The League of Women Voters of the Beach Cities will not take a position on Redondo Beach's Measure A, also known as the Power Plant Phase-Out Initiative, the organization announced in a statement Monday night.
Measure A aims to rezone the land underneath the AES Redondo Beach power plant on North Harbor Drive to a mixture of up to 40 percent commercial and institutional use and at least 60 percent open space and parkland. The new zoning would force the California Energy Commission to perform a power need analysis before granting AES a permit to rebuild the current power plant into one that has a smaller footprint.
AES and its supporters claim that the new power plant would be cleaner and run more efficiently; however, Measure A supporters point to AES' application with the CEC and say that the new plant will run more often and thus produce more pollution than the current plant.
AES and anti-Measure A folks claim the passage of Measure A would result in expensive lawsuits for the city of Redondo Beach, while Measure A supporters are confident that AES does not have the legal grounds to win such a lawsuit.
The League recently hosted a forum dedicated to Measure A, which featured AES Southland President Eric Pendergraft and Redondo Beach District 5 Councilman Matt Kilroy arguing against the ballot initiative and Measure A co-authors Councilman Bill Brand and activist Jim Light arguing in favor of the measure.
"Following the Jan. 29 forum sponsored by the (League) and the Redondo Beach Public Library on the proposed Redondo Beach Power Plant, many people asked the (League) to take a position on Measure A, the March 5, 2013 Redondo Beach ballot initiative to rezone the AES property on Harbor Drive," the League writes in the statement. "While the League of Women Voters does take positions on some ballot initiatives, we cannot take a position on Measure A."
Though the League will advocate on issues it has taken a position on, such as energy, the local chapter concluded that the scope of Measure A is far too broad—involving zoning, property rights, financial impacts and more beyond the organization's position on energy—for the League to take a position on.
With permission from the League, Patch has reprinted the full statement below for readers:
Does the LWV Beach Cities have a position on Measure A?
Measure A on the March 5, 2013 Redondo Beach election ballot is an initiative measure that would rezone the AES power plant property.
A statement by the League of Women Voters of the Beach Cities:
Following the January 29 forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Beach Cities and the Redondo Beach Public Library on the proposed Redondo Beach Power Plant, many people asked the League of Women Voters of the Beach Cities to take a position on Measure A, the March 5, 2013 Redondo Beach ballot initiative to rezone the AES property on Harbor Drive. While the League of Women Voters does take positions on some ballot initiatives, we cannot take a position on Measure A.
The League of Women Voters takes action on issues or advocates for a cause when there is an existing League position that supports the issue or speaks to the cause. Positions result from a process of study and consensus. (For information about the League process, see the state League's web site: http://www.lwv.org/content/overview-program). The League of Women Voters has strong positions on the environment and on energy that we developed following extensive study. We support development of a state energy policy that will ensure reliability of energy resources and protection of the environment and public health and safety, at reasonable customer rates, giving primary consideration to conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable resources. State government should provide an efficient, coordinated energy administrative structure with open transparent procedures.
However, the scope of the very complex Measure A involves issues of power, pollution, property rights, financial impacts on a city and areas that reach far beyond the League energy positions. Therefore, the League of Women Voters of the Beach Cities is unable to take a position on this Measure. The League of Women Voters has a citizen education function and we fulfilled that function when we co-sponsored the forum with the Redondo Beach Public Library to provide information to the citizens of Redondo Beach to help clarify the issues so that they might make their own personal voting decisions.
Thank you for your attention and thank you to the Redondo Beach Public Library and to all the concerned residents who attended the forum.
Manhattan Beach, co-president of the League of Women Voters of the Beach Cities
Hermosa Beach, co-president of the League of Women Voters of the Beach Cities