SDG&E

SDG&E OFFERS SAFETY ADVICE AFTER FAMILY IS ELECTROCUTED BY DOWNED POWER LINE

 

January 27, 2011 (San Diego)— Earlier this month in San Bernardino County, three members of a family were electrocuted when they came in contact with a downed power line owned by Southern California Edison. According to news reports, the husband was the first one to approach the downed line, which had fallen into the family’s backyard. His wife and son also were killed when they tried to rescue him from the energized line.

 

“This tragedy serves as a reminder that you should never touch a downed power line and always should assume that any power line is ‘live’ and electricity is flowing through it,” said David L. Geier, vice president of electric operations for SDG&E.

3 LOCAL GROUPS FILE SUIT TO BLOCK SUNRISE POWERLINK ON FEDERAL LANDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 15, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Three local organizations and an East County land use issues expert have filed a lawsuit against five federal agencies. The suit alleges that the agencies approved SDG&E’s planned Sunrise Powerlink transition line in violation of environmental regulations—in some cases, making decisions based on the original route through the Anza Borrego Desert, instead of the revised southern route through numerous East County communities.

 

The suit makes other contentions, notably that key decision makers ignored fire danger and failed to consider the collective impact on public lands in East County, where several wind farms are planned as well as Powerlink in some wilderness areas.  In addition, plaintiffs claim that some decisions were made before completion of studies on endangered species and that once completed, those studies found the project could threaten endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep, golden eagles, and other species.

6 BIG DESERT SOLAR PROJECTS GET UNWELCOME HOLIDAY SURPISE: NATIVE AMERICAN GROUP FILES SUIT AGAINST BLM FOR FAILURE TO CONSENT

December 28, 2010 (Blythe, CA)-- La Cuna de Aztlan Sacred Sites Protection Circle, a Native American cultural protection group, filed a lawsuit yesterday in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, challenging the Bureau of Land Management permitting processes regarding six large solar facilities planned for the Mohave, Sonoran and Colorado deserts of Southern California (Case No.10CV2664 WQH WVG), including an Imperial Valley Solar project slated to hook up to SDG&E’s Sunrise Powerlink.

FEDERAL JUDGE HALTS FIRST LARGE-SCALE SOLAR PROJECT ON PUBLIC LANDS


Judge grants Quechan Indian tribe’s request for temporary injunction on Tessera Solar plant in Imperial Valley;
decision has ramifications for large-scale energy projects in East County and across the nation
 

By Miriam Raftery
 

December 16, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Local and statewide activists battling massive energy projects on public lands are praising a decision issued by U.S. District Court Judge Larry Burns yesterday, while the CEO of Tessera Solar says he is "deeply disappointed" in the ruling.

 

The federal Judge issued a temporary restraining order halting construction on the first massive desert solar project authorized on public lands—a project that if built, would be one of the largest solar power plants in the world.

SEMPRA ENERGY FOUNDATION DONATES $1 MILLION TO HELP PEOPLE IN NEED DURING HOLIDAY SEASON

 

Dec. 16, 2010 (San Diego) – For the second consecutive year, Sempra Energy Foundation today announced $1 million in charitable donations to non-profit organizations in California and the U.S. Gulf region to help people in need. The contributions also include a grant-incentive program to support the Sempra Energy family of companies’ employee volunteer efforts.

 

GREEN GOLD MINE OR LAND GRAB? GOVERNOR, DIGNITARIES AT POWERLINK GROUNDBREAKING IN EAST COUNTY

150 protesters stage rally outside, vow to file new lawsuits

View our video highlights by Billy Ortiz

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photos by Dennis Richardson and Miriam Raftery

 

 

 

 

“Some people look out in the deserts and just see empty space. I see a gold mine there for clean energy.” – Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“This is a big land grab—the taking away of our wilderness areas.” – Marion Bowles, protester

December 10, 2010 (McCain Valley) – Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Robert Kennedy’s son, Joe Kennedy, were among the leaders on hand for a symbolic groundbreaking of Sunrise Powerlink yesterday at McCain Valley in San Diego’s East County. Inside the Rough Acre Ranch (former training ground for the San Diego Chargers), the Governor praised the project as “an example to the rest of the nation.”

 

He then helped affix a commemorative plaque to a massive power tower top, or bridge, wider than the audience seating area. The project will have 436 towers. Afterwards, about 200 invited guests celebrated at a lavish luncheon provided by SDG&E and its parent, Sempra Energy.

GOVERNOR TO SPEAK AT SUNRISE POWERLINK GROUNDBREAKING TODAY; PROTEST PLANNED IN MCCAIN VALLEY

 

December 9. 2010 (San Diego’s East County) -- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is confirmed to appear with other dignitaries at a groundbreaking hosted by San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) for Sunrise Powerlink slated for 11 a.m. today (originally set for 9 a.m.)

