SDG&E Natural Gas Pipeline, Violence In Sonora, And Academy Awards.
KPBS Midday Edition / February 7, 2020
Speaker 1: 00:00 Final approval comes to stop upgrading a multimillion dollar natural gas line despite controversy and stay tuned for an Oscar preview debate and Allison st John and [inaudible].
Speaker 2: 00:09 This is KPBS mid day edition.
Speaker 1: 00:22 Today is Friday, February the seventh. It's been a controversy for years, but this week the California public utilities commission gave its approval to a multimillion dollar project that will test and replace about 50 miles of pipeline that brings natural gas into San Diego. Construction is now due to begin in less than two weeks. Environmental groups are furious saying the project goes against the state's goal of moving away from fossil fuels. Joining us to talk more about this is San Diego union Tribune energy reporter Rob Nikolsky. Rob, thanks for coming in house. So first of all, tell us where it's going to start. Run through an end. It's going to start pretty quickly. It's gonna start a February 18th. Uh, this is, we're talking about line 1600, which is the 1600 comes from the width of the line, 16 inches wide. This is 16 inches wide. It runs North as far North as rainbow station.
Speaker 1: 01:18 And as far South as mission station up 15 there, right along interstate 15. And uh, they'll do 19 different segments over four years. The first segment will be, well, they'll break ground on February 18th and it's on this 2.44 mile stretch, uh, in Escondido on midway drive. So now STG and he says it's all about safety, which in view of what happened in San Bruno with the pipeline explosion where people died, you know, you can relate to that, but approval from the project which just came yesterday from the CPC, uh, was still controversial. Tell us a bit about that. Well, there was a big fight because a number of groups including the protect our communities foundation, which is San Diego based foundation, the Sierra club and some other groups. Uh, also the uh, utility reform network in San Francisco. They complained that this was unnecessary and their mind, they thought, well, first of all, it was basically a two pronged approach.
Speaker 1: 02:18 First they were saying, we're going to be using less natural gas in California. So why are we investing $677 million on this pipeline project? And the other argument they made was that they thought that the current pipe per and pipeline could still run safely at a lower pressure. Okay. Now, SDG uni and so Cal gas, our partner has our have argued for a long time that Hey, this pipeline was built in 1949. It's got what they call hook cracks, which is basically like a little, uh, sharp turns and, uh, weaknesses in the line that to be replaced. Uh, and so they've said that this is an important gas line. It's not, it does not provide the majority of the natural gas in, in San Diego, but for some of the areas along [inaudible] like Rancho Penasquitos, Rancho Bernardo, places like that, it's their major source of natural gas. And so the STG has argued this is needed and it needs to be replaced.
Speaker 1: 03:27 And what they're going to do is they're going to take 19 segments altogether over these four years. They're are going to replace the pipeline in 15 of the segments and an a for more rural areas. They're going to hydro test those lines. What's the difference between just because one's rural one's urban? Apparently their argument is that the, uh, the places that need to be replaced have these hook cracks in them and that it needs to be replaced. The more rural areas, I guess there were, they were extensions of the line and they are considered to be more safe. And so they think that all is needed is a hydro test and if it passes a hydro test, they don't make any changes. If it flunks the hydro test, then they're going to have to replace those parts of the line too. So why is it that the argument that we should be moving away from fossil fuels didn't sway the commissioners who approved this project?
Speaker 1: 04:23 Unanimously. So their argument was that since the pipeline Thurs all these different sources and since we're not ready to move completely off natural gas, this was in their minds a good use of taxpayer or rate payer money. And the utility has actually made some fairly major changes since the thing was originally proposed. Right. I mean how has it changed? It was supposed to be much, they were going to replace it with a much bigger pipe. Yes, yes. That was another, this is a multilayered story that goes back a number of years you said, um, and a couple of years ago, uh, STG knee went to the public utilities commission and said we want to replace the 16 inch wide line with a 36 inch wide line. Environmental interests have actually made some significant changes to this project since it was first proposed. Well that 36 inch line suggestion was dismissed out of hand a couple of years ago by the CPU.
