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Letter: Anti-Power Plant Rallies Inspire

Redondo Beach resident Judy Ellis says more people should sign the petition against the AES power plant.

I am so proud of our community for joining together to support the retirement of the unneeded . I attended the No New Power Plant Rally, along with more than 75 fellow South Bay residents this past weekend, and was delighted to see a tremendous amount of support from almost every single driver, with honks, thumbs-ups and waves, and smiles!

South Bay residents do not want a new power plant in our backyard!  A new plant will run more often than the current plant does (the plant now runs at just 5 percent of capacity), exposing our densely populated community of 13,000 residents per square mile to even more pollution. My friends and neighbors are all very concerned about the adverse health effects from a new power plant emitting dangerous pollution into the air we breathe. With no buffers between the plant and both Redondo and Hermosa residents, this densely populated area is simply the worst place for a new power plant, exposing residents to excessive levels of carbon monoxide, NOx, Ammonia and many other dangerous pollutants.

If you would like to get involved, please start by joining the 1,400 South Bay residents who have already signed the No New Power Plant petition. You can find the petition along with links to the Facebook page and a donation page at nopowerplant.com

Judy Ellis
Redondo Beach

Letters to the editor must be less than 500 words and are subject to editing for space, spelling, punctuation and grammar. Also, anonymous letters will not be published, so remember to include your real name. You can email your letter to Redondo Beach Patch editor Nicole Mooradian at nicole.mooradian@patch.com.

Wolfman September 29, 2011 at 02:54 AM
Christine, What are you going to do when the city and the L A and Cal water boards try to get rid of the seaside lagoon next year.
Jim Light September 30, 2011 at 02:25 AM
Cyndi ... The clueless dipsticks who crafted Heart of the City were AES and the City of Redondo. Measure DD, now Article 27 of the City charter, would require a vote of the residents to convert the site to condos. two prominent land use attorneys have advised us that our path to rezoning is not a taking. The city downzoned much of Redondo in 1992. For example the commercial zoning at Catalina Coffee Company was converted to R-3. That was not a taking and neither is this. read the City staff report from 2004 and you find that the City staff agrees this would not be a taking.
Jim Light September 30, 2011 at 02:29 AM
cyndi... You seem really confused. The people behind Heart of the City were AES and the City of Redondo. It was 3000 condors not 5000 and same residents who stopped that are the ones fighting to stop the power plant. Again per two lawyers and City Staff report in 2004, rezoning would not be an "illegal taking". In fact the City changes zoning regularly without consent of the owners. Look at the 1992 General Plan, it changed zoning over large areas of the city. It was not a taking and yet it rezoned commercial to residential and it reduced densities in many residential areas. legal and NOT a taking. Please do some research before you opine.
Jim Light September 30, 2011 at 02:34 AM
The current plant uses natural gas. And there are cleaner sources of power, so you are inaccurate. There is 26% excess capacity without AES in 2015 and more power projects are in work that will be in place by 2018. We no longer need this plant. Officials at the California Energy Commission agree. Show me another South Bay plant that is surrounded tightly on all sides by incompatible uses right at its property liens....You can't. Maybe you live far away from the plant, but when the plant is operational, the noise level at the Marina apartments exceeds Redondo limits. You can have all th empower you need without the AES Redondo plant.
Jim Light September 30, 2011 at 02:36 AM
The California Agency responsible for grid reliability produced a report that shows 26% excess power without the AES power plant in 2015. The Energy Commission has a list of projects that will produce even more power to be in place by 2018. The Energy Commission has stated the plant is unnecessary. We will have plenty of power without the AES plant.
Jim Light September 30, 2011 at 02:40 AM
Kevin, Redondo is critically underserved by parkland per California standards. LA has over 8 acres per 1000 residents. We have less than 3 acres per 1000 residents. our kids need parks. The plant may be downsized, but it will produce air pollution the equivalent of over 120,000 cars running for a year. nice and green?
Jim Light September 30, 2011 at 02:46 AM
Our busiest PCH intersection sees about 80,000 cars on a weekday. If e new plant runs at just 5%, it will spew the equivalent of 121,000 cars running for a year. If it runs at 60%, it will spew the equivalent of 1.4 million cars running for a year. These are based on environmental reports submitted by AES on their new Highgrove plant. The seaside park in Manhattan Beach is not overrun by drug crazed homeless people. Neither is tha park at Torrance Beach. You are just fear mongering. A new desal plant will eat up a minimum of 15% of the land. The power plant even though smaller will take up a large chunk. Then there is the cooling system, switching yards and retention ponds. Who would play sports under a plant spewing 121,000 cars worth of particulate pollution?
Jim Light September 30, 2011 at 02:47 AM
Why do cities allow these incompatible uses?
Jim Light September 30, 2011 at 02:48 AM
What does that have to do with a power plant?
Jim Light September 30, 2011 at 02:53 AM
At Rennie P... If you read the latest op eds from AES, you will say they have backed off their statement that they will not use ocean water. They state they will reduce the amount of ocean water used by over 90 percent. According to documents submitted by AES, they kill over 2.5 billion marine animals, larva and eggs per year when running at just 5% of capacity. Even if they reduce to 10 % of the current kill, that is 2.5 million marine animals killed per year. That's real green....
Jim Light September 30, 2011 at 02:56 AM
Rennie, It is ludicrous to rebuild a plant that is unnecessary with all its negative impacts to businesses, business and residential property values, city coffer revenues, and the health of the young, the old, those with cardio or respiratory problems and those who work out outside.
Wolfman September 30, 2011 at 04:53 PM
It shows you how this city operates
sheri patterson September 30, 2011 at 05:14 PM
Wolfman, I agree that the city doesn't always do the right things. And that is exactly why residents in this city should appreciate those getting active and donating their time to fight the corruption. Thanks to Building a Better Redondo, the residents now have a vote so greedy folks in positions of power cannot take over our city-- this is the benefit of measure DD. Please click on the link in my above post about the illegal scandal Mr. Pendergraft was involved in. He took part in swindling millions of dollars from So Cal residents manipulating the local energy market.
Steve October 17, 2011 at 05:57 PM
I wish all these pasty kooks would go back to the east coast. We need electricity, what we don't need is more condos and useless shopping centers. You people have your heads buried in the sand if you think the land that runs underneath the high voltage lines all along 190th st. will be converted into a park after the removal of the plant. A few will benefit with the removal of the plant as they slice up the land and parcel it out to developers, while the rest of us will be left with the burden of an even denser community, and increased energy costs.
sheri patterson October 17, 2011 at 08:06 PM