 

In response, the Protect Our Communiities Foundation is organizing a protest, calling the groundbreaking “premature” since three active lawsuits against Sunrise Powerlink are currently in the courts—any one of which could potentially halt the project.

READER’S EDITORIAL: PRICE GOUGING BY SDG&E—RESULTS OF DEREGULATING A MONOPOLY: A PARTIAL VICTORY

 

Editor's note:  After receiving a refund for excessive charges to relocate a gas meter, Joel Harrison says he found a new form of overcharging--this time for “estimated” meter readings when his yard was easily accessible to the meter reader. Neighbors were also overcharged, according to Harrison. How many other homeowners were, too? If this has happened to you, please post a comment in the comment section below.

 

FOREST SERVICE DENIES APPEAL OVER POWERLINK, CLEARS WAY FOR LITIGATION

 

By Miriam Raftery
 

October 24, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – The U.S. Forest Service’s Regional Forester Randy Moore has upheld the Record of Decision (ROD) approving construction of Sunrise Powerlink, SDG&E's high-voltage transmission line slated to cross 19 miles of National Forest land in Cleveland National Forest as well as 49 miles of Bureau of Land Management land.

READER’S EDITORIAL: PRICE GOUGING BY SDG&E—RESULTS OF DEREGULATING A MONOPOLY

 

By Joel A. Harrison

October 1, 2010 (San Diego) -- I recently paid SDG&E $1,599 for a job my plumber would have charged between $400 and $500 to do. The job involved relocating my gas meter approximately nine feet from its location under my bedroom window.

 

I decided to replace the window with a door and steps as an emergency exit, but couldn’t do this as long as the gas meter was in the way. SDG&E told me that its current safety code prohibits gas meters from being under windows, but my home was “grandfathered” in -- and they were under no obligation to move the meter.

STOP SUNRISE POWERLINK MARCH AND RALLY SATURDAY SEPT. 25

 

Congressional debate to follow Stop Powerlink events

 

September 25, 2010 (Lakeside) – A rally for San Diegans who oppose the Sunrise Powerlink will be held Saturday, September 25th in Lakeside. The rally will be held at Lindo Lake Park (by the pavilions near the playground) at 10 a.m., followed by a march through Main Street in downtown Lakeside. 

 

 

POWERLINK CLEARS HURDLES AT STATE AND FEDERAL LEVELS

 

Supervisor Jacob accuses "so-called regulators" of "deliberately covering up the monumental fire danger posed by this line"

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 24, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) –The California Public Utilities Commission and the federal Bureau of Land Management have refused requests for additional environmental review from opponents of the controversial Sunrise Powerlink high-voltage transmission line.

SEMPRA (SDG&E) & LA MESA COUNCIL ENDORSE “NO ON DIRTY ENERGY” EFFORT TO DEFEAT PROP 23


“It’s the moral and ethical thing to do to protect the health and well-being of our residents,” Mayor Art Madrid

By Miriam Raftery


September 15, 2010 (La Mesa) – La Mesa's City Council voted yesterday to oppose Proposition 23. Sempra Energy, parent company of San Diego Gas & Electric Company, also announced its opposition to Prop 23.  

 

The ballot initiative would repeal California’s landmark AB 32, the law which protects clean air, requires greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and provides incentives for renewable, clean energy jobs in California.

STATE REGULATORS APPROVE SDG&E SOLAR POWER INITIATIVE

 

September 3, 2010 (San Diego) – This week, the California Public Utilities Comission approved a San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) solar power initiative that will provide for 100 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy. Under the initiative, 26 MW of utility-owned generation would be slated for construction on existing SDG&E property, with the remaining 74 MW to be purchased from independent power producers.

 

The initiative could more than double the approximately 80 MW of solar power currently generated in the utility's service territory.

SHAREHOLDERS VOTE FOR RIGHTS TO LIMIT SEMPRA CEO'S PAY: CONSUMER LEADER SLAMS $21 MILLION COMPENSATION PLAN

SHAREHOLDERS TO PUT LIMITS ON SEMPRA EXECUTIVE PAY

“Felsinger’s salary is a graphic example of the grossly disproportionate salaries that CEOs continue to feast upon even in our current economic malaise. It is offensive in many ways, including the fact that it is partially paid by themoney we pay SDG&E montly.” – Michael Shames, Utility Consumers Action Network (UCAN)

By Miriam Raftery

 

July 8, 2010 (San Diego) Stockholders at Sempra Energy, parent company of San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E), have approved a “say on pay” clause giving them power to restrict executive compensation. The vote came in may, following disclosure that Sempra’s chief executive, Donald Felsinger, was the highest-paid executive in San Diego County last year with a $20.9 million annual salary and benefits package, plus a $35 million golden parachute retirement package he woudl receive if the company is ever sold.

