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Blog: AES on the Run; San Diego City Council Opposes New Power Plant

AES runs scared while elected officials in another community oppose a new power plant.

While waiting for the results of the power plant phase-out petition signature count (the County is about one third complete), residents scored a minor victory showing that AES is running scared. This week, AES announced they have delayed their application so that they can add a shell around the plant in their plan. AES must think residents are stupid to think we'd suddenly roll over just because the plant is behind a wall... an 80 foot high wall.  An 80 foot high wall with three smoke stacks emitting more pollution. An 80 foot high wall moved closer to residential neighborhoods with three smokestacks emitting more pollution closer to the ground. An 80 foot high wall that requires the high tension lines down 190th forever. This is an insult... but it proves two things:

1) AES will do the minimum possible to get this thing built; otherwise, why wasn't the shell building in their original plan?

2) AES is afraid of the resident initiative.

We got them on the run! So stay the course. Keep the pressure on. We can win this one!

Meanwhile, another community is opposing a new power plant. The proposed Quail Brush 100MW peaker plant would be just outside the town of Santee. The plant would be on private property on open space outside of the town. In this case, Santee School Board, Santee Planning Commission, Santee City Council, and San Diego City Council all oppose the new plant. These organizations oppose the plant because of the pollution impact on residents, students and teachers, and the environmental and visual impact on a nearby park, Mission Trails. This plant is in an area that projections show needs more power in the future, especially with San Onofre down. The plant is 1/5th the size of that proposed in Redondo. The plant is in open space outside of town. Yet these organizations stood up to protect their residents.

Where is our School Board, Planning Commission and City Council?  

Why aren't they looking out for us the same way Santee and San Diego elected officials look out for their constituents?

In its new location our plant will be just hundreds of feet from residential neighborhoods along Catalina. It is 5x the size of the propose Quail Brush power plant. It will have 6,500 students within a 1.5 mile radius. Its lower stacks will release more pollution right into these neighborhoods. The City's own studies show the economic impact of the plant. These studies show that our plant is tightly ringed on all sides by incompatible uses, unlike the Quail Brush plant site in Santee. These studies call the plant the "major blighting influence" in the harbor. AQMD reps have testified to our Council on the health risks of these pollutants and that for several there is no safe limit of exposure. And the CAISO rep testified we can retire one ocean water cooled plant in our part of the grid. This is a no-brainer.

We voted them in. AES didn't. Why won't our elected officials do their job to protect surrounding businesses, residents and our children?  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jim Light October 06, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Bob, Bob, Bob - "It's a taking, just the same as it would be if you re-zoned a McDonalds to not allow food preparation." Wrong again. The City did just that when they passed the 1992 General Plan change. The industrial area on Ruxton was rezoned residential. The Commercial area along Catalina where the Catalina Coffee Company is was rezoned residential. So, Bob, the City does this all the time. That wasn't a taking and neither is this. If you do a little homework, you will find plenty more examples. The company's on Ruxton sold their property to developers. AES can do the same if they want after the zoning passes. Your arguments do not stand scrutiny.
Jim Light October 06, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Bob, are you serious? Do you believe what you just wrote? This one is REALLY easy. Ask any real estate agent. Or, take a look at a residential unit just off Catalina in the harbor area and then compare to a similar residential unit a mile south of the power plant. The City did a very comprehensive study, but you can do it yourself. It is not rocket science. It is intuitively obvious. There are no two ways about it, proximity to the plant impacts property values. If you can't see it and you REALLY believe it yourself, you are in denial. Saying it over and over again doesn't make it true, Bob. The evidence proves you wrong.
Fred Reardon October 08, 2012 at 08:01 AM
Again Bob, consider everyones private property rights and our rights to clean air not just those of the polluter. The polluter will take away our clean air and diminish our property values. Therefore your argument is hypocritical since you elected to support a situation that takes away our rights...a true statist mindset. Go back to silicon valley and get a refresher course.
Fred Reardon October 08, 2012 at 08:09 AM
Bob and the power plant cheerleaders want to steal something we own...clean air, our private property values, our landscape via more pollution, and our health. That is why we will vote, to stop the statists from sticking smoke stacks in our face.
Fred Reardon October 08, 2012 at 08:29 AM
So it boils down to AES's rights to pollute and RB citizens rights to clean air. Therefore, let's put it to a vote. Surely Ayn Rand would have supported a democratic vote or she would have moved back to Russia? Let's see how many RB citizens support the health risks and new smoke stacks. Let's see how your statist argument holds up by opposing democracy.

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