Ding-Dong! Quail Brush is Dead! “Undeniably and reliably dead.”

We did it! You did it! Cogentrix withdrew! All proceedings for Quail Brush Power Plant are terminated. We won!

With every letter, rally, meeting, and donation, we fought hard to protect our park, communities, health, quality of life, and the planet. Folks like you, of all political stripes, united and said NO to Quail Brush. We joined efforts with many outstanding organizations (see list of supporters) and became a formidable alliance. Our coalition said NO to an immensely expensive taxpayer-funded project for energy which the Public Utilities Commission ruled was not needed. We said NO to industrializing open space near Mission Trails Park, grading hills and destroying wildlife and tranquility. We said NO to an unhealthy polluting gas plant in a high-fire zone just a stone’s throw from schools, homes, hospitals, and neighborhood playgrounds. We said NO to more fossil fuel in Southern California. And we are saying YES to rooftop solar and community choice aggregation (CCA).

On September 12, Cogentrix requested to withdraw the application for Quail Brush. Docketed on September 15, 2014, the California Energy Commission ordered termination for all proceedings on the plant. Victory! Power to the People!

Our first mission is complete. Our second mission is to protect Mission Trails and the East Elliott open space area from future encroachment. Save Mission Trails will continue to monitor and to raise funds to make sure this never happens again. Stay with us. And THANK YOU for caring and taking the effort to keep our world clean and green.

CEC Order to Terminate QB

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Power Plant Application is Suspended for Second Time…and Continues to Fester

On April 24, 2014, the California Energy Commission (CEC) ordered that all proceedings on the Cogentrix application for certification (AFC) for the Quail Brush power plant bordering Mission Trails Park and Santee are on hold until April 15, 2015. While the plant cannot move forward for another year, (unless Cogentrix files a motion to revive the AFC sooner and the CEC approves this motion), no evidentiary hearings will take place this year that would have likely terminated this ill-conceived fossil fuel project once and for all.

Concerned citizens, including several elected officials, created a powerful response opposing the suspension and requesting the application be vacated, which was duly noted by the CEC. THANK YOU for your strong support. Community members like you are the David’s of this David and Goliath battle. The preservation of our beloved Mission Trails Regional Park and East Elliott Open Space area – and the health of our neighboring communities – Santee, Tierrasanta, Lakeside, El Cajon, Poway, La Mesa, San Diego – need your continued attention and diligence on the Quail Brush power plant issue.
STAY WITH US!

You can read the details of the CEC second-year suspension here. Or go to the CEC Docket Log and scroll down to TN# 202228. Letters of opposition, petitions against the gas power plant, and other important project documents are archived here as well.

Join SMT on EXPLORE MISSION TRAILS DAY in Mission Trails Regional Park
Sat, May 17, 2014, 8 AM – 3 PM
 The Save Mission Trails booth will be in the East Fortuna (Equestrian) Staging Area near Mast Blvd. and Rt. 52.
Connecting Children with Nature is the theme of this year’s event. Explore Mission Trails Day activities include free guided nature walks, pony rides for kids, live animals and educational programs for all ages, food for purchase, a climbing wall, nature discovery stations, and more. Email savemissiontrails@gmail.com if you are interested in helping out on this fun day. Wear an orange shirt or hat to identify yourself as a friend of SMT.

Below are photos of the Save Mission Trails booth at EarthFair 2014 in Balboa Park.

securedownload-3
Signing up to speak out against graded hills, fire danger, noise, visual blight, & pollution next to Mission Trails Regional Park
SMT at EarthFair 2014
Learning about the continued threat of the 11-acre gas plant with 11 smoke stacks proposed in an open-space / residential zone

Say NO to Quail Brush AGAIN – Email CEC by Wed., April 23

Power Plant by Mission Trails – Just Say No!
Cogentrix asks for a second year suspension.
Urgent! Email the CEC by Wed., 4/23/14, to request a suspension denial.

On April 8, 2014, the power plant applicant Cogentrix made it clear they are not withdrawing the power plant siting near Mission Trails. Cogentrix asked the California Energy Commission (CEC) for an additional 12-month suspension for the Quail Brush Power Plant, stating the project “would be feasible.”