@ Steve, the land underneath the voltage lines all along 190th may have to stay, we don't know yet. The 50 acres down on the waterfront is the land that the residents want rezoned. AES' contract is up in 2018 and many prefer this plant gets retired. It doesn't provide power to the south bay now so retiring it isn't going to increase energy costs. Since deregulation, numerous plants have been approved and these new plants are currently being built and going online by 2015. AES Redondo no longer has any buffer to protect residents of Redondo and Hermosa from the dangerous emissions. And condos are not an option--- a small amount of commercial to help the waterfront businesses and bring the city revenue. The zoning that is being drafted is going to be very strict. (And if you didn't want a shopping center, well let's hope you voted against Measure G. Because Measure G passed and what we'll have down near Ruby's diner is going to be just that-- a shopping center. Most residents don't get the facts and they believe the marketing materials AES and several others sent out to confuse the residents. The AES land will not be zoned for a shopping center nor condos. We believe once the majority of residents have the accurate info (not speculation, fear or inaccurate data), the majority will be happy to see the war zone environment and toxic air pollution go away by retiring the AES plant.
Steve October 17, 2011 at 09:55 PM
Are you kidding me? The land underneath the lines will be developed on the second that plant is removed. What do you think those lines are there for?... Obviously the power plant. With the plant gone you'll get your postage stamp of a park and everything east of it will be dense development (that this city can not sustain) all the way back to Flagler. And it's laughable how all of you people against AES keep complaining about "toxic emissions". Natural gas power is extremely clean, the byproducts are simply CO2 and water vapor, a newer plant would only be cleaner and more efficient than the existing plant, plus the infrastructure to support the power being generated is already in place. Tearing down functioning infrastructure that could support a modern, clean, natural gas burning power plant, only to build it somewhere else hundreds of miles away does need seem very environmentally friendly.
Jim Light October 17, 2011 at 10:07 PM
Wow there's a real mature and well qualified position. Lump all power plant opponents together, insult them, misstate facts and then throw out a scenario that is not plausible per Redondo's City charter. Sounds like several of our Councilmen. 1. Many of our supporters have lived here as long or even longer than self-professed local historian Pat Aust. 2. We do not need the electricity from the AES plant. CEC officials have stated it and CEC/CPUC/ISO reports and projections document it. Please show us one recent report that shows power from Redondo's plant is required. In fact, in worst case projections with multiple failures we have a 26% excess in power generation capacity over demand in 2015 without the power from AES Redondo. 3. Our City charter requires that any major change in land use go to a vote of the residents. So your fearmongering scenario can ONLY happen IF the residents approve it. 4. I would argue that building power generation capability for too much excess would drive our electrical costs up. Someone has to pay for the excess capacity...guess who that is... 5. The whole City of Redondo and much of Hermosa and Torrance would benefit from the removal of the AES Plant: fiscally, healthwise, environmentwise, and view wise. So Steve, I recommend you do a little homework before you embarass yourself and othe locals any more.
sheri patterson October 17, 2011 at 10:10 PM
No development in Redondo will sneak through as it used to, thanks to Measure DD. All major development in this city now has to go to a city-wide vote. Residents don't want any more condos, hence they put up their own money to fund Measure DD initiative and won! I hear your concerns but your fear is unwarranted. Complaints laughable???? As for air pollution, any member of the public can view annual emissions from the AES Redondo plant by going to the Air Quality Management District website. Operating at less than 5% of capacity in 2008, AES Redondo emitted 165 tons of carbon monoxide, 10.8 tons of nitrogen oxides, 9 tons of reactive organic gases, 3 tons of particulates and 24,000 pounds of ammonia. It’s not a stretch to figure that those emissions will be greater when a new plant is operating at much more than 5% of capacity. AES' already has modern emission controls and they are still on Calif's Top 100 List for most dangerous air pollution. And we have enough to worry about with LA's overall air pollution issue, so we don't need a double dose right here along our beachfront (which happens to be the most densely populated coastal community in the state!!) Get the facts Steve. Do you think the new Shade Hotel will be successful with several years of massive industrial construction down on our waterfront? Do you think people will want to pay top dollar to come sleep next to a toxic air polluting facility with new LOUD humming cooling towers?
Christine Wike October 17, 2011 at 10:16 PM
First, BBR intends to put the zoning up to a vote of the people via an initiative. But regardless of the initiative, any major change in zoning has to go to a vote of the people per the City Charter. So residents will get a say in any zoning change of the power plant site and the power lines if the power line right of ways become available Next, the current plant operates at less than 5% capacity but is still included on the Top 100 California Polluters List, despite the fact that it is equipped with the latest emission controls. If a new plant is built, it will likely run more often to be economically viable, which will dramatically increase air pollution in the South Bay. Based on environmental data filed by AES for their new plant in Riverside, we have calculated the amount of PM10 (particulate) pollutants the new Redondo Plant would produce. If the new plant runs at 60% capacity (like AES' Environmental Report states they will), the plant will produce the equivalent of 2.4 million average family automobiles running for a year. Even if the new plant runs just 5% of the time (like the current plant), it will produce the equivalent of 120,000 average family automobiles running for one year. This pollution aspect is the biggest factor in making the plant incompatible with surrounding uses. Densely populated residential areas immediately surround the plant on every side without protective buffers.
