Oakley Mayor Kevin Romick spilled the beans on his blog a few days ago about four groups who are yet again opposing the Oakley Generating Station through legal means. By filing a “Request for Rehearing” at the CPUC, this may delay the Oakley Generating Station a second time. If you recall, the generating station was approved by the CPUC by way of a 3-1 vote on December 20, 2012.
Four groups have filed appeals which include:
Energy, Inc. (CARE)
5439 Soquel Drive
Soquel, CA 95073
CBE (Communities for a Better Environment)
6325 Pacific Blvd. Ste 300;
Huntington Park, CA 90255
Note: They do have an office in Oakland
The Utility Reform Network (TURN)
115 Sansome Street, Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94104
IEPA (Independent Energy Producers Association)
1215 K Street, Suite 900
Sacramento, CA 95814
Upon closer look, you will notice none of those who filed an appeal are within Contra Costa County—heck, none are even within 50-miles. Basically, you have outsiders trying to dictate what Contra Costa County and Oakley does with our area.
While I am all for protecting the environment, there is a point in time where one crosses that line and goes from “protecting the environment” to “nut job” status. These groups have crossed that line on this topic.
Some of the arguments are silly—such as TURN claiming the project could be built for half the price while suggesting the RFP process was fixed. They are using another facility and variables to make the case which is like comparing apples to oranges.
CBE claims this project is being built in Oakley because the lower your income, the more likely you are to live in an area with lots of local pollution. They want to protect the “low income” from pollution–funny, this is a natural gas-fire burning plant. The plant will help support the state’s policy on having more efficient, environmentally friendly power sources.
Then of course, you have the silly environmental impact claims (the butterfly) which studies have already been completed and approved. I am not saying they shouldn’t oppose the project, they have that right and they did that. They lost. Now their going in the weeds and that is not okay because these things cost time and money.
These four groups simply should go fight another battle somewhere else–maybe within the county they are from for starters.
Let’s put it this way, if California has already approved the environmental studies and impacts with our strict policy and requirements, then you know Radback Energy must have done something right and followed the rules.
The support is far ranging from elected officials, unions, residents, seniors… I could continue but you get the point. Oh, and let’s not forget about the $3 million in reoccurring revenue this Oakley Generating Station would bring to the city along with non-profit donations its required to give as part of the project.
As I think about this project this morning, I can’t help but begin that chant of “build this plant, build this plant.”
I would hope the CPUC would reject these appeals.
Pictured above is Greg Lamberg from Radback Energy who was showing a group of 45 people the project site on Dec. 18.