The CEC is requesting public comments as soon as possible in order for this input to be considered by the Committee. Please voice your opposition to the suspension, asking instead for the application to be vacated.  NOTE:  Comment deadline is April 23, 2014.

Use the electronic filing comment form at https://efiling.energy.ca.gov/Ecomment/Ecomment.aspx?docketnumber=11-AFC-03
or Email: publicadviser@energy.ca.gov
with Subject Line: Quail Brush Power Plant AFC (11-AFC-03) – Deny suspension

Write your own brief letter for the most impact, or copy this sample letter.

Dear Commissioners:

I am a concerned citizen opposed to an additional year suspension for the Quail Brush Generation Project 11-AFC-03 in the East Elliott Planning Area.

Please deny this suspension. Furthermore, I respectfully request that the application be vacated.

A fossil fuel power plant is completely inappropriate for the ecologically sensitive area adjacent to Mission Trails Regional Park and surrounding communities with nearby schools, hospitals, and homes. The project is inconsistent with the City of San Diego’s LORS. It was denied by the City of San Diego Planning Commission, the San Diego City Council, and the City of Santee. There is massive bipartisan public opposition to Quail Brush.

The proposed project is also located within the East Elliott Multi Habitat Planning Area, part of San Diego’s Multi Species Conservation Program (MSCP) open space area. The Mission Trails Regional Park Task Force opposes the siting of the power plant.

The taxpayers of San Diego County object to any further spending of California taxpayer dollars in pursuit of a project that violates so many key local land use provisions.

The cumulative air quality impact to low-lying Santee is not acceptable, no matter what mitigation the power plant offers. The high fire hazard of a gas plant here is too high a price to pay.

Please end the 11-AFC-03 process and focus on truly progressive projects– such as energy storage and rooftop solar–in appropriate places, to generate energy.

Sincerely,
Your Name,
City
————–

Thank you for taking a moment to submit your letter. The CEC Committee will issue a written ruling on the request no later than May 8, 2014. View details and sign up on the CEC Quail Brush listserv at http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/quailbrush/.

Milestones in the fight to stop the power plant. Cogentrix pushes pause button, but don’t get too comfortable.

Celebrate our victories, but stay vigilant for the sake of our park, our communities, and our health. Currently, the Quail Brush Power Plant bordering Mission Trails Regional Park and Santee is in a one-year suspension. Scroll down to read more about what a suspension means, what happens next, and for photos of recent events.

Milestones
August 29, 2011 – Cogentrix files application (AFC) for Quail Brush power plant (QB) with CA Energy Commission (CEC). With a few exceptions, the general public is not notified.
January 3, 2012 – Randomly attending a bimonthly Mission Trails Park meeting, a Santee resident learns of plans for QB and begins movement to alert citizenry.
March 12, 2012 – Stop the Santee Power Plant Rally informs hundreds during morning rush hour and alerts the media.
March 28, 2012 – Santee City Council unanimously passes a resolution opposing QB.
May 29, 2012 Save Mission Trails incorporates.
Spring 2012 and continuing on – Thousands sign petitions, send letters, attend rallies and workshops. A strong coalition of environmental groups and local representatives both Democrat and Republican take a stand against QB.
July 19, 2012 – San Diego Planning Commission votes 4 to 1 rejecting re-zoning of open space land around park for power plant.
September 4, 2012 – Santee School District votes 4 to 1 to oppose QB.
September 24, 2012 – San Diego City Council unanimously denies Cogentrix’ appeal of Planning Commission’s decision.
December 18, 2012 – San Diego Mayor Bob Filner submits letter to CPUC opposing new fossil fuel plants and affirming a vision for the city to be a leader in better alternatives.
March 21, 2013 – CPUC unanimously denies SDG&E power purchase agreement for QB.
March 21, 2013 – Mission Trails Regional Park Task Force unanimously votes to officially oppose QB.
April 16, 2013 – CEC approves Cogentrix request for one-year suspension of QB.

The one-year suspension of Quail Brush will expire on April 15, 2014. Cogentrix needs to either wait until the expiration date or file a motion with the CEC to revive its review of the AFC sooner than April 16, 2014. If the CEC grants the motion, Cogentrix can restart at any time.

What happens when the suspension expires? Is the project canceled or automatically active? According to Eric Solorio, CEC project manager for QB, “My reading of the Order is staff will resume its review of the AFC on April 16, 2014.”

