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.

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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

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!

San Diego Mayor Filner Sends his strongly-worded Letter of Support

San_Diego_City_SealSave Mission Trails is happy to share that Bob Filner, the Mayor of San Diego, sent a strongly worded letter supporting the CPUC, the San Diego City Council decision, and opposing the Quail Brush power plant. Your letters of support are very important too. We need letters addressed to Governor Jerry Brown from our community and beyond to protect our beloved park and quality of life. Please send it by Jan. 20th. Click here to write Gov. Jerry Brown

Below is Mayor Bob Filner’s letter:

December 18, 2012

Commissioner Mark J. Ferron
California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
Re: Support for Proposed Decision/Alternative Proposed Decision
Application # 11-05-023

Dear Commissioner Ferron:

I strongly support both the Proposed Decision of Administrative Law Judge Hallie Yacknin and the Alternative Proposed Decision of Commissioner Mark J. Ferron in Application 11-05-023 to deny the authority of SDG&E to enter into purchase power tolling agreements with Pio Pico Energy Center and Quail Brush Power. I applaud your commitment to implement the California state loading order in meeting our energy resource needs.

On September 24, 2012, the San Diego City Council voted unanimously to deny the request for initiation of a zoning change to allow the construction of Quail Brush Power in a designated open space area. The proposed location of the facility is part of a critically important open space network and regional biological preserve.

In addition to incompatible land use impacts, I believe better alternatives exist to meet our local energy resource needs – namely energy efficiency, demand response, distributed generation and combined heat and power. Such preferred resources help to I protect human health and the environment, mitigate the impacts of climate change, meet state greenhouse gas reduction goals, and foster an innovation economy. I am committed to making the City of San Diego a leader in reducing our energy demand profile through alternative energy sources.

Construction of new, expensive and polluting fossil-fuel peaker plants detracts from that vision and strategy. There are limited resources available to implement our energy future and decisions to build expensive power plants foregoes opportunities for creating an efficient, clean and prosperous energy future.

For all these reasons, I support the Proposed Decision and the Alternative Proposed Decision and look forward to collaborating on building a new energy paradigm.

Sincerely,
Bob Filner
Mayor

CITY ADMINISTRATION BUILDING, 202 C STREET
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA 92101 (619) 236-6330

Here is the mayor’s letter in PDF format

CPUC Vote Delayed AGAIN – Intensified Lobbying Threatens our Park and Communities

The CA Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) vote on Quail Brush was rescheduled from Dec. 20 to Jan. 10, and now postponed again to Thursday, JANUARY 24. Meanwhile, Cogentrix has intensified its lobbying. Top executives, their high-priced lobbyist, and lawyers met on December 12 behind closed doors with the Commissioners’ staff in an effort to sway the upcoming vote.

Remember David and Goliath. Keep up the good fight! It is imperative we continue to grow the CPUC email campaign. Please commit to recruit AT LEAST TWO of your friends and family to email TODAY. Comment via Save Mission Trails with our letter and easy instructions. (The Sierra Club link will be repaired and posted soon.)

Or comment with your own words. Email public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov
Include in the Subject Line: A1105023 – Support the Proposed Decision.
Be sure to INCLUDE YOUR NAME, ADDRESS, CITY, ZIP to be counted.

A FEW TALKING POINTS . . . 

  • The opposition’s energy planning and requirement claims are based on grossly inaccurate assumptions and estimates made on ten-year-old data that project unrealistically high energy needs.
  • Their out-of-date estimates ignore California’s massive and successful recent efforts to conserve energy, efforts that are being paid for by State tax payers, and that are involving the participation of thousands of our citizens.
  • As a result of widespread commercial and residential energy conservation, today we do not have the hyper-inflated energy requirements that the opposition claims as the necessity for plants such as Quail Brush.
  • Bottom Line: Support the CPUC Proposed Decision for A1105023.

GOOD NEWS!! Save Mission Trails is one of the East County Magazine’s Newsmakers of the Year for 2012. Congratulations, everyone! (Note: While the blurb mentions that TWO CPUC officials have deemed the plant unnecessary, the entire commission must uphold this decision on January 24 to stop Quail Brush.)

CPUC Decision Postponed to January 10 – Have you sent your letter yet?

