Monthly Archives: August 2012

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Waxman and Hahn agree working with AES is the solution

It’s nice to know that the reasonable, rational people  who have expressed an opinion about how to solve the AES problem, all seem to agree that it can only be accomplished by working with AES.

In a letter to the California Energy Commission posted on the no powerplant web site, Representative, Janice Hahn, wrote, “I urge your organization to work with CPUC, CAISO and AES to retire this facility.” Notice she said “work with” and nothing about working against.

A press release quotes Representative Henry Waxman as saying, “I encourage AES and  California’s regulatory agencies to take this opportunity to permanently retire this facility and  to allow redevelopment of the site.”

Did either of  those representatives say anything about forcing AES out of business? Did they mention circumventing the city’s political process, the one that determines zoning and re-zoning? Did they even mention using an initiative to make it illegal for AES to conduct business in Redondo Beach?

No, no and no. And they never will because these seasoned politicians would never endorse tactics that are clearly counterproductive. They know there’s a right way and a wrong way to achieve our shared objective of discontinuing electricity production in Redondo Beach.

Unfortunately, the people who so desperately want you to support their ballot initiative hope you won’t notice that opposition to the power plant does not equate to an endorsement of their initiative. Nor is it an endorsement of the other tactics the no powerplant people use to get their park.

This is true for the politicians who have come out in favor or retiring the power plant and it can also be true about you. You can hate the powerplant and feel no need to sign a petition to change the zoning. I do.

What’s this? Haven’t I been keeping up with the news? It was recently announced that the proposed zoning will include museums, and some limited commercial development, not just a park.

I did get that news. I haven’t read the document describing the proposed zoning but I will guarantee the following. There is some backdoor way into 100% park/open space. How do I know this without even reading the document? Because the park people haven’t changed their objectives one bit. They’ve simply found a new tactic they hope to use to their benefit and they will continue to spin it the way they spin so many other parts of their message.

Before you read this post, didn’t you think Janice Hahn and Henry Waxman supported the initiative? It should be clear now they don’t and they won’t. Do you like being duped? I don’t.

So don’t let them dupe you into believing I’m a supporter of the powerplant. I’m not. Don’t let them make it about me. It isn’t. I’m just the messenger. Don’t shoot!

Just say NO!

If you’re a registered voter in Redondo Beach you will probably be asked to sign a petition to get an initiative that will re-zone the AES property on the March 2013 ballot. Someone will come up to you and ask you a question you can’t avoid answering yes. Do you want cleaner air? Would you like to have a park and museums instead of a power plant?

The person or people who ask you to sign the petition expect you to say yes. I’m asking you to say no. Saying no will be the more difficult thing to do but in my opinion, it’s the right thing to do. I hope you will agree.

The person who asks for your signature and your money may tell you that the California electrical grid doesn’t need a power plant in Redondo Beach. That is an opinion, not a fact even though it will be presented to you as a fact. The endless assertion that AES Redondo Beach is not necessary is nothing more than a diversion used by the opponents of the power plant to fan the flames of their debate.

They’re hoping you don’t realize that their opinion, my opinion or your opinion will have zero impact on the final decision whether power should continue to be generated in Redondo Beach. It’s like arguing about who will win next year’s Super Bowl. We may believe we know who should win and we can explain our reasons in detail but it won’t matter how many people we tell or how loudly we scream our opinions. The game will be won by the team that scores more points.

The issue of whether a power plant in Redondo Beach will be needed for the region’s future electrical needs will be determined by the California Energy Commission. They will rely on data supplied by engineers and scientists not the citizens of Redondo Beach.

The AES opponents’ arguments about air quality and public health will be disposed of very easily by asking and answering some simple questions. Is there a verifiable, negative public health impact from the last 100 years of power generation in Redondo Beach? Answer, no. Is the air quality in Redondo Beach measurably and verifiably worse than the air quality in the rest of the Los Angeles basin? Answer, no it’s actually better than the vast majority of other communities within a 50 mile radius.

So what’s the real reason why some members of the community oppose the power plant? A couple of guys have decided they want a park in its place and they’re fundamentally opposed to anyone making money from that land or anyone getting to live there if they can’t afford the kind of housing that would be built on that property. Oh yeah. One of them commutes to work and he’d rather not sit in traffic during his morning and afternoon drive times. A small, handful of people are desperately trying to convince the rest of us it’s in our best interest to force AES out of Redondo Beach. It isn’t.

The only way to get the best deal for Redondo Beach and the entire South Bay is to engage in constructive dialogue with AES and find a solution that’s fair to all. The signature you place on the petition for an initiative to change the zoning will lead us further from that solution. So when someone asks you to support their ballot initiative, do the more difficult thing and the right thing. Just say no.