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?