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The Un-emergency

We owe a debt of gratitude to the people who have worked selflessly (That does not include everyone who’s associated with the effort. See below.) ┬áto create awareness that the community may have an opportunity to influence the future of the AES power plant. Taking action long before anything substantial happens provides more time to get the word out that we may be able to have an impact.

This whole fictitious pitch that we need to act now to kick AES out of Redondo Beach is just a bunch of hogwash. And if someone tells you that the city council missed some prime opportunity to influence the outcome of this issue, they’re lying to you. But some people refuse to let facts get in the way of their own ambitions.

Here’s a fact. AES has not released a plan for what the company would like to do with the property it owns, let me say that again, it owns on Harbor Drive. AES Southland President Eric Pendergraft has announced some plans that appear to be in the works.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to differentiate between opinions and facts. If someone from the state or a scientist or someone with a lot of initials after their name gets up at a city council meeting and makes a statement about something like the need for power generation in Redondo Beach some time in the future…it is an opinion. It can be an expert opinion, which gives it more weight than an amateur opinion, but it’s still an opinion.

Here’s another fact. AES has not filed an application with the California Energy Commission for a new license to operate after 2018. So what deadline did the city council miss by not approving a motion to make a statement that the community opposes power generation? None whatsoever.

How could responsible leaders of a city that hopes to be taken seriously approve a motion that opposes something that doesn’t exist? They couldn’t.

One of the hardest things to do in a position of authority is to not get swept up in a wave of emotionally backed arguments, especially when the thing that people are pleading for is good, right and just. Getting rid of the power plant is all those things. But there isn’t even a plan to oppose yet. There isn’t even an application to oppose yet.

So what’s the hurry? Let me check my calendar. Maybe I missed something. City council elections are coming up early next year. I wonder if there’s any connection?

Any changes in the AES matter will come about as a result of a long, painful process. It’s like a chess game. The moves we make now will influence our future moves. There are no facts. Remember the difference between facts and opinions. There are no facts yet that make it necessary to make a move now. There are plenty of OPINIONS, but no conditions on the ground that require the city to take action.

My hat’s off to the mayor and the council members who voted to continue the agenda item that would have called for an official opposition to anything AES might be thinking about maybe doing sometime in the future. Does anyone think that kind of statement from a city run by adults is good policy? I certainly don’t.

An angry mob often has good reason to be angry but it never, ever makes informed, sound and productive decisions.


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