San Diego Gas & Electric has asked the California Public Utilities Commission(CPUC) for permission to enter into a contract that would build a new 600 MW natural gas plant in Carlsbad. A CPUC administrative law judge recommended that SDG&E first consider bids from other energy producers, including those using renewables. (The new plant would is intended to partially replace San Onofre, as well as a natural gas plant nearby that will be retired in the next several years.) Unfortunately, CPUC President Michael Picker has proposed a "compromise" that would build a 500MW plant instead. Attend the CPUC meeting, and speak up against expansion of fossil fuels during public comment, or come to support those who do.
Whether or not you can attend the meeting, submitting comments to the CPUC also has an impact. Comments can be sent through email, preferably by Tuesday at noon, to: firstname.lastname@example.org and referencing "agenda item 36 Application 14-07-009. Possible talking points for comments are below. (Thanks to Claire Broome for writing them!)
- California state policy for combating climate change clearly requires decarbonizing electricity generation in the state as soon as possible. Approving construction of a new unnecessary gas generating plant is directly incompatible with California state policy. The International Energy Agency has called for an end to all new fossil fuel infrastructure by 2017. The state of California needs to lead.
- Second, the CPUC is charged with protecting consumers-- specifically, they should not approve over 2 billion dollars for new fossil fuel generating capacity that will become obsolete, resulting in sunk costs.
- Thirdly, the CPUC has a responsibility to take into consideration technology developments that increase the reliability of the power supply, while minimizing the need for fossil fuel generation. San Diego Gas and Electric has under consideration proposals for preferred resources to meet this capacity need.
- Finally the CPUC must reestablish its credibility as an agency responsible to the public. To support an approach permitting 500 MW of new gas generation such as President Picker's Alternate Proposed Decision, especially when there are questions about the sequence of ex parte communications with the utility, would be a further blow to the Commission’s credibility."
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