Speaker 1: 05:21 See in a five nothing vote. How much will the average customer see their bill go up as a result of this project? 42 cents a month is the estimate from, from a San Diego gas and electric. And where will we see major construction coming when it affect traffic along communities on the 15, it will affect traffic SEG. It says that they have reached out to the affected communities and they've, in fact that first line that we mentioned earlier that's going to start on February 18th. They send out a uh, a notification, I think yesterday right after the CPC came out with the decision. But they've already done some work and and talk to the people in those affected communities like this area in Escondido, and they say that they'll be able to work this out with minimal in their mind and their words. Minimal disruption. Well, thanks very much for bringing us up to date, Rob. Thank you Alison for coming in. I've been speaking with San Diego union Tribune energy reporter Rob Nicola Leschi. Like many Mexican States, Sonora Baha's neighbor to the East is struggling to STEM a rising tide of violent crime, but security forces are facing their own crisis. Morale is low as police take on a dangerous job with fewer resources and suspicions of internal corruption from the front. Tara's desk in Hermosa, CEO, KJ zzz, Kendall blessed reports on how killings and corruption are affecting Sonoran police
Speaker 3: 06:48 and we'll see a police officer, Christina Garcia, hops into a patrol car on a brisk January morning alongside colleague Lewis and Hill Moreno as they head out onto the streets of MLCO. Moreno's radio starts beeping, I say started the, it's like this all day. Garcia says mode ain't no response to the call. Their job keeps them on their toes and Garcia, who's been on the force for 23 years loves it with animals. So it's called [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] oysters. She says, police protect people, their businesses and their families even when it means neglecting their own. As a mother of two and grandmother, if three Garcia knows her family worries about her [inaudible] police killings and Sonora more than doubled from 11 in 2018 to 23 last year, coupled with low pay, scant resources and suspicions of internal corruption, the killings have led to dwindling morale among some Sonoran police, perhaps hardest hit the coastal municipality. Why mess? In October, 2018 five police officers were killed in a brutal attack that stunned the city. In nine months, nine peace officers and two security officials were killed in why mass in January and other was shot in his home and left in critical condition. Didn't the personas and [inaudible] II [inaudible] and manifesto why Ms. Mayer said of IAA says at least 40 police officers resigned last year, most out of fear and that makes everyone less safe.
Speaker 3: 08:34 In one case last June, Oconee called cleanse for help after being mugged, but she was told no one would be coming just days earlier. An officer had been killed in an ambush. No one wants problems. The dispatcher tells the woman they're killing us and by it it's not just fear. Corruption. Also part of the problem [inaudible] the narrow and is [inaudible] to address infiltration by organized crime. The federal government turned to what it calls trusted military professionals to head up a purging process. In September, military leaders were installed in five Sonoran municipalities. And why mess? That's Naval captain Luis Alberto Cano. Nope. He says violent crimes are on the rise in women's rights. That's why he's here to provide military backing for police who've been understaffed and under attack and to take out organized crime both inside the police force and out in Quincy, but some worry about increasing militarization Emelio oils heads. A Sonoran citizens group focused on public safety policy. He advocates for a systematic approach to identifying and solving problems within police forces. [inaudible] there's bail push to vet officers using a confidence exam. So far, large swathes of Sonoran police have failed and many haven't even taken it. But Ohio says the exam doesn't address underlying problems. He says the solution starts with transparency. Despite millions of pesos allocated for security. He says police salaries are still low. Equipment and infrastructure are adequate and the public doesn't know how funds are being spent.
Speaker 3: 10:38 Back in the patrol car in MCO Garcia says she welcomes police reforms. Nothing. [inaudible] she says, officers who are doing things right have nothing to fear. But the question remains will those changes be enough to keep cops and the public safe? I'm Kindle blessed in ammo CEO,
Speaker 4: 11:00 you're listening to midday edition. I'm Alison st John in for Maureen Cavanagh. So the 92nd Academy awards take place on Sunday night. It's always good to hear from some experts to compare their views with our own subjective opinions and here to discuss possible winners and share some gripes about the nominations we have KPBS cinema junkies, Beth hug, Amando and movie Wallace. He has deepest Havana. Welcome to you both. Thank you. Thank you. So Beth, um, you know, you've just given a, your cinema junkie awards on the latest podcast, which I had listened to. It's very fun, but you're not too happy. What's your biggest gripe with the Oscars? I'm so frustrated this year. Um, I know that these are industry awards and I know that they tend to be given to friends and they're our marketing tool then they're not going to go to the most, you know, independent, artistic film out there. However, this year there was so much fresh, innovative, original work that was totally ignored that it was really infuriating to see the nominations. So films like lighthouse, us uncut gems, last black man in San Francisco were completely ignored. And the only crumbs the Academy gave me were for films like parasite. I lost my body and Jojo rabbit, but it's like just enough so that I can't blast the entire list. So yes,
Speaker 5: 12:17 you're a movie was podcast. So you just came out with your 10 best a discussion. Really. Yes. So what was your biggest disappointment with the Oscars nominations? Biggest disappointment. I think everyone brings up Jennifer Lopez and hustlers for having lost out really fine vibrant performance in that movie, which I agree with. But for me a far more egregious emission is that of a Lupita and Django in us. And I think, uh, technically, uh, she, she plays two different roles in that movie and it's, it's such a difficult, complex, uh, uh, education of both of those different characters. So that, that is the one which bothers me the most. And then, uh, the complete shutouts as Betsy mentioned, four dolomite is my name, the farewell and the lighthouse. They're all troubling.
