SDG&E

FOREST SERVICE DELAYS POWERLINK DECISION; SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENT

Opponents call move a “golden opportunity” for public to weigh in and potentially halt project

 


May 16, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Yesterday, Cleveland National Forest issued a request for public comments on SDG&’E’s proposed Sunrise Powerlink project.

The public has 45 days to submit comments on the planned high-voltage line. As part of a national energy corridor, the line could ultimately a 1,000 foot-wide swatch of clearance through Cleveland National Forest in East County. Forest Services officials are preparing a Supplemental Information Report (SIR) to include new information received. The Union-Tribune reports that the Forest Service said Saturday that the massive power line “threatens views, creeks and roadless areas in the forest.”

SDG&E ADDS PROPOSED SOLAR ENERGY PROJECT TO ITS PORTFOLIO FROM IMPERIAL COUNTY

 

Photovoltaic Facility Proposed by LS Power Could Deliver up to 130 Megawatts of Clean Energy to San Diego Across Planned Sunrise Powerlink

 

May 14, 2010 (San Diego)—San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced yesterday that it has signed a 20-year power-purchase agreement with an LS Power subsidiary to procure up to 130 megawatts (MW) of solar energy from the proposed Centinela Solar Energy facility in the Imperial Valley.

EDITORIAL: SDG&E TELLS CHAMBER THERE IS "NO RISK FROM FIRES" FROM THE SUNRISE POWERLINK





By Laura Cyphert

East County Community Action Coalition



At an April 2010 event at the East County Chamber of Commerce, Laura McDonald from SDG&E boldly stated that “there are not any fire risks with this project.”



It is not known if McDonald purposely intended to mislead San Diegans (or if she will someday be fined for misleading San Diegans), but what is known is that the “Fire and Fuels Management” section of the environmental impact report identifies numerous significant fire risks associated with the project, and even states that the project will “significantly increase the likelihood of catastrophic fires.”

SEMPRA 1ST QUARTER EARNINGS DOWN SHARPLY DUE TO LITIGATION SETTLEMENT

 

SDG&E ratepayers due refunds for ENRON-style price manipulations; company also assessed higher fire insurance premiums


SAN DIEGO, May 10, 2010 – Sempra Energy reports first-quarter 2010 earnings of $106 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, down from $316 million, or $1.29 per diluted share, in the first quarter 2009. First-quarter 2010 earnings included a charge of $96 million after tax related to the energy-crisis litigation settlement announced last week.

POWERLINK MEETING IN ALPINE TONIGHT

 

More meetings set for May 18 in Boulevard and May 27 in Lakeside

 

May 10, 2010 (Alpine) – San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) will host a community meeting on Sunrise Powerlink at 6 p.m. tonight at the Alpine Women's Club, 2156 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine.

 

“Many may think this is a David vs. Goliath fight, but remember, David won the fight. We can, too,” said Sharmin Self, East County Community Action Coalition, an organization representing 79,000 people opposed to the Powerlink project. Self urged community members to attend the meeting, adding, “Numbers do count.”

FILNER ASKS INTERIOR SECRETARY FOR INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF POWERLINK ON BLM LAND; CITES CONFLICT OF INTEREST BY SDG&E LOBBYIST-TURNED-INTERIOR DEPT. OFFICIAL


Congressman accuses Sempra and SDG&E of “monopolistic” practices

April 25, 2010 (Washington D.C.) – Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego) has sent a letter to Ken Salazar, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary, asking for an independent environmental evaluation on impacts of Sunrise Powerlink proposed by San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) through Bureau of Land Management property along the California/Mexico border. 

 

Filner asks that Assistant Secretary of Interior David Hayes be excluded from any decision-making related to the Powerlink project because of his recent role as a lobbyist for Sempra/SDG&E. “Mr Hayes lobbied the Department of Energy (DOE) on behalf of Sempra/SDG&E in 2006 seeking National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor (NIETC) designed by DOE for the SDG&E Powerlink corridor,” Filner's letter points out.

SDG&E TO HOLD 4 COMMUNITY MEETINGS ON SUNRISE POWERLINK IN MAY - OMITS LAKESIDE

 
April 25, 2010 (San Diego's East County) - San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has announced four community meetings on Sunrise Powerlink during May in Campo, Alpine, Scripps Ranch, and Boulevard. (Details below).  But conspicuously absent is a long-awaited second meeting in Lakeside that SDG&E officials promised area residents. 

