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The mission of The Protect Our Communities Foundation is to protect rural communities and natural resources in southern California and northern Baja California from unnecessary and harmful large-scale and industrial energy projects, and to advance smart energy solutions.

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April 15, 2014 POC News Update

Work continues on a POC-funded study of San Diego’s potential for Community Choice Aggregation, an alternative to traditional utility company monopolies such as San Diego Gas & Electric.

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.

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.

We also have sued the U.S. Departments of Energy and the Interior regarding the review and approval of Sempra’s Energia Sierra Juarez (ESJ) cross-border transmission line. ESJ would provide market access to electricity generated in Mexico, making it harder for San Diegans to switch to locally controlled energy that is better for the environment and San Diego communities. The case is still in progress, but in March 2014 the court ruled that presidential permits are subject to the Administrative Procedure Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and other federal environmental laws.

On April 25, 2014, the first hearing is scheduled in San Diego Superior Court for POC’s suit against the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. In May 2013, the Board of Supervisors approved highly flawed Wind Energy Ordinances and Plan Amendments. To protect county residents and the backcountry, POC sued the Board of Supervisors in Superior Court, with the goal of reversing the approval.

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.

In Jan, 2013, Washington D.C. attorneys sent a letter to the Bureau of Indian Affairs on behalf of POC, 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 the expert federal and state wildlife agencies.

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