What now? Stay connected with Save Mission Trails. We remain active in the community to continue to get the word out about Cogentrix’ ill-conceived gas plant in a designated open space area, high fire-hazard zone, close to schools, residents, and the beautiful and peaceful (for now) Mission Trails.

Filner & SMT at EarthFair
Mayor Filner at SMT Booth, EarthFair, Balboa Park, April 21, 2013
EarthFair photo #2
Over 1,000 petitions opposing QB signed at EarthFair, April 21, 2013.
Dale at SMT party
Santee Councilmember Jack Dale addresses SMT celebration gathering, April 26, 2013.
SMT kids and cake!
SMT kids eat cake! Celebrating our victories….and looking to the future, April 26, 2013.
Explore MTRP Day
Explore Mission Trails Day at MTRP Equestrian Center (adjacent to proposed power plant site), May 18, 2013
MTRP Day Photo #2
Kids want clean air! Young citizens sign statements of opposition to a power plant by the park, May 18, 2013.

Thanks for your support. Let’s work together to keep our energy green and the air clean!

Biker in MTRP

CPUC Win is Temporary – Now CEC Decision Looms

UPDATE:  On April 8, 2013, Cogentrix requested the California Energy Commission (CEC) allow the corporation a one-year suspension of the Quail Brush Generation Project. The CEC approved the suspension on April 16. CEC staff and responsible agencies “shall cease work on the Application and any pending motions are stayed.” The suspension will expire April 15, 2014.  During this time, Save Mission Trails will continue to build awareness of the proposed fossil fuel plant, work on coalition-building and growing the opposition, and remain alert for any threats to the land near Mission Trails. Please support our work!

With a standing room only crowd as witness, the CA Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted unanimously on March 21, 2013, that SDG&E currently has enough power, and therefore cannot purchase power from the proposed Quail Brush gas plant (QB) sited next to Mission Trails Regional Park. However, SDG&E can reapply for QB and/or other power plants by stating a need for more power to come online in 2018.
Click here to help protect the park FOR GOOD today!

Save Mission Trails now invites you to address the CEC, which is slated to deny or approve QB based on siting issues (environmental, air quality, fire, land use regulations, etc.) – irregardless of need. If the CEC votes to deny QB, our park and local communities are protected for good, not just for a couple years. But a vote to approve QB would allow for the grading and perpetual destruction surrounding our park and neighborhoods to begin. The CEC decision looms; QB must be rejected. You can help right now by urging the CEC to deny this gas plant FOR GOOD. Been there, done that? Please ask a friend or neighbor to do so. Thanks!

Below is more info on the outcome of the March 21 CPUC Vote, including the actual text of the order (NOTE #3), a video clip, articles, and quotes.

March 21 2013 CPUC Mtg

The CPUC ORDER, March 21, 2013, last page reads (NOTE #3):

“D1303029 Determining San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s Local Capacity Requirement and Granting Partial Authority to Enter into Purchase Power Tolling Agreements.
IT IS ORDERED that: 

1. San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s request for authority to enter into a purchase power tolling agreement with Escondido Energy Center is approved. 

2. San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s request for authority to enter into purchase power tolling agreements with Pio Pico Energy Center and Quail Brush Energy Project is denied without prejudice.

3. San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) is authorized to meet a local capacity requirement need of up to 298 MW beginning in 2018. SDG&E shall meet this need either by issuing a new request for offers or, in the alternative, it may bring an application for approval of purchase power tolling agreements with either Pio Pico Energy Center and/or Quail Brush Power amended to coordinate with the anticipated retirement in 2018 of once-through cooling generation units. SDG&E shall adjust the commencement date, as appropriate, to coordinate with the anticipated retirement of once-through cooling generation units and other changing conditions in its service territory. 

4. San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s July 9, 2012, and August 15, 2012, motions to supplement the evidentiary record are granted. 

5. San Diego Gas & Electric Company shall create a Local Generation Balancing Account for the Escondido Energy Center. The Local Generation Balancing Account shall be applied to all customers in San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s service area, on an equal per kilowatt-hour basis by customer class. 

6. San Diego Gas & Electric Company shall create a Local Generation Charge to recover new generation costs on a non-bypassable basis from all customers. 

