CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
For immediate release
April 10, 2006
Activist to walk 78 miles across desert in protest of “Sunrise Powerlink” transmission line
Invitations sent to SDG&E, Governor, and government officials to join trek
San Diego, Calif. – Sierra Club activist Kelly Fuller today announced her intention to walk 78 miles through the desert along the route of San Diego Gas and Electric’s controversial “Sunrise Powerlink” transmission line project. The walk will begin at the Imperial Valley Substation near El Centro in Imperial County on Tuesday, April 11 at 10 a.m. and end on Thursday afternoon, April 20 at the Warner Substation near Warner Springs in San Diego County.
Kelly and supporters are walking the route to document possible harm from the line on the fragile desert environment and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and have invited SDG&E executives and state and federal decision makers to join in the trek. Kelly’s walk is supported by five other conservation groups – the Anza-Borrego Foundation, California Wilderness Coalition, Center for Biological Diversity, Desert Protective Council, and Friends of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
“The Powerlink is an awful project that will harm our public lands so we’re going into the field to experience and document the desert in its current state,” said Kelly Fuller of the Sierra Club. “I’m inviting dozens of SDG&E executives and government officials to join us on the walk because it’s crucial that they experience for themselves the land, wildlife, and communities that will be harmed by this unnecessary and destructive project.”
David Hogan, Urban Wildlands Program Director for the Center for Biological Diversity, said, “Kelly’s walk will be invaluable for gathering information and highlighting the stampede by greedy corporations to exploit the desert for energy without looking at other, less destructive alternatives.”
Bryn Jones, Desert Program Director for the California Wilderness Coalition, said, "When Anza-Borrego became a State Park, we entrusted the Governor and the State of California with protecting its natural and cultural resources for present and future generations. It is their duty to ensure that the Sunrise Powerlink