need and then maybe they wouldn't have to put them in. These people who are complaining are the same people that would be the 1st ones to complain if the power did go out in the middle of the night. Line work is an extremely dangerous job and we should support those who are out working in the line, not trying to jeopardize their safety.

 

In a time of economic fallout it is nice that there are still jobs for good hard working Americans. That is what these guys are that are out building the power line.

 

The time and place for trying to get this type of project stopped is in the planning stage, not when people are out trying to work hard on the line and support families. They are also living here in your local community supporting your local businesses. Think about all the businesses that are being support grocery stores, gas stations, laundry mats, movie theaters, and restaurants.

 

I do agree that we need to protect wildlife but at the same time we have to be realistic in that idea. I think there has to be a balance. In the summer I work for the Grand Teton National Park and I fully agree with protecting wildlife. But at the same time I understand that people need power and people need jobs. I think there can be a balance. Yes we should try and protect as much wildlife as we can while building for our futures; that is why SDG&E have hired an abundance of wildlife monitors. They are there to do their jobs as well and I don't think they need your help.

 

You want to help and make a positive impact. Try driving a hybrid; oh wait all the energy that comes to build one comes from dirty coal plants. Try turning off your power; oh wait, then that would make your life a little harder. Try getting others to reduce their power consumption. Try being a better lobbyist when things like this are up for vote. This is obviously a needed resource so stop being so petty.

 

I think that instead of trying to make these guy's job any harder we should support them. The sooner they can get their work done the sooner they can be out of the area and on to the next job. Putting stuff like this up only prolongs the job and prolongs the expose to the wildlife and the residence. Sometimes it is worth sucking it up and staying out of other people's business so a job can get done.

 

The opinions expressed in this editorial reflect the views of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. To submit an editorial for consideration, contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org.

 

Comments

Please take the time to tell your Sunrise Powerlink feelings

Michelle Mann says: "It is astonishing how many people are trying to sabotage this project and oppose it....." How True you are!

Yep Michelle Mann, your right, The Residents of San Diego Does not want Sunrise Powerlink in San Diego County.

The message is lOUD, AND IT IS CLEAR - - - keep the sunrise powerlink out of our town!

Have you done your research on this project?

To classify this as "buzz about this new powerline" would show that you are new to this issue. As this TRANSMISSION line project is not new. remember it is a tranmission line, not a power line. It creates no power, it transmits it. Losing alot along the way and currently has nothing to hook up to as every project so far has been denied, or is still seeking approval.
As someone who is going to personally be affected by this project, I would like to address a few of your comments as well as make a few of my own:
1) I have not heard or seen it reported that any of the workers on this project have encountered hostility, had their lives or safety threatened, or been harmed in any way, shape or form. Have you seen documentation no one else has regarding this?
2) Many of the workers on this project are not local, so this project is not providing work for those that would not otherwise have it. People who are working on this project were already employed by the subcontractors or Sempra/SDG&E.
3) This project has been fought since its inception, since the planning stage, long before the route was changed at the last minute and approved without all the required studies, of which most are only now being completed.
4) To say that the workers are living in and supporting the local community is naive. As stated most of the workers don't live locally, and at least 3 businesses (which included a restaurant and grocery store)in a very small town have left with more to follow. I know this because I travel the main road of Alpine, talk with local business owners and do shop locally. I spoke with 2 residents (yes residents, not residence) today that stated that due to construction they will not shop in Alpine, but will travel out of town. They don't want to deal with the construction delays. I know I personally have had long delays, not the 4-5 minute delays that Sempra/SDG&E stated would occur.
5) Wildlife organizations that are hired by an entity, work for that entity as subcontractors and write their reports based on how they are told to write them. I have spoken with subcontractors who stated that they could lose their jobs for writing reports that put the companies that hired them in a bad light, so they write them in their favor.
6) The Cleveland National Forest website states that Golden Eagles are currently in their nesting season and that they are to be undisturbed. However, there is video documentation showing powerlink subcontractors flying within the proximity of known nesting locations and disturbing, in fact knocking a pair out of the sky, Golden Eagles.
7) This is not a needed project. SDG&E/Sempra was fined over $1million for lying about the necessity of this project. The energy demand in San Diego has actually decreased due to people seeking alternative forms of energy, such as solar.
8)If you were to read the 11,000 page EIR/EIS completed on this project you would see that it addresses the Northern unapproved route with only approximately 50-100 pages having anything to do with the southern approved route. It states that this project creates and "unmitigated" fire risk for East San Diego County. (Sempra/SDG&E's words, not ours). It states that it will knowingly cause the destruction of some of San Diego County's Golden Eagles. No efforts being made for concessions to try and keep them from being killed.
9) People are losing their homes and their businesses due to this project and there is no compensation for those losses. Especially when their business is a farm, winery, home based, business.
10) Some of the businesses in Alpine have extended their hours into the evening to try and make up for the business lost during the day, due to construction. Now Sempra/SDG&E want to extend their construction hours into the evening, causing these businesses to lose even more. So much for helping Alpine.
11) I speak as someone whose family members make their living building and maintaining transmission lines, and even they say this project is ill-conceived, unneeded and dangerous.
12) Calling this petty and telling people to "suck it up" leads people to believe that you work for the utility, one of its subcontractors, or that you really haven't done any research on this project and its affects on the communities and people of East San Diego County.