Speaker 4: 13:06 You forgot about dolomite is my name. Yes. Those are the ones you really liked. But uh, so yes. D D was there anything that you liked about the nominations? Uh,
Speaker 5: 13:14 very happy about the double nomination. That's college Johansen. I was able to pull out this year a best supporting actor, female for Georgia rabbit, and then best lead actor, female for merit story. And I think this is really her year. She's come onto her own. She's always been kind of a underappreciated actor. So I'm, I'm really happy for that. And I'm really thrilled that, you know, for all of the academies of missions, they have given a lot of love for the movie parasite and it's gotten best foreign film and best editing and best production design and best original screenplay, best director and best movie, which I couldn't be happier. It still bothers me that it didn't get any acting nominations, but I'll take those
Speaker 4: 13:57 single parents I could win. Well, you know it's interesting. Fandango just came out with a poll where it pulled moviegoers and they picked parasite for best picture of the year. So I am hoping that the Academy has as much common sense as the average film goer out there. The one thing that concerns me is because it's nominated for both best picture and best foreign film, it could split its own votes where people might say like, Oh, I'm going to vote for 1917 for best picture and parasite for best foreign language film. And that way we can get both our wins in there. So that's my one concern that it might end up winning neither. Okay. Well for those of us who haven't seen parasite yet, it sounds like that's a must see it is nodding vigorously. All right. Now you've both mentioned strong female performances, but what actors do you think are going to be the favorites?
Speaker 4: 14:45 Here's where my anger kind of rises because I'm worried that the most, what I call Oscar baiting performances are the ones that are going to win. So that's Joaquin Phoenix for joker and Renee Zellweger for Judy. These are like when Leonardo DiCaprio ate the buys on liver for the Revenant and then won an Oscar. It feels like these are acting with a capital a saying like, look at me, I'm acting. Give me the award. And it's a shame because like Yazdi mentioned, Lupita and Wango for us was just such a phenomenal performance, creating two completely different characters. And then also Florence Pugh for mid-summer and neither one of them are even nominated so they can't even win. So that's where like I'm concerned. But I do think that probably Joaquin Phoenix and Renee Zellweger will walk away with those acting awards. It seems likely, doesn't it? What do you think Yazzie
Speaker 5: 15:37 well, I think the same for people who have been picking up the acting prices, uh, in all of the award season, uh, prices so far. Uh, which is rocking Phoenix for joker. Rene's no vigor for, uh, uh, Judy. Judy. Thank you. That was such a great movie. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, Laura Dern from married story and Brad Pitt for a once upon a time a Hollywood, so best actor, male, female, best supporting actor, male best supporting actor, female. So it's kind of almost an expectation now that the same four people will get the Oscars as well, which makes it a little bit boring, if you will. And I would love to see an upset in either of those categories, especially best actor. Like, like Beth said, I think one of the other podcasters mentioned that walking Phoenix, Phoenix certainly does the most acting, you know, we're not sure if he does the best acting. Uh, so I would be thrilled if somebody like Adam driver in marriage story or Antonio Banderas would pick up the best actor award.
Speaker 4: 16:37 There's a funny meme about Joaquin Phoenix where he apparently injured his knee acting in one of the scenes, and somebody said, you should talk to Meryl Streep. She'll show you how to act like you're injured, to actually be hurting yourself better, to act it and actually do it. That's funny. So this Sunday is the night to be tuned in to the 92nd Academy awards, a red carpet coverage beginning at three 30 in the afternoon. And the award show actually firstname.lastname@example.org slash cinema junkie. Excellent podcasts. There are a lot of nice sound in it. I like that. Thank you. And yesterday's discussion of the best of email@example.com thank you so much for being here. Thank you.
A major natural gas pipeline project is about to get underway in San Diego County. Environmental groups are furious, saying the project goes against the state’s goal of moving away from fossil fuels. Plus, violent crime has been on the rise in Sonora, Mexico, how are the police there handling the violence? And, the Academy Awards is this Sunday, KPBS Cinema Junkie Beth Accomando and Moviewallas’ Yazdi Pithavala talk about their 2020 Oscar predictions.