The California Public Utitlies Commission (CPUC) vote on the SDG&E application for Quail Brush and two other gas plants in San Diego County has been rescheduled to January 10. This gives us time to get more Letters to the CPUC supporting their proposed decision rejecting these fossil fuel plants as not needed!

Have you emailed the CPUC? The more people who voice support of the CPUC draft decision, the better. You can count on Cogentrix and the other corporate lobbyists to be pushing for their profits. The Sierra Club will forward your voice! OR should you prefer to speak via Save Mission Trails, here is our letter and instructions.

Additionally, we are pleased to report that newly-elected State Senator Marty Block and San Diego Councilmember Scott Sherman have written letters to the CPUC in support of the draft ruling, which rejects the SDG&E power purchase agreement for these plants. Click to read Sherman’s letter.

Thank you all, for caring about the future of San Diego and our lovely Mission Trails Regional Park!

Send Your Email to Public Utilities Commission to Reject Quail Brush!

First, a big “THANK YOU” to those of you who have already emailed the CPUC.

Now, for those that still need to do so, please email the CPUC today! It’s the most important thing you can do right now to stop the proposed Quail Brush power plant adjacent to Mission Trails Park and West Santee.

The CA Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) made a draft ruling on 11/20/12 that the CoGentrix Quail Brush power plant is not needed. If this ruling stands — and the hearing will be soon — it will put another nail (a BIG NAIL) in the coffin of this ill-conceived project.
YOU can support the CPUC’s proposed decision. Easy steps:

1) Email the CPUC.
SEND TO:  public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov  (Copy and paste in your email address line.)
Copy and paste in your SUBJECT LINE: Uphold ALJ Decision to reject SDG&E A1105023
Copy and paste the letter below into your email text. Be sure to INCLUDE YOUR NAME, ADDRESS, CITY, ZIP at the bottom of the email in order to be counted.

2) GOOD IDEA: Add a cc: to docket@energy.ca.gov so your letter goes to the California Energy Commission, too.

3) Email Governor Jerry Brown. To send a message to the governor you must do so at http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php Enter your name and email, click public utilities commission (or energy) for subject, then continue. There will be a space for you to copy and paste the pre-written letter. It takes only a moment; we believe he can be influential.

4) For your ease, If you are averse to “copy and paste,” please send your email via the Sierra Club action alert. (You do not need to do both.) NOTE: Sierra Club will repair this link shortly. TRY BACK IN 24 HOURS.

5) Then forward this message to friends & relatives and ask them to email the CPUC too!

SAMPLE LETTER to the CPUC

Please support Administrative Law Judge Yacknin’s 11/20/2012 decision rejecting SDG&E’s application 1105023 for the Quail Brush, Pio Pico, and Escondido gas plants. These fossil fuel plants use inefficient polluting technology for unneeded power and do not move California toward the achievement of its sustainable clean energy goals.

Energy conservation is working. Southern California peak energy demand is static, contrary to claims by SDG&E and Cogentrix, which together seek to build a redundant plant for their own financial gain. I object to SDG&E profiting from selling the gas and the electricity, while we citizens pay for the significant and unnecessary costs of these fossil fuel plants by suffering the related health impacts and by paying increased utility rates.

I support the use of local rooftop / parking lot solar and further energy efficiency for any future needed peaking power generation. Both our sun-blessed county and our state have a special opportunity to be leaders in the movement to reduce greenhouse gases.

In asking you to reject SDG&E’s application, I join my voice to that of thousands of local residents, Democrat Assembly Member Marty Block, Republican Assembly Member Brian Jones, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, and the San Diego City Council, who oppose the Quail Brush project.

I sincerely urge you to uphold the decision of the Administrative Law Judge.

[Your name, your address]
[Your city, state, zip]

Further information
– Get informed why QB is not needed with this great letter on the CEC public record.
– For details of the CPUC 11/20/12 proposed decision, click the CPUC website here.
– Read articles discussing the CPUC draft decision in the East County Magazine and the Santee Patch. Feel free to add comments!
– Click here then the “Subscribe” button in top left to automatically recieve CPUC notices about this SDG&E application for Quail Brush and two other unnecessary gas plants in San Diego.

 
Rendering 10.2012 power plant by applicant
Rendering by CoGentrix of Quail Brush fossil fuel plant