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Backcountry Resident Relieved At Shut-Off Plan Denial

Audio

Aired 9/11/09

Many people living in San Diego’s backcounty are relieved by the recent denial of San Diego Gas and Electric’s emergency shut off plan. KPBS reporter Katie Orr spoke with a Ramona man who opposed the plan.

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Above: SDG&E's controversial plan to cut power to more than 60,000 homes in San Diego's east county was rejected by the California Public Utilities Commission. KPBS reporter Katie Orr explains.

— Many people living in San Diego’s backcounty are relieved by the recent denial of San Diego Gas and Electric’s emergency shut off plan. KPBS reporter Katie Orr spoke with a Ramona man who opposed the plan.

Many backcountry residents had expressed their concern about SDG&E’s shut off plan at community meetings, through letters and e-mails to state regulators. The utility wanted to turn off power to rural areas on days when weather conditions raise the risk of out of control wildfires. Ramona resident Kit Kesinger said denying the plan was the right decision. He thought turning the power off would have actually increased the fire danger.

“With residents feeling that for even one day of outage during peak fire conditions that they would have to have a generator of some type. Quite often the most accessible is a gas powered generator,” he said.

Kesinger believes the risk of a fire starting because of an accident with a generator is greater than the risk of a fire staring because of an accident with a power line. SDG&E says it’s disappointed with the state’s ruling.

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