The people of Oxnard will also be surprised. Their entire Council opposes it. Past Councils and many citizens have spent the last half century working to rid themselves of such plants. The same issue of Pacific Coast Business Times contains a letter from Carmen Ramirez, Mayor pro tem of Oxnard, strongly opposing it. She further comments, “We do not accept the existing power company’s vague promises to remove and clear threats to leave their rusting behemoths on our most beautiful but abused coast.”
Hundreds of Ventura County residents opposed this “peaker” plant at the July 15 CPUC public hearing, but Santa Paulans did not attend. We had no inkling that one of our own Council members would be lobbying behind the scenes to bring it next-door to us.
One wonders why Councilman Tovias is lobbying so hard to bring us something which Oxnard is struggling to discard. If it were relocated to Santa Paula it would be necessary to construct new expensive power lines resulting in ugly visual impact along with serious electromagnetic concerns. It would also require large amounts of water for cooling purposes. Promoters always talk about “jobs”. There would be some temporary construction workers (mostly from out of area), but only 17 permanent positions. Oxnard’s spokesperson stated, “There will be no job loss if NRG’s power plant is not built on Oxnard’s beach.”
Throughout the nation, electric generating plants have long been shuttled into the poorest communities, and NRG (with quiet assistance from our own Councilman Tovias) see us as an easy mark.
Tovias and the promoters speak of philanthropic benefits. Are you wondering how many council members from Ventura, Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Ojai, Fillmore, Port Hueneme, Simi Valley, Camarillo, Newbury Park, and Santa Barbara will be lobbying to bring this peach their way?
California and the entire nation are rapidly moving away from fossil fuels. Power companies need to help customers install solar panels and improve insulation. If ever there is need for a “peaker” plant, it must not be located near a populated area.
This is a health, quality of life, and community-perception issue. Natural gas is not as bad as some fossil fuels, but this plant would bring significant air pollution, ugly power lines, along with serious greenhouse problems. Oxnard has long had quality of life and community-perception issues, largely due to such plants. Santa Paula is about to begin construction of a new development which can improve our tax base, community perception, property values, and quality of life. We won’t be needing an electric generating plant.
Delton Lee Johnson