7. All pending motions that are not otherwise granted in this order are deemed denied. 

8. Application 11-05-023 is closed. 
This order is effective immediately. 
Dated March 21, 2013, at San Diego, California. MICHAEL R. PEEVEY President, 
MICHEL PETER FLORIO, CATHERINE J.K. SANDOVAL, MARK J. FERRON, CARLA J. PETERMAN Commissioners”

VIDEO 
TV coverage on 5 news stations

A COUPLE ARTICLES
East County Magazine articles about CPUC decision and ramifications
San Diego Free Press article with comment by Sierra Club’s Pete Hasapopoulos

QUOTES FROM THE DAY – Heard at the podium…
“One step for SDG&E’s pockets, one giant step backward for mankind.”
“Sunny San Diego = a Golden Opportunity to be Solar San Diego. If Germany can do it, so can San Diego.”
“It’s a math problem:  More peaker plants means needing more renewables to meet the mandates.”
“A three-year-old can walk from Quail Brush to the nearest playground. This isn’t right.”
“The choice is between need and greed.”
and from Commissioner Ferron, “This meeting has confirmed what I’ve always known about San Diegans. You are passionate, well-informed, and courteous.”

Save Mission Trails (and that means you!) continues to be passionate about our cause to stop the power plant, and to keep our hills green and our air clean! 

What’s Going On Behind Closed Doors? What Can I Do?

What’s Going on Behind Closed Doors regarding power plants at Mission Trails/Santee and in Chula Vista? Turko Video The CPUC, CEC, Cogentrix, SDGE, CleanTech, and other industry and corporate stakeholders (excluding the public and the press) will meet in San Diego one day before the CPUC votes on whether the power plants are actually needed, four months after the CPUC correctly rejected these fossil fuel-burning plants as not needed.
Click above for what Turko says on 3/6/13 about this secret meeting.
UPDATE: Turko File Follow-Up 3/11/13 says a lawsuit has been filed to stop the meeting.

What You Can Do Now to Prevent new unneeded Fossil Fuel-burning Plants in our region, including grading hills for an 11-stack monster adjacent to majestic Mission Trails park and open space area. Want to stop a massive waste of taxpayer dollars?

1. MOST IMPORTANT – Attend the CPUC meeting THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 8:00 AM  [NOTE TIME REVISION: RALLY AT 8:00, PUBLIC COMMENT SIGN-IN AT 8:30, COMMENT SIGN-IN CLOSED and MEETING STARTS AT 9:00 AM. COME AT 8:00 IF YOU CAN!]
We need a huge show of force–yes, again!–to tell the CPUC to uphold the November draft decision which rejects these power plants. Take off work to attend, if you can.
PRE-MEETING RALLY: 8:00 AM at the site – Public Comment sign-in 8:30 AM
LOCATION: 5520 Overland Avenue, San Diego, 92123 — County Operations Center’s Conference Center (Campus Center) in Kearny Mesa. Check this website for any changes before you go.
BE COUNTED! We encourage EVERYONE to speak (1 minute or less), or at least submit a written comment on a speaker slip. Arrive by 8:30 AM to sign in.
SIMPLY STATE: “I support the CPUC’s A.L.J. and alternate draft decisions”
(at a minimum) and your name.

2. If you can’t attend, you still have a voice. Email and/or phone the CPUC today and ask two friends to do the same.

3. Over 600 letters opposing Cogentrix’s Quail Brush are on the CA Energy Commission (CEC)’s public docket. Let’s make it 1,000! Read some of the letters and send yours — or commit two friends to do so — today. Easy instructions on the Email Activism Page No. (2). PLEASE NOTE: The CEC will reject, approve, or withdraw the Mission Trails/Santee power plant application this spring, regardless of the CPUC vote. Don’t let the CEC and Cogentrix grade our beautiful park hills and pollute our air.

4. Ask Governor Brown to speak on behalf of the public interest and to relieve the pressure on the CPUC to rewrite their decision in favor of SDG&E/Cogentrix allowing another ratepayer rip-off.

5. Have fun at a SMT volunteer community outreach event! Join an early-morning hike up Cowles Mountain and/or petition-signing at the trailhead on March 16. Details on the Meetings Page.

6. “Like” and share our Facebook page and tweet us!

FAST FACTS: Peak electricity demand has been stable in San Diego and statewide since 1999. Generation capacity of gas-fired plants is in excess of 30% now. The Los Angeles basin will add 2,000 MW of gas-fired power plants this summer that will further balloon generation capacity. And yet another 2,000 MW are slated for construction elsewhere in California.

SDG&E has ample power generation without San Onofre. The required reserves is 15 to 17%. On the hottest hour of the year on Sept. 14, 2012, SDG&E still had reserves of about 24% without San Onofre.

BOTTOM LINE: The public would be saddled with at least $1.2 billion in construction and finance costs for just Pio Pico and Quail Brush in exchange for only 23 permanent jobs in our region. Claims by SDG&E that peak demand is rising and new peaker plants are needed for the hottest days are false.

We are steadfast in fighting the good fight. Thank you for all your hard work!

Give ’em a piece of your mind! Imminent CPUC Vote 2/28 and Upcoming CEC Forum 3/5

Mission Trails and proposed power plant site
Proposed site for fossil fuel plant? NO. Keep it green and the air clean.

UPDATE 2/28/13: CPUC President Peevey announced at the start of the meeting
that there will be no vote today. The meeting (and vote) will be held March 21
in San Diego.

UPDATE #2: CEC WORKSHOP 3/5/13 CANCELLED. CEC Reason – “They obtained the Cogentrix air pollution information they needed.”

REMINDER! CPUC VOTES on QUAIL BRUSH Thursday, March 21, 9:00 AM.
TO LISTEN IN, phone 1-800-857-1917 and enter passcode 92105 or access the CPUC online. The meeting starts at 9:00am; download the agenda.  IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY, CALL OR EMAIL the CPUC TODAY (or Monday.)  What to say:  “My name is ________, and I support Administrative Law Judge Yacknin and Commissioner Ferron’s decisions on SDG&E application A110-5023. Our region has the power it needs without building more fossil fuel plants, especially a power plant at Mission Trails Regional Park.” (More talking points below.)

Three of these five CA Public Utilities Commissioners’ “yay” votes are needed to support the proposed decision, which will reject SDG&E’s power purchase agreement for Pio Pico and Quail Brush.
PHONE before the March 21 vote. 

— Michael Peevey, President, 415-703-3703
— Catherine Sandoval, Commissioner, 415-703-3700  catherine.sandoval@cpuc.ca.gov
If you have time to make just one call or email, contact Ms. Sandoval. She is currently undecided. 
— Carla Peterman, Commissioner, 415-703-1407 (Conflict of interest? She declined to recuse herself from the CPUC vote even though she previously voted in favor of Chula Vista’s Pio Pico via her former position with the CEC. Ms. Peterman is currently undecided.)
— Michel Peter Florio, Commissioner, 415-703-2440
— Mark Ferron, Commissioner, 415-703-2444
EMAIL your comments to public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov
Type in the SUBJECT LINE: A1105023 – Support the Proposed Decision.
Be sure to INCLUDE YOUR NAME, ADDRESS, CITY, ZIP to be counted.
Use your own words or copy the Talking Points from the Sierra Club’s Fact Check or Save Mission Trails Sample Letter (scroll to mid-page).

UPDATE: THIS WORKSHOP CANCELLED BY CEC!
CEC PUBLIC WKSP – Tuesday, MARCH
5  at Grossmont College
Attend, Speak Out, and Submit Your Written Comment for the Record.
The CA Energy Commission Public Advisor will collect written statements at the workshop. If you can’t stay, please stop by to complete a written opposition statement. Verbal questions and comments are important, too.
WKSP CANCELLED When? Tuesday, March 5, starting at 1:30 PM (okay to come later, even after work – come when you can to fill out a written comment of opposition to the CEC)
Where? Griffin Gate Room at Grossmont College Directions and free parking permit p4-5
What? The specific workshop topic is Air Pollution, but you may comment in general on the proposed fossil fuel plant, as well.
Why??? Cogentrix does NOT want to see you there. They want us to forget about Quail Brush and go away. Their plan is to wear us out — Let’s prove them wrong. We WON’T give up. We have a beautiful park, our homes, our community, and our health to protect. Show up in orange and take a stand once again! No to Quail Brush forever!
If you cannot attend, please add your comment via the Online/Phone Instructions p2.