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San Diego Weatherman Gets Dubious Award

Local Sierra Club Chapter Gives Coleman ‘HEAT

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The San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club has given awards to people protecting the environment. But the group also gives awards to environmental wrongdoers.

— The San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club has given awards to people protecting the environment. But the group also gives awards to environmental wrongdoers.

The Sierra Club's FEAT award in 2010 focuses on efforts to preserve and protect open spaces and park lands in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

Honorees this year are: Mark Jorgensen, former Park Superintendent of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, for decades of service to the park and Bighorn sheep; Richard Halsey, Founder and President of the California Chaparral Institute for outstanding service in public education and protection of California chaparral; and the organization Preserve Calavera, for public service to protect and restore the natural environment of coastal north San Diego County.

Carolyn Chase with the Sierra Club said the negative award or HEAT award, goes to KUSI-TV weatherman John Coleman.

Coleman is cited for his persistent efforts to debunk climate change.

"It's the classic simply lying to people about reality," said Chase. "And we have to call that out and it's especially important in the San Diego region where we have a lot of the foundational science of climate change."

Chase is referring to pioneering climate change research at UC San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Chase said San Diego Gas and Electric CEO Debra Reed also gets a negative award because of what Chase calls a "continued disinformation campaign" about the proposed Sunrise Powerlink transmission line.

Chase said Sempra Energy, parent company of SDG&E, responded to the negative award but Coleman did not.

In a letter to the Sierra Club, Sempra Energy CEO Michael Niggli wrote the Sierra Club continues to "misrepresent SDG&E's Sunrise Powerlink Project."

"When completed, the Sunrise Powerlink will boost electric reliability, tap into renewable energy from the Imperial Valley and deliver that power to customers in San Diego," Niggli writes in the letter.

The awards will be presented Saturday night in San Diego.

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