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Comments made by PeteHasapopoulos

Carlsbad Approves New "Peaker Plant" Deal

No one can say that Carlsbad didn't try to stop the proposed power plant at the California Energy Commission. However, the final word on whether a new power plant is needed and gets approved comes from the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC). They don't even have an application for this new fossil fuel plant in front of them. In other words, the fight is far from over. The cities of Del Mar, Encinitas, and Solana Beach have taken a stand against any more dirty energy in our county, sending letters to the PUC to that effect. Over 20,000 people have sent messages to the PUC saying that dirty energy should not replace San Onofre. A recent poll conducted by a national polling firm found that 56% percent of SDG&E customers want clean energy to replace San Onofre and only 32% are okay with having power plants in the mix. The worst kept secret in all of this is that the lights have stayed on just fine without San Onofre and will continue to do so as local clean energy like rooftop solar keeps growing and reducing demand on the grid during "peak" hours (i.e. when the sun is blazing across our rooftops in the afternoon). Also energy efficiency in products and buildings keeps growing and reducing demand on the grid. The California Energy Commission recently released energy demand projections for our region. Demand is going down dramatically. Again, there is a reason the lights are staying on without San Onofre. SDG&E is fear mongering about blackouts and creating the false belief that more power plants are inevitable so, Carlsbad, get the best deal you can now. All you have to do is give up your option of joining the fight against more fossil fuel power plants that is forthcoming at the PUC, a fight that is winnable.

And one more bit of salt in the wound: these peaker gas plants cost electricity customers anywhere from $1 billion to $6 billion and typically host only 10-20 permanent jobs.

January 15, 2014 at 5:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Cities Weigh In On How To Replace San Onofre Power

To their credit, the City of Del Mar also sent a letter to the Utilities Commission opposing more natural gas plants and supporting local clean energy. SDG&E thinks the closure of San Onofre has granted them entry to an all the fossil fuels you can eat buffet with electricity customers (residential, business, schools) paying the bill. The proposed Pio Pico Plant would cost SDG&E customers, whether you live in Fallbrook, Poway, or Chula Vista $1.6 billion. We would get ramped up greenhouse gas emissions, dirtier air, and only 15 permanent jobs out of the deal. Pio Pico is the first domino in SDG&E's scheme. They are looking to do upwards of another $6 billion in power plant construction around our region, all with the same harmful effects. The simple truth is, we do not need these power plants. San Onofre has been down about 2 years and we have not had related blackouts, in no small part because our local clean energy sector, such as rooftop/parking lot solar and energy efficiency upgrades, is thriving---and creating lots of local good paying jobs.

January 8, 2014 at 8 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

SDG&E Donating $1.2M To San Diego And Orange County Nonprofits

The recipient organizations are no doubt worthy and deserving of some financial help. It is a shame that it is coming from SDG&E, however. They are not a good corporate citizen. SDG&E customers should be aware of how SDG&E sometimes benefits from recipient organizations as they try to influence public policy to the detriment of everybody's pocketbooks (including veterans) and the environment. For instance, SDG&E petitioned the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to have ratepayers cover over $300 million for SDG&E's wildfire mess--the one that killed people, burned people, and caused terrible financial pain to people. Hundreds of people attended a PUC meeting about this in San Diego, with only about 1% supporting SDG&E. Who were many of the 1%? Recipients of SDG&E's charitable giving, including elected officials. The UT reported on this:

Here is an excerpt from the article:

At the same time, SDG&E won general praise from representatives of the prevention and treatment BURN Institute, from the 211 San Diego health and disaster line, from an umbrella group for 30 volunteer fire departments and from the local American Red Cross, among many others. Those groups are among the steady beneficiaries of $5 million in annual charitable giving by SDG&E — independent of the Sempra Energy Foundation — according to disclosures filed with the California Public Utilities Commission. Frank Ault spoke in support of SDG&E’s cost recovery request on behalf of the San Diego Regional Fire and Emergency Services Foundation, an umbrella fundraising group for volunteer fire departments where he serves as board chairman. The foundation received $50,000 in charitable contributions from SDG&E last year.
“We were just addressing the fact that they are a good corporate citizen that tries to mitigate the impact of fires regardless of who starts it,” said Ault, a retired SDG&E accountant. Ault said the utility called him in advance of the hearing and asked that he attend. His endorsement of the SDG&E proposal was based on his understanding fire costs would still be reviewed by regulators before charging customers. Critics of the plan say it would rubber-stamp costs.

November 11, 2013 at 6:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal )