Tag Archives: Sunrise Powerlink



Ray Lutz for Congress 2010


Media Contact: Brennan Purtzer, Media Director

619-447-3246 / [email protected]

Hundreds of Residents and Concerned Ratepayers Uniting against the Project

Will petition State Attorney General Jerry Brown to investigate lobbying irregularities and President Obama to restore the PACE program.

Where: Lindo Lake Park, 12660 Lindo Lane, Lakeside – Area #3.

When:  Saturday, September 25. 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. – Gather; 10 a.m. – Rally;

           11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. – March; 1:30p.m. to 3p.m. – Congressional Debate

            Attendees should bring chairs, protest signs and potluck food items.

San Diego County, Calif. (Sept 24, 2010) – Two new speakers, and two new sponsors have confirmed participation at Saturday’s march and rally in Lakeside against the Sunrise Powerlink. Former City Attorney Mike Aguirre confirmed on Thursday that he and his law office would be speaking, and local environmental design expert Jim Bell will also join Congressional Candidate Ray Lutz to address those gathered in attendance. The Sierra Club also confirmed their participation, and Sullivan Solar Power has taken on a sponsorship role at the event.

Congressional Candidate Ray Lutz, who last month fasted 11 days to force a debate with Rep. Duncan Duane Hunter, will lead the march and rally through the town of Lakeside on Sept. 25. A congressional debate between candidates for the 52nd Congressional district will follow the march, taking place at Lindo Lake Park. The debate will be moderated by East County Magazine. All candidates have been invited to participate.

The march will include members of a 70,000-strong coalition that has vocally opposed the Sunrise Powerlink project as dangerous and unnecessary. The group will march around the proximity of the park, and through downtown Lakeside, a community to be heavily impacted by the Sunrise Powerlink project.

Additional confirmed speakers include 2003 Cedar Fire hero and advocate Rudy Reyes and Border Power Plant Working Group Co-Chair Bill Powers.

Some say the Sunrise Powerlink is a “done deal” but organizers of the event point to two ongoing lawsuits and involvement by Attorney General Jerry Brown, who has been asked by County Supervisor Diane Jacob to investigate and block the project due to illegal lobbying activities by utility executive Dan Skopec, who had been a CPUC official only ten months prior to his lobbying activities. As a result of his influence, the CPUC reversed the recommendation of the administrative law judge in the case, and to the surprise and dismay of many, approved the project without any requirement that energy from renewable sources be placed on the Powerlink. Attendees will be asked to sign petitions to be delivered to the Attorney General’s office requesting that he take action to start the investigation and require that the CPUC reconsider their ruling on the Powerlink, and deny it.

Also, attendees of Saturday’s event will be asked to sign petitions directed at President Obama requesting that he override the actions of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac that recently halted the PACE (Property Assessment Clean Energy) program. The PACE program permits homeowners to install solar energy systems and allocate the liability in the form of property tax assessments over an extended period of time, allowing those homeowners to sell their property and transfer the liability to new owners. Attorney General Jerry Brown filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Oakland saying that the programs were mischaracterized as “loans” instead of “assessments.” He met with other county officials, including County Supervisor Diane Jacob, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, San Diego City Council Member Marti Emerald, Assemblymember Marty Block, and many others in early August. Reactivation of the PACE program would effectively kill any rationale for the Sunrise Powerlink project and would allow work on thousands of solar energy projects to proceed.

Other invitees to Saturday’s event include Rep. Duncan Duane Hunter, County Supervisor Diane Jacob, Assemblymember Marty Block, Assemblymember Joel Anderson, Diane Conklin, Donna Tisdale, Denis Trafecante, Laura Cyphert, Steve Volker, Michael Shames, Paul Clay, Mark Hanson, Brian Jones, Janet Enright, and Milt Cyphert.

The event is being sponsored by the East County Community Action Coalition, Citizens Oversight Projects (COPs), and Sullivan Solar Power. Organizers said this will likely be the first of an annual event promoting alternative energy sources, and includes a number of exhibitors.


“Powerlink booster may have powered up too soon – Official was lobbying within 10 months of leaving the state” http://www.signonsandiego.com/…

“Way too cozy!” Private meetings between SDG&E officials, and state public utility commissioners. http://www.kusi.com/features/t…

Letter from Diane Jacob to Attorney General Jerry Brown: http://media.signonsandiego.co…

Attorney General Jerry Brown fights for PACE energy efficiency program:


Sunrise Powerlink Hearings, Videos

Blogged yesterday on DesertBlog about the Sunrise Powerlink hearings in San Diego, and the viral videos about Sunrise Powerlink that are spreading across the Internet. SDG&E and its Chamber of Commerce minions are spamming the Internet to keep their astroturf support group’s website high in Google rankings.

Fortunately, there are three videos out there that tell the truth about the Sunrise Powerlink, and you can help spread their message. You can help boost one of the video’s search results simply by viewing it and you can also boost its ranking, along with several other anti-Powerlink sites, by voting for them on hugg.com, the green social bookmarking site of Treehugger.com.

Let’s get viral, people!

Sunrise Powerlink — 10 Days Left to Comment

As I posted over on DesertBlog, the comment deadline on the Sunrise Powerlink Draft Environmental Impact Report is April 11th. As SDG&E rolls out its “False Choice” advertising campaign for the Powerlink — more on that tomorrow — it’s vital that the Public Utilities Commission hear that there are better alternatives to this destructive transmission line, ones that will provide San Diego with clean, renewable and reliable energy, while reducing greenhouse gases by 50%.

