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November 17, 2014 POC News Update
POC supports the Power with the Sun campaign for more rooftop solar and energy efficiency in San Diego. Rooftop solar and energy efficiency are two of the locally controlled, clean energy solutions that are needed in this region.
POC supports the creation of a Community Choice Aggregation utility in San Diego, as an alternative to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). Community Choice Aggregation would speed San Diego’s transition to renewable energy and bring San Diegans more control over the sources of their electricity.
Last week, POC asked the California Supreme Court to review a case related to the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC’s) approval of the Pio Pico Energy Center, a proposed natural gas project. POC is challenging the CPUC’s approval of the proposed project. POC’s petition shows that the CPUC violated California state law when it approved the Pio Pico power plant in 2013, by failing to carry out its duty to protect SDG&E customers from unnecessary and expensive power company boondoggles. The CPUC barred testimony showing there was no need for Pio Pico and refused to consider any alternatives to the gas plant.
Earlier this month, POC submitted comments on the draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement for SDG&E’s Master Special Use permit project. In March 2014, POC submitted supplemental scoping comments to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and U.S. Forest Service for SDG&G’s Master Special Use Permit project in and around the Cleveland National Forest. We thank the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and U.S. Forest Service for opening a supplemental scoping period in response to requests by POC and other groups. POC participated in the prehearing conference on Feb. 5, 2014 and submitted scoping comments in Nov. 2013.
POC’s appeal of a U.S. district court Tule Wind I decision was filed in October 2014, to protect migratory birds at the project site.
In September 2014, POC sued the federal government in order to protect eagles and other migratory birds at the proposed Tule Wind project. In hopes that a lawsuit could be avoided, since January 2014, POC’s attorneys have sent three letters to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, asking that the agency withdraw its approval of phase II of Iberdrola’s Tule Wind project, in light of myriad legal violations, serious threat to legally protected golden eagles and other migratory birds, and the inadequate response to repeated concerns raised by government wildlife agencies. Read the letters here here and here. In August 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rejected the project’s eagle take permit application as incomplete.
Three comment letters were submitted on behalf of POC and its allies on the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Soitec Solar project in Boulevard. The project’s thousands of solar trackers, each about the height of a three-story house, would be placed in environmentally sensitive areas and would industrialize rural land. Rooftop solar and energy efficiency are better clean energy solutions.
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