Rebuttal to Sunrise Powerlink Supporter- Mann

How wonderful it must be to live in a world of simplicity and bliss as Ms. Mann of Boulevard! Despite thousands of people and grass roots groups, all of the most credible environmental organizations- scientists and biologists, consumer groups, renewable energy advocates, the majority of her own neighbors, all of our local politicians and volumes of evidence and articles against the Powerlink - Ms. Mann, armed with just her own opinion, thinks we should “support the Powerlink and the workers”.

Let’s all take ten steps backward and help Ms. Mann understand the truth:
Ms Mann believes that we are trying to sabotage and raise a stink to stop SDG&E/Sempra from providing us with needed “power” from the Sunrise Powerlink:
1. The Sunrise Powerlink is not even for San Diego – it’s ultimately for Sempra’s targeted “big money” Los Angeles market.
2. We already have more than enough capacity on our existing Southwest Powerline -for all of SDG&E-Sempra’s “renewable energy” projects…even if they actually did build even one of their “projects”.
3. San Diego does not have any additional power needs – usage is actually leveling off and declining due to roof top solar – Local Distributed Generation.
4. Many people, with the help of Sempra-SDG&E’s marketing efforts,(paid for by SDG&E ratepayers) have forgotten that Sempra/Enron were found guilty of “artificial congestion” (fake black and brown outs) in 1999-2001, to deceive the public into believing we had energy shortages…Sempra Energy was fined at least $500 MILLION ( that again, ratepayers ultimately paid). There has never been a need for additional power!

Ms Mann believes we need to support these SDG&E line workers, because they are good, hard working Americans.
1. Most of SDG&E’s line-workers are shipped from out-of town, even out of state, they are short term (less than 2 years) contract workers and live in trailer parks in East County.
2. Less than 500 jobs would be generated from the Sunrise Powerlink, as stated, they are short term contractual, and most workers are shipped from outside San Diego .
3. The construction and operation of the Sunrise Powerlink will raise all of our SDG&E utility bills by at least 20% - many authorities say 30%! The few short term jobs the Sunrise Powerlink might generate would be negated by the overall devastating increase that SDG&E would dump on all San Diego ratepayers.

Ms. Mann believes that the majority of people, environmental groups, consumer groups, politicians should have stopped SDG&E/Sempra from building the Powerlink at the planning stage…not now-because these workers are supporting our local businesses.
1. Ignorance is not bliss and it is a waste of our time, Ms. Mann. We, the people have been fighting SDG&E/Sempra…for years…we have found illegal permitting, bribery, influence peddling, years of premeditated, targeted infiltration of our political and semi-political organizations…years before we even knew about the Powerlink…but, please, Ms. Mann, let’s not trouble your pretty little head with too much information!
2. The destruction SDG&E and its workers have done to the town of Alpine is heartsick. One business has already gone down – and two more are close to announcing closure-- The daily stress of 15 minute traffic stops, non-stop obnoxious jack-hammering, and trucks and backhoes, is taking its toll even on the health of our beloved Alpine citizens. There is no excuse.
3. Of course, we wouldn’t expect you to know, Ms. Mann, that the Sunrise Powerlink, is only a terrible, hateful plan by Sempra Energy to connect to imported natural gas (a fossil fuel) from Sempra’s Costa Azul in Ensenada via Sempra’s Mexicali’s LNG electricity generating plant, TermoElectrica de Mexicali-- that the USA does not even need-- at taxpayers and CA ratepayers expense.

How dare you, Ms Mann, with absolute ignorance and callousness, tell entire towns, property owners, environmental groups, renewable energy activists, consumer groups…innocent citizens…to “suck it up” for the greed of a monopolistic,company..SDG&E/Sempra Energy.