If you’re brand new to the Sunrise Powerlink issue, it’s a proposed 150-mile transmission line between Imperial County and San Diego. Like the San Onofre Toll Road, it would cross a State Park, in this case Anza-Borrego. It would also tie San Diego in to a fossil-fuel future, despite all the “green energy” hype San Diego Gas & Electric puts out. In fact, the EIR found that the powerline would actually cause a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions, even were it to carry 100% solar power (which it won’t). For more details on the truth about the Sunrise Powerlink, go to the San Diego Smart Energy Solutions Campaign website or check out the EIR.

While SDG&E wants to present us with a false choice between the Sunrise Powerlink and polluting power plants on the coast, there really is a better alternative that will rely less on fossil fuels and more on distributed generation, locally produced solar, combined heat and power technology, energy efficiency, and distribution system improvements. Together, all of these will provide San Diego with reliable, secure, clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50%, all with less cost to ratepayers. This is the plan outlined in “San Diego Smart Energy 2020,” and you can read more about it here.

BTW, for Californians outside the SDG&E service area, you’ll also be paying for the Sunrise Powerlink with fees you pay through your own energy utility. Strange, but true!

Feel ready to submit a comment? Doing so is easy. Just send an e-mail to the Aspen Environmental Group (the company writing the EIR): [email protected]. Make sure to include your name, address and telephone number. The CPUC also maintains a webpage with more details on the DEIR and how to comment. Do it by April 11th!

In addition to your own reasons for opposing the Sunrise Powerlink, make sure to insist that the Final EIR fully analyze “San Diego Smart Energy 2020” as a viable alternative to the Powerlink.

For more detailed comment letter points, see the Desert Protective Council’s Sunrise Powerlink page.  

The Bush Energy Policy at Work in Southern California

(Who gets the money? Corporations. Who doesn’t see a benefit? Consumers. Welcome to San Diego. – promoted by Lucas O’Connor)

In October of 2004, British Petroleum – Indonesia contracted with Sempra Energy for delivery of liquid natural gas to the western hemisphere. Consequently, Sempra and BP cuts deals with the Mexican government to build a LNG port and storage facility in Ensenada, Mexico on the western coast of Baja California.

Sempra will build a large scale pipeline from their storage facility that will hook up with the existing pipelines in Mexico. The pipelines will ship LPG to Mexicali, where they are constructing a large electric power generation plant. They’ll send the electric power across the border on high power transmission lines which they plan to build across Imperial and San Diego counties.

The California phase of the project is called the Sunrise Powerlink. Sempra’s Sunrise Powerlink is a 150-mile, 500 kilovolt, $1.4 billion transmission line that will cut across the California desert, through Anza Borrego State Park, over the mountains, and through numerous North County rural and suburban communities.

more more more…

There are many who are opposed to the Sunrise Powerlink because of the reasons mentioned above. There are also concerns about environmental destruction, the defacement of state park land, and fire hazard in San Diego’s arid back country. Many people question the need for this line at all, and believe that sufficient power can be generated within the county to meet San Diego’s electricity needs. They see the SPL plan as nothing but a moneymaker for Sempra and San Diego Gas and Electric.

One of the primary benefits originally touted by Sempra was the savings for consumers. However they have repeatedly been forced to slash their estimates of economic benefit. The $447 million in annual consumer savings was first cut to $204 million, and now more recently to $129 million.

The California Public Utilities Commission recently held hearings and extended the EIR process into next year. Sempra was hoping to be well into this project in 2008, but there’s now a significant delay, mostly due to their own inaccuracies and errors, and questions about the environmental impact of the massive project.

BUT,  as it should be expected by now, the federal government rides to the rescue of the energy industry. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 legislated that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has a right to declare Energy Corridors of National Interest, and now much of Southern California, and parts of Arizona and Nevada are under consideration to be designated as such. What this means is the US Department of Energy can step in and over-ride the states interest and jurisdiction over energy policy if they claim that it is in the national interest to do so. The law allows them to grant permits to Sempra and other local energy companies to allow them to use eminent domain to lay claim to land to be used for the construction of the Sunrise Powerlink, including state land in the Anza Borrego State Park.

The Department of Energy wants to designate 11 counties in Southern California, western Arizona and southern Nevada as one of two “national interest electric transmission corridors.” The other corridor unveiled yesterday would cover a wide portion of the Mid-Atlantic region, stretching from Maryland to New York and as far west as Ohio.

The two corridors, the first selected after months of study and comment, mark a major policy shift in which decisions on critical power lines could be approved by federal regulators over the objections of state officials.

“The parochial interests that shaped energy policy in the 20th century will no longer work,” Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said yesterday.

People rightly worry about about the federal government allowing a Bush administration favored corporation like Sempra to claim private property, and state owned park land through eminent domain. What a sweet deal for them though! They must be as happy as pigs at the trough. Once again, California gets screwed while the energy industry gets a big, wet kiss. Between this project and the energy industry’s manufactured “California energy crisis”, I’m sensing a trend.

There are a multitude of reasons why a close eye should be kept on this entire project, from the port to the pipeline to the powerlink. The need for this powerlink is questionable. The environmental and aesthetic impacts of this project will be significant, especially in light of circumstances surrounding the building of energy related infrastructure south of the border where environmental, health, employment and safety standards are less stringent than in the United States. And last but not least, the relationship between the energy companies and the federal government is a wee bit too cozy. The Sunrise Powerlink and it’s related projects deserve the public scrutiny they’re receiving, and much, much more.