Vote Set for July 19th – Email Campaign Begins Now!

We applaud the San Diego Planning Commissioners for their diligence and the votes which opposed initiation of regulation changes to site the Quail Brush power plant. One more vote is needed on July 19th, 9 AM at the Planning Commission  (PC) Hearing to finalize the SD PC’s opposition. 

We are asking you to immediately step-up your written notes of opposition by sending each a message to the SD Planning Commission, San Diego City Council and the California Energy Commission (CEC).  Use the sample message below and add your thoughts about why open space in the Mission Trails Design District of East Elliot is too valuable to convert to industrial uses. The Mission Trails Task Force will also be considering this issue on July 19th at 1 PM.    See the Meetings page


Email: SEND TO EACH BELOW (& Cc list)


Subject: Project #270282, Plan Area: East Elliott – Quail Brush Power Plant CPA Initiation (CEC record‐Docket #11‐AFC‐03)

Dear Planning Commission, I request that you OPPOSE the initiation of rezoning open space to industrial in the East Elliot Community Plan. The plan specifically states that this open space is to be protected for recreational use, the Multi Species Conservation Program area, and because it “constitutes one of the largest and biologically, most important remaining open space areas in San Diego with a number of endangered and threatened wildlife species.” A power plant or any heavy industrial use is contrary and not possible to mitigate for compliance. I strongly urge the Planning Commission and City Council to reject the initiation. Both the applicant’s and city staff’s justifications fail to meet the criteria specified by the City for initiating an amendment. The community looks to the Planning Commission and the City Council to ENFORCE our Laws, Ordinances, Regulations and Standards (LORS) and the City of San Diego General Plan policies, which have been well-thought through, carefully crafted and adopted for the benefit of the communities they serve.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

“This is a Beautiful Place. Why would you want to ruin it by putting up a Power Plant?”

“This (Mission Trails) is a beautiful place.  Why would you want to ruin it by putting up a power plant?”  In a “David versus Goliath” moment, Barbara, a brave and poised ten-year-old, stands up before San Diego’s Planning Commissioners on June 28, 2012, to speak out against the Quail Brush Power Plant which is proposed to be constructed right alongside national bio-gem, Mission Trails Regional Park.  Sempra Energy/ SDG&E has awarded a contract to Cogentrix out of North Carolina to build a power plant featuring 11 100-foot smokestacks that would forever mar the beauty of Mission Trails, which features habitats and animals that exist nowhere else on the planet.  This meeting was held to approve or oppose rezoning Open Space land to “Heavy Industrial.”  Opponents of the power plant packed the room.  The vote was 3-2 against initiating the rezoning process.  A majority vote of 4 was needed and therefore the session will be revisited on July 19, 2012.  Ironically, a nay vote was made by a Commissioner whose last name is Smiley.  Before voting, he commented that he saw nothing pristine or scenic about the proposed area.  Those of us who frequent the park beg to differ and suggest that he actually visit Mission Trails  before making another uninformed vote the next time.

Opposition & Support Rise – Letters Pour in

The Planning Commission will vote on Thursday, July 19, 2012, 9 AM at San Diego City Hall (trolley stop close).   Act NOW!  Send a letter by Jul 9th (click for details).

(TIP:  find some letters in the “Download” folder of your computer after clicking)

City Santee      D. Jacob      SD LWV

Click photo above for statement of 4 officials and 19 environmental organizations

San Diego River Coalition

East County Subregional Planning Group Opposition Letter
Ruth Sterling, La Mesa City Councilmember (and MTRP Task Force member)
Brian Jones, Assemblymember 77th District
(in support of Santee City in their opposition)

Letters to the CEC of special interest (among others at CEC Public Comments):
7/2/12 Stephen Goldfarb
Vote to deny the Quail Brush applicant initiation of an amendment to change local laws ordinances and regulations
6/30/12 Steve Blanchard
Additional Photo Survey of Visual Impacts: Mission Trails Day, and Applicant Viewpoint 2 Grasslands Area
6/26/12 Todd T. Cardiff, Attorney at Law
for Robert Simpson and Helping Hand Tools, a California Non-Profit Corporation
6/21/12 Stephen Goldfarb
5/3/12 Steve Blanchard
3/11/12 Dr. Rainer Kurz

All Public Comments to the CEC are available at:

All statements in opposition help our cause.  Email YOURS today.
Click the Email Activism tab for details.

San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob Opposes Power Plant

Below are the concerns that Dianne Jacob shared with Robert B. Weisenmiller, Chairman of the California Energy Commission. Click to see a copy of the letter.

“Dear Mr. Weisenmiller:

As Supervisor for the Second Supervisorial District for the County of San Diego, I am writing you today to express my opposition to the Quail Brush Genco LLC Generation Power Plant. I appreciate the opportunity to briefly comment on this project.

