When the San Onofre power plant shut down, San Diego had an opportunity to power our city with clean energy that makes our communities healthier and builds thousands of local jobs. Instead the California Public Utilities Commission voted to meet two thirds of our new energy needs with a polluting natural-gas power plant in Carlsbad, and only one third of our energy with clean sources. 

This recent decision locks San Diego into at least 40 years of air pollution, high energy bills, climate change and a minimized opportunity to create thousands of local jobs. Of the five commissioners on the California Public Utilities Commission, only Commissioner Sandoval voted against the polluting power plant. Sandoval acknowledged that there is no legal basis to support a rushed approval of a dirty gas plant at the expense of clean energy solutions. 

mariana lopez ehc

According to Policy Advocate Kayla Race says, “The Commission says they’re moving us toward a clean energy future, but it’s hard to believe when so many of their decisions takes us three steps backwards. This power plant locks San Diegans into higher energy bills for more pollution, which doesn’t make sense when we have cleaner options available that create local jobs and make our communities healthier.”

We need programs and policies that invest in local communities to create career-track green jobs and create a new clean energy economy. Maximizing energy efficiency and conservation, rooftop solar and other forms of local renewable energy should be California’s first priority in meeting the state’s energy needs. Only after all clean resources are exhausted should new, polluting power plants and transmission infrastructure be allowed.

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