For Immediate Release
Bay Area Public Interest Groups Protest PG&E's Power Plant Proposals
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Two new large fossil fuel
power plants, proposed by PG&E for Contra Costa
County, are facing
opposition by Bay Area public interest groups. In protest letters sent to the
California Public Utilities Commission, the groups maintain that the power
plants are unnecessary, will further pollute Contra
and are in violation of California’s
clean energy policies.
Communities for a Better Environment, and Californians for Renewable Energy are
spearheading a protest to demand that the CPUC deny PG&E’s
application. The proposed power plants are slated for Antioch and Oakley. Together, they
would generate over 1,300 megawatts of dirty power in the Contra Costa
County, which already has
some of the worst air quality in the Bay Area.
“We simply do not need
these power plants, and if they are built, they will decrease PG&E’s
renewable energy portfolio,” said Rory
Program Director at Pacific Environment. “This is a step in the
wrong direction as we try to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.”
In the protest letter to the CPUC protesting PG&E’s application,
Pacific Environment cites a study conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory (LBNL), which shows that California needs to reduce its natural gas
usage by 8,000 megawatts in order to meet the requirement to procure 33% of its
energy by 2030 from renewable sources, in response to an Executive Order
recently signed by Governor Schwarzenegger. The study also finds that the state
already has more fossil fuel generation than is currently needed to meet its
energy demand. “California
needs to take fossil fuels off the table, not put them back them on,”
PG&E’s proposal is also in direct conflict with its own Environmental
Leadership Protocol, which establishes the company’s commitment to exceed
environmental protection standards. “Approval of these contracts in Contra Costa
County would perpetuate a
grave environmental injustice. The county’s low income communities
of color already host 14 power plants, which, in addition to many refineries
and chemical companies, make the county the largest emitter of sulfur dioxide and
carbon monoxide in the Bay Area,” said Shana Lazerow, an attorney at
Communities for a Better Environment.
Previously, the CPUC demanded
that PG&E include an assessment of whether the power plants will
disproportionately impact low-income and minority communities. PG&E failed
to include this assessment in their application.
A copy of Pacific
Environment’s protest letter is available by request at email@example.com, or
by calling 415.399.8850 x302.
Pacific Environment is a non-profit organization based in San Francisco that protects the living environment of the Pacific Rim by promoting grassroots activism, strengthening communities and reforming international policies. For nearly two decades, we have partnered with local communities around the Pacific Rim to protect and preserve the ecological treasures of this vital region. . Visit www.pacificenvironment.org to learn more about our work.