Jim Light October 17, 2011 at 10:18 PM
Steve, Steve, Steve - once again you've shown your lack of understanding. First even SCE cannot say right now whether the lines would be needed if the AES plant comes down. Are you saying you know more than the people who own and operate the power lines? And again you go on fearmongering about overdevelopment if the power plant is rezoned. Please read Article XXVII of the City Charter. Residents would have to approve the rezoning. And you don't seem to understand that burning natural gas produces more than Co2 and water. Read any environmental impact report on a new power plant. our current plant is already running off of natural gas. In 2010 it put out over 10 tons of Nitrogen oxides - a major component of smog. It also put out 106 tons of carbon monoxide and 1.3 tons of particulates - you know those nice little particles that clog up people's lungs. Real laughable isn't it Steve. The latest report from the ISO shows sufficient LOCAL generating capacity without AES. Please try to get a clue before you embarass yourself again.
Christine Wike October 17, 2011 at 10:28 PM
Building a Better Redondo has proposed a mix of 70% Park (think Central Park of the South Bay) and 30% Commercial uses. You can view a slide show of a couple of incredible park options that were developed by Studio 606 (a Landscape Architect Team from Cal Poly Pomona) for a study commissioned by the California Coastal Conservancy at http://aesredondomustgo.blog.com/slide-shows/
Steve October 18, 2011 at 12:36 AM
If you don't know what will happen to the power lines when the power plant is removed then you are an imbecile. The lines will be removed, and the land will be developed. It is a simple concept, but all of you money grubbing kook transplants from the east coast are to blind to see that. And again as far as electricity production goes, a natural gas turbine type plant is among the cleanest and safest method of energy production. It is funny to think how NGVs are considered to be such a green form of transportation yet you people think a natural gas plant is so terrible. A brand new natural gas plant would be an extremely clean and intelligent form of producing electricity considering we have the existing infrastructure in place to handle the plants production. But please Jim, go on and tell me I'm embarrassing myself again, please type away at your computer in your well lit residence while you tell me the South Bay does not need a brand new, modern, efficient, and clean power plant. And Sheri, what makes you think I care about the new Shade Hotel or whatever it is called? If all the hotels in Redondo went bankrupt and fell of the face of the earth I couldn't care less. I own a home in Redondo, I don't need a plethora of swanky hotels filled with posers trying to turn what little is left of this beach town into an even bigger concrete abomination of shopping centers and fitness clubs.
Jim Light October 18, 2011 at 02:12 AM
Who is the imbecile? SCE has clearly stated they don't know if the lines will still be required or not. and the City Charter Article XXVII requires our approval of land use changes. You are changing your story. First you said natural gas plants ONLY produce water and CO2. Now you state it is amongst the cleanest. Running at just 5% , the new plant will still put out over 120,000 cars running for year worth of particulate pollution. You still have not cited your reference that shows we need the plant. meanwhile we publish the reports on our website. Call us all the names you want, but you don't have the facts backing up your bloviating. The facts are on our side.
Wolfman October 18, 2011 at 03:42 AM
there is a reason why they are called Con Edison back east
Jim Montgomery October 21, 2011 at 01:41 PM
I see a patten in many of these comments. The folks that are working to get the power plant removed and replaced with uses more conducive to a densely populated region, uses such as open space, parkland and non-industrial are very respectful in their tone, have a wealth of accurate facts to back up their assertions and are well-spoken. Those that seem to be against this vision use name-calling and throw out statements that are not supported by facts. It is fine to disagree, but don't be disagreeable. If you make a statement, back it up with references to studies, agencies, etc like many on the side working to replace the plant are doing. If you use name-calling or don't back up your opinions, I pretty much filter out what you say. Be civil and back up your statements. Reading back through earlier comments, a thought of my own: @Kevin, 9:05pm on Monday, September 26, 2011 I use electricity and it comes from the Sun, generated by the solar PV system on our home's roof. It provides enough electricity to power our entire house, charge our 100% battery electric vehicle and still put clean, renewable energy into the grid. We now generate more electricity than we use and the amount of clean, renewable energy being developed nationwide (wind, solar, geothermal, etc) continues to grow. Natural gas is not clean, when burned or when extracted from the ground (fracking is polluting our water supplies). Time for fossil fuels and AES to go the way of the dinosaurs. :)
Fred Reardon October 21, 2011 at 10:37 PM
Eloquently stated Jim!
Wolfman October 22, 2011 at 02:20 AM
I rather have the power plant rather than more people
Jim Light October 22, 2011 at 02:32 AM
The fate of the power plant and adding more people are mutually exclusive. Not sure what you are poking at. If you are trying to imply that the power plant would be replaced with condos, its not likely. The zoning we are putting together has no residential uses. Article XXVII of the City Charter would require a vote of the people to add condos.
Wolfman October 22, 2011 at 02:47 AM
Yeah, just like the overpopulated village people but I hope you are right as Redondo Beach for years was in the hands of real estate agents, developers and their illegal contractors.
Jim Light October 22, 2011 at 03:21 AM
That was all changed by the passage of Measure DD in 2008.

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