On March 28, the City of Santee formally took a position to oppose this project. I support this action and share the concerns the City has raised including potential impacts to the surrounding area due to noise, air quality, visual aesthetics, biological, water and emergency response that would be generated by this project.

Enclosed is a copy of the City of Santee’s resolution of opposition and comment letter to the proposed project. The California Energy Commission must fully consider the information provided in both of these documents. It is my intention to keep working closely with the City and demonstrate that this is the wrong location for this power plant.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to comment on this project. If you would like to discuss anything further, please feel free to contact me at (619) 531-5522 or via

Cogentrix Rep Presents Plan at Navajo Planning Committee

Lori Ziebart, Cogentrix Project Manager, appeared at the June 18th Navajo Community Planners meeting to present the Quail Brush Power Plant plans and answer the board’s questions.  It was at the request of Council Member Marti Emerald that the board be apprised of the power plant issue.  Chairman Allen Jones repeated several times that board had no intention of voting one way or the other on the issue and seemed perplexed (and peeved?) that the issue had come to their table.  It didn’t seem to occur to him that it would be a good gesture to stand in solidarity with fellow San Diego communities, and our Santee neighbors by opposing the Quail Brush Power Plant which calls for a rezoning from Open Space to Industrial.

As you can see, the room was filled with people opposed to the power plant.  Ziebart took eight minutes to present her case.

The Navajo Community Planners council, led by Chair Allen Jones (center in orange striped shirt) granted eight minutes to four members of the audience to speak out in opposition to the power plant.

Although the room was full of people who wanted to ask questions or make statements regarding the power plant – many of them Navajo community members – Mr. Jones ended the meeting claiming that everyone had to vacate the premises by 9 PM.  Community members who had been silenced (in violation of the Brown Act) would have been fine with standing out in the parking lot to deliver their comments.  When I mentioned this, I was told to “Be quiet and sit down!”

The woman in the white tee-shirt to the left of the flag (Lynn Murray, the Treasurer) verbally spanked me when she saw me writing comments in their “Sign-In” book.  She pulled the book out of my hands saying that it was “highly inappropriate” and that the group opposing the power plant had “all acted inappropriately.”  In her role as a host, she could have been much more sensitive, welcoming and kind.  The same goes for the rest of the board.  After all, isn’t that what a “community” group is all about?  Or am I missing something?

SDG&E says it’s ready for summer heat . . AS IS!

North County Times Energy Article:  June 13, 2012 (click to open article)

“. . .the region will lean heavily on older plants such as the 58-year-old Encina Power Station in Carlsbad, . . .”

“. . . SDG&E and regulators implemented conservation plans. But mostly, they said, the region shouldn’t have a problem.”

“[SDGE] Executives and regulators said these measures should provide enough power to the region, even if there are sustained heat waves —- and even if one of the older, creakier plants should break down.”

‘  “At this stage, we’re well-prepared to deal with the various contingencies,” said Robert Weisenmiller, chairman of the California Energy Commission.’


More evidence that QB PP is not needed courtesy of Bill Powers:   A document was filed with the CPUC by another energy company (NRG) on 6/24/11.    Excerpt below:

“NRG submits that several of the assumptions presented in SDG&E’s application, especially those regarding the Encina Power Station and the Cabrillo II Peakers, do not reflect the current commercial status.   In these comments, NRG:

1) Corrects the presumption that the existing Encina Power Station will be retired by December 31, 2017 as referenced in the CA 316(b) Once Through Cooling (“OTC”) policy. Encina’s retirement is not within the CPUC’s or SDG&E’s ability to determine;

2) Provides evidence that the existing Encina Power Station can operate indefinitely to provide critical reliable capacity and optionality until the proposed repowering with the new Carlsbad Energy Center project – a plant with an efficient, rapid response load-following technology that has many environmental benefits including significantly lower emissions – is needed at the Encina Power Station site; and

3) Emphasizes that the Encina Power Station site has transmission, infrastructure, and timing advantages for repowering which mitigate development risks associated with building a power plant to reliably serve SDG&E; and

4) Clarifies that the timing of retiring the Cabrillo II peaking turbines is dependent not upon “air permit restrictions” but upon SDGE’s decision not to renew the site leases and notes the importance of these units to various non-SDG&E load serving entities (“LSE”) and the CAISO.

NRG respectfully urges the Commission to evaluate the timing of the projects presented in this application vis-à-vis the timing of the Carlsbad Energy Center in light of the comments offered herein.”

Introducing Save Mission Trails

In order to include the City of San Diego in our battle to defeat the Quail Brush power plant, Stop the Santee Power Plant (SSPP) has evolved into two separate organizations: SSPP and Save Mission Trails. 

Together, we will campaign to protect our communities and beloved park. Save Mission Trails Corporation will become a non-profit organization with the initial and urgent goal to continue the grassroots effort to stop the power plant.  Our long-term mission is to protect and preserve Mission Trails Regional Park and the surrounding open spaces from the re-zoning and further encroachment which harms our park and adjacent communities.