The Best way they can being on Payroll

"I think there can be a balance. Yes we should try and protect as much wildlife as we can while building for our futures; that is why SDG&E have hired an abundance of wildlife monitors. They are there to do their jobs as well and I don't think they need your help."

Tell Me This then how can they post an area sensitive habitat for nesting birds then the next day the signs are gone. it's all smoke and mirrors! Good Biologists do go bad when there's money involved

Ask yourself who's intrests your looking out for when your getting paid. If you ask me it's a very fine line that they might walk close to, but surely siding with the ones paying there check!

Michelle Mann you should rethink your thinking!!!!!

But we all know your involved with SDG&E

Michelle Mann- how much did

Michelle Mann- how much did sempra/sdge pay you???
Is it the American way to build without permits. Is it the American way to take land away from the rightful owners.Is it the American way to destroy what is sacred. Can you not see the big picture. You are a fool who has been lied too.You are a fool for being on the wrong side. You are a fool for letting yourself be bribed. Only a bribed person would write such a foolish thing.

Hello, long island

Hello,

long island roofers:It would provide new energy infrastructure to the state. Other than the physical impacts for the power line construction, the collectors would actually create a cooler micro climate in the vicinity of the arrays.

Regards,
John

The only one

Well, I live in Campo and have friends in Boulevard. I don,t know who this Mann person is but they are the only one I know who is NOT against the power line. People did try to stop it in the planning stage. Remember it was going through Borrego but the rich people there stopped it. This left the current path through here where all us poor trash live. Now we will have 2 500Kva power lines. One running along the border and one from 1 to 20 miles north of the first. As to turning off our lights. That comment should be addressed to the people in the city who leave every light on they have all night long. And whats with all the lights on the streets and freeways? Don't city people have headlights on their cars? We turn our lights out at night. We are over 800 square miles and less than 2% of the counties population. We have all the electricity we need. And whats with all the windmills they want to build back here? If they need the electricity so bad in the city put them up along the coast. Put them up in Del Mar and La Jolla. I here they have a nice sea breeze there and no transmission line loss. Its not about the environment. Its not about needing more electricity. It's about political power and money. SDG&E will make 100's of Millions of dollars from this project and, do you want to bet your electric bills are going to double in the next 10 years.

Sunrise Powerlink will COST the San Diego Economy

For the informed, the economic arguments against the Sunrise Powerlink are some of the most compelling arguments. For one, it is very short sighted to build a $2 billion dollar extension cord to resources that are right here in San Diego. The only reason for the extension cord is that SDG&E/Sempra are looking out for THEIR bottom-line, and they can only get rate increases based on their capital expenditures on infrastructure. In the meantime, our largest users of energy in the region - large institutions in San Diego (hospitals, universities, large corporations, government buildings), are quickly becoming energy independent, many through rooftop solar. At the same time, those homeowners who can afford to get off the high tier rates by going solar assisted, are doing so. (I am one of those). We are using less energy from SDG&E in our region, and that trend is expected to continue. Also, consider that we only need to have enough energy available to meet our needs during our PEAK demand. In San Diego, our peak demand has always been on our hottest sunniest days. This is when solar works the best. Just look at the Chula Vista peaker plant. It was only used one time in 2009, and it was during our hottest days. So, bottom line, with the Sunrise Powerlink, our infrastructure costs are going up, while our energy use is declining, leaving those who can least afford to pay for it, having to absorb all that costs for the infrastructure. You don't need an economics degree to understand that this means we will all be paying more cost per kwh for everyone else. That means more rate increases. Predicable and preventable and forseeable. YOU DON'T CREATE ECONOMIC VALUE BY SPENDING MONEY ON PROJECTS WHICH PROVIDE NO ADDITIONAL BENEFIT. That only creates overhead. Secondly, SDG&E's own analysis concludes that we can predict at least one additional catastrophic fire a decade as a result of this project. Our catastrophic fire costs are paid for in lives, insurance costs, and billions in property and business losses. So, while this project could create jobs today, it will cost us decades of bail out money in the future. It is a bad choice for the San Diego economy.

Are You Kidding Me?

We are greatfull to all the local business's that are going out of business because of your PowerLink, we are greatfull for the majority of the labor being done is by people imported from out of state. We are greatfull for people like you instead of supporting solar energy in our cities you support destroying our back country. We are greatfull for when the fires come more often all of our houses are going to burn. We are Greatfull that we have close minded people like you saying it will be good for people. "Forward Progress" Stop SDG&E! FOLLOW THE LEADS OF MYSELF AND OTHERS GO SOLAR! You to can stop Paying SDG&E, My Bill was $5 last month! We need this like I need a knife in the back. Or are you on the Payroll???

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