SUMMER LOOKS BRIGHT FOR POWER SUPPLY, SDG&E REPORTS


Conservation and Demand-response Programs Still Important


East County News Service

June 28, 2010 (San Diego) – Summer is here, and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) says it has lined up adequate electricity supplies and required reserves to meet customers’ expected energy needs this summer, barring extreme weather conditions

CROWD PACKS POWERLINK MEETING IN ALPINE; ATTORNEY OFFERS HOPE TO BELEAGUERED BACKCOUNTRY RESIDENTS

 


“I am persuaded that this project will not be built. It was conceived in secrecy ….sold with misleading information.” – Stephen Volker, attorney


Anonymous donor pledges to match donations for legal battle up to $20,000

MEXICAN COURT ORDER PROVISIONALLY SUSPENDS SEMPRA FROM OPERATING LNG TERMINAL IN MEXICO

 

June 22, 2010 (San Diego) - A Mexican court has suspended operations of a liquid-natural gas (LNG) plant operated by Sempra, parent company of San Diego Gas & Electric Company.  The order follows a dispute over ownership of a parcel adjacent to the terminal site.  

 

JACOB CONVENES POWERLINK TOWN HALL JUNE 23 AFTER FOREST SERVICE DENIES REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING

 

CORRECTION:  Our newsletter contained an incorrect date for the Powerlink town hall meeting. The event will be held on Wednesday, June 23. 

 

June 18, 2010 (Alpine) – Supervisor Dianne Jacob and The Protect Our Communities Foundation will host a town hall meeting Wednesday, June 23 in Alpine to provide the public a forum for comments to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), which is considering whether to allow the controversial Sunrise Powerlink high-voltage power lines to cross 19 miles of Cleveland National Forest in East County.

WHISTLEBLOWER: SDG&E QUIETLY CHANGED OUT DESIGN FLAW AT SITE OF PARADISE FIRE

 

 

Electrical expert asks if same changes have been made along other

lines he identified as fire risks; SDG&E does not

respond to inquiries

 

June 14, 2010 (San Diego) – Back in February 2009, East County Magazine published claims by electrical transmission expert Ed Clark, who contended that faulty power line installations caused the Paradise, Witch and Cedar Fires. Clark and two other experts consulted by ECM contended that SDG&E installations of two down-guy wires connected by a single bolt were dangerous.

 

Clark, who has headed up power line installations for Southern California Edison and served as an expert witness for SDG&E, argued that SDG&E's installations were also illegal, violating a state rule requiring 12 inches of separation on poles. He provided evidence of arcing including charred, black marks on anchor bolts at the base of the pole where the 2003 Paradise fire began.

SATURDAY’S SLAUGHTERHOUSE CANYON FIRE BENEATH SITE OF PROPOSED POWERLINK RAISES NEW CONCERNS

 

“Those power lines are going to be a detriment to the air attack program and the ground program…More country is going to burn. It’s obvious.” – Bob Robeson, retired Division Chief, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal-Fire)

By Miriam Raftery

June 1, 2010 (Lakeside) – Swift attacks by aerial drops and ground crews narrowly succeeded in saving threatened homes Saturday along Highway 67 in the Slaughterhouse Canyon area of Lakeside, where several small fires started by a vehicle's catalytic converted merged into a 30-acre brush fire. But ECM columnist Dennis Richardson, an eyewitness to the firefighting efforts, raises a troubling concern.
Fires were burning directly along the route of the Sunrise Powerlink high voltage lines planned by SDG&E, he noted. (See map; fire was located between CP37-2 and CP31-2): http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/environment/info/aspen/sunrise/pmr/sdge_final_pmr_fig38.pdf .

 

“The Cal-Fire aerial firefighters would not have been able to work this fire until it burned out from under the transmission wires,” Richardson stated. Saturday’s fire occurred in spring, when grasses were still green and winds were only 5 mph. Had it occurred in dry conditions during summer or fall, with even moderate winds, Richardson warned, “No telling how many homes and lives could have been lost.”

SUNRISE POWERLINK FINAL PROJECT MODIFICATION REPORT ISSUED: PUBLIC HAS UNTIL JUNE 1 TO SUBMIT COMMENTS

 

May 24, 2010 - The Final Project Modification Report has been released for Sunrise Powerlink, showing the final route and any changes/modifications made to the project. View the report: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/environment/info/aspen/sunrise/toc-pmr.htm.

The East County Community Action Coalition has organized an effort among opponents of the project to request that the Sunrise Powerlink CEQA/NEPA process be reopened to address issues that were not covered or not adequately covered in the original Environmental Impact Report (EIR/EIS).

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