POC is not afraid to stand up to the big-moneyed utility companies and government corruption that seeks to continue the use and development of dirty fossil fuel infrastructure. Through its non-compromising stance, POC will remain staunch advocates of California’s natural habitats and the communities that thrive with them.
Aliso Canyon: In October 2015, an underground storage site owned and operated by the Southern California Gas Company (SoCal Gas) in Aliso Canyon sprung a massive methane leak, which sickened thousands of residents in the Porter Ranch area. 109,000 metric tons of methane leaked out over the course of four months before it was contained. POC has been advocating for the closure of the Aliso Canyon Storage facility for the last three years. The CPUC opened up a proceeding investigating whether it was feasible to close down Aliso Canyon without affecting natural gas supply in the Los Angeles region. With the agency dragging their feet on this investigation, POC has been advocating for the CPUC to commence their study, promote transparency, and ultimately close down the facility.
San Diego Gas Pipeline: POC intervened in a CPUC proceeding seeking to prevent SD&E from dodging required safety testing of a currently operating gas pipeline. The utility instead wanted CPUC approval to replace their existing 16-inch pipeline that runs along the Interstate 15, with a 36-inch pipeline, plowing through habitat for dozens of at-risk wildlife species in the process. The project was estimated to cost $639 million, to paid for by ratepayers. Thanks to POC’s intervention, the CPUC issued a final 130-page proposed decision outrightly denying the San Diego pipeline’s permit this past May! Read more here.
Moorpark Newbury Transmission Line: POC supported the efforts of the Center for Biological Diversity to prevent the CPUC from approving the remaining construction on a transmission line most of which was already built through backyards, farm yards, and endangered species critical habitat with no environmental review in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Unfortunately, the Commission approved the project on August 18, 2016, and the California Supreme Court denied POC’s appeal for failure of the Commission to conduct CEQA analysis on the entire Moorpark line. The power line was built in 2017.
LA Basin/Alamitos Power Plant: POC supported the efforts of Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust and Powers Engineering in challenging CPUC approval of the contracts for multiple power plants on the banks of the Los Angeles River. The Trust and POC Board Member Bill Powers advocated at the CPUC against the Alamitos Energy Center, a 1,040-megawatt natural gas-fueled power plant, and also challenged the CPUC approval at the California Court of Appeals in 2016. Unfortunately, the Court of Appeals sided with the utilities, and the California Energy Commission (CEC) approved the project in 2017. Construction of the Alamitos Energy Center began in June 2017.
Carlsbad Power Plant: POC advocated against CPUC and California Energy Commission (CEC) May 2015 approval of the development of a new gas power plant in Carlsbad, CA, directly adjacent to the Agua Hedionda Lagoon. In December 2015 in coalition with the Center for Biological Diversity, POC filed a lawsuit to appeal the CPUC’s approval of the power plant to the California Court of Appeals. Unfortunately, in December of 2016, the Court of Appeals denied the request to rehear the state agencies’ approval, and the Carlsbad Power Plant is set to commence operation at the end of 2018. Read more here.
Wood to Steel: The CPUC recently approved SDG&E’s proposal for the unnecessary replacement of over 1000 power line poles at the cost of over half a billion dollars to be born unfairly by ratepayers, wild lands, and wildlife. POC in conjunction with the Cleveland National Forest Foundation fought this project at the CPUC for years, and also advocated in public hearings against this costly project. Unfortunately, the CPUC recently denied POC’s application for rehearing on September of 2018.