 

At a contentious first meeting in Lakeside, SDG&E officials promised to respond to citizens' concerns in a follow-up meeting. Lakeside's new fire chief, Andy Parr, missed that meeting but pledged to attend the subsequent public meeting.  SDG&E has since cancelled two followup meetings in Lakeside, one due to weather and a second due to conflicts with the Lakeside Rodeo calendar.

RENEWED SEISMIC ACTIVITY RAISES QUESTIONS OVER MAJOR PROJECTS PLANNED IN EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery
 

April 8, 2010 – How safe would giant wind turbines, power stations, high voltage lines, and a dump proposed for East County be during a powerful earthquake? Consumer advocates and area residents are raising those questions—and the answers in some cases are unsettling.

POWER PLAY: SDG&E USES EMINENT DOMAIN , SEEKS TO TAKE UP TO 80 PROPERTIES FOR POWERLINK


Backcountry residents burned up over latest tactic to grab land before court cases on Powerlink are heard

March 8, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Aiming to begin construction on Sunrise Powerlink this summer, San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) is going to court to seek eminent domain powers to force landowners to turn over as many as 80 properties to the utility for construction of the controversial high-voltage power line. The tactic has sparked outrage among many East County residents.

LAKESIDE CITIZENS PUT SDG&E OFFICIALS IN HOT SEAT OVER POWERLINK IMPACTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 “How can you sit there and say it’s safe to be there when that canyon has burned every year—and you’re going to put those towers up, leave us with no power, and we only have one way in and one way out?” -- Myles Thurman, Lakeside

 

February 3, 2010 (Lakeside) – San Diego Gas & Electric officials received a far-from-warm welcome from Lakeside residents at a community forum last night hosted by the utility to discuss impacts of Sunrise Powerlink, the proposed high-voltage power line that SDG&E wants to run through Lakeside's El Monte Valley.

 

SDG&E plans to hold a follow-up meeting within 30 days.


SDG&E GEARS UP FOR NEXT WAVE OF STORM, OFFERS SAFETY TIPS

 

 

January 21, 2010– Heavy rain and high winds are expected to keep San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) crews busy as forecasters predict the worst of this week’s series of storms will sweep through the region today. Utility crews are being staged at operations centers for staffing around-the-clock to coordinate service restoration, communications and logistical support throughout the storms.

 

POWERLINK MEETINGS CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER

 

January 20, 2010 (San Diego's East County) SDG&E has just announced cancellation of this week's community council meetings in Campo and Lakeside due to stormy weather. Those meetings were set for tonight and tomorrow night, respectively. 

 

SDG&E plans to reschedule and will announce new dates soon, Jennifer Briscoe, spokesperson for the utility company, informed East County Magazine today.  A meeting in Alpine remains scheduled for Feb. 15. 

POWERLINK REVELATIONS SPARK HEATED DEBATE IN ALPINE

By Diana Barreto and Miriam Raftery

 

“Who is going to move to Alpine and put their kids in a school 40 or 50 feet from a high-voltage line?” – Michelle Steinbuck, mother and Alpine resident


"We have done everything we can to make sure everyone here, and everyone else who is not here, gets to know exactly what is being ramrodded down our throats." -- Milt Cyphert, co-founder, East County Community Action Coalition

January 17, 2010 (Alpine) San Diego Gas and Electric’s current proposal for Sunrise Powerlink, including undergrounding high-voltage power lines along Alpine Boulevard, was not well received by 400-plus people at a meeting on January 14th. County Supervisor Dianne Jacob convened the meeting to show the community information left out of the latest report submitted by SDG&E to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in Sacramento.

 

SEMPRA DONATES $50,000 TO HELP HAITIAN EARTHQUAKE SURVIVORS

 

 

January 17, 2010 – Sempra Energy Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Sempra Energy (parent company of San Diego Gas & Electric Co.) has pledged $50,000 in disaster-relief assistance funds to victims of the devastating Haitian earthquake. Sempra Energy Foundation will direct the funds through the San Diego—Imperial County Chapter of the American Red Cross International Relief Fund.

POWERLINK OPPONENTS ACCUSE SDG&E OF EXCLUDING OPPONENTS FROM POWERLINK COUNCILS

December 30, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – SDG&E has named 110 people to serve on community councils to make recommendations on how areas should deal with disruptions caused by Sunrise Powerlink, the $1.88 billion high voltage power line project that the utility company wants to build. But many of the project’s most vocal opponents were not invited to participate—and are accusing SDG&E of stacking the deck in its favor.

INVESTIGATIONS INTO LOBBYIST SCANDAL DROPPED

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the California Fair Political Practices Commission have all dropped investigations into boasts made on tape by former Assemblyman Mike Duvall (R-Orange County), who claimed to have had sexual relationships with lobbyists. An Orange County newspaper and other media reported that one of those lobbyists worked for Sempra Energy/SDG&E.  However the investigations apparently failed to substantiate the claims and concluded that no further inquiry was warranted. 

SDG&E, COX TO PAY $17 MILLION TO STATE OVER FIRE CLAIMS; DEAL DOES NOT AFFECT LAWSUITS BY FIRE VICTIMS

By Miriam Raftery


November 1, 2009 (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has agreed to pay $14.3 million to the state to settle claims that its poor maintenance caused the 2007 Witch Creek, Rice, and Guejito fires, plus an extra $400,000 in reimbursement to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). SDG&E did not admit causing the fires, but did issue an apology for obstructing investigators seeking causes of the fires.

Cox Cable agreed to pay the state $2 million. “We believe that our line was properly maintained and intact prior to the Santa Ana winds in 2007, and did not cause the Guejito fire,” a Cox statement read. The PUC will decide after a public hearing in San Diego whether to approve the proposed settlement, which would be paid from company profits, not ratepayers.

Some community leaders expressed dissatisfaction at the news.  “It seems to be business as usual for SDG&E,” observed Donna Tisdale, Boulevard Planning Group chair. “Get caught lying, cheating, or failing to comply, refuse to admit guilt, give a half-assed apology, and write a big fat check that never reaches the impacted/damaged communities.”

SDG&E TO TEST INNOVATIVE WATER-SUSPENDED SOLAR POWER TECHNOLOGY


Increased Efficiencies, Reduced Costs Expected

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 23, 2009 – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) today announced it has joined with Pyron Solar of San Diego to test an advanced concentrated solar-power system that floats in a shallow pool of water and is expected to generate electricity at higher efficiencies and lower costs than conventional flat-panel photovoltaic systems. The objective of the 18-month demonstration project is to validate the technology for potential broad commercial applications.
 

Now being installed at SDG&E’s Mission Control/Skills Training Center in Mission Valley (photo), the technology utilizes acrylic lenses and a dual-tracking system floating in water to concentrate the sun’s rays and focus the sunlight on a proprietary glass optic. The glass optic spreads the sunlight evenly over advanced photovoltaic cells to generate electricity.

POLITICAL PORK? COMMON CAUSE CALLS FOR FPPC TO INVESTIGATE LOBBYIST SEX SCANDALS; NOTES SEMPRA CONTRIBUTIONS TO BASS & BROWN

 By Miriam Raftery

October 15, 2009 (Sacramento) – A lobbyist scandal in Sacramento has given new meaning to the term “pork” in politics. Ever since former Assemblyman Mike Duvall squealed on tape about bedding two lobbyists, critics have called for an investigation. Now the non-partisan citizens watchdog group Common Cause has called on the Fair Political Practices Commission to open an investigation into whether the female lobbyists violated state law by engaging in affairs with Duvall, an Orange County Republican who resigned in disgrace after his boasts were made public. An Orange County newspaper has identified one of the women as a lobbyist for Sempra Energy/SDG&E.

 

“Voters need to know how widespread this practice is of lobbyists literally getting into bed with legislators, and since the Legislature and Attorney General have both abandoned any investigation it is now incumbent upon the FPPC to take this on,” said Derek Cressman, Western States Regional Director for Common Cause.

FBI OPENS INVESTIGATION INTO SEMPRA/SDG&E LOBBYIST SCANDAL

Assembly Ethics Committee Drops Its Investigation

By Miriam Raftery

October 5, 2009 (Sacramento) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has launched an investigation info former Assemblyman Michael Duvall’s claims of having a sexual affair with a female lobbyist, the Los Angeles Times reports. The woman has been identified as a lobbyist for Sempra Energy/SDG&E by an Orange County newspaper. Duvall was a member of the utility company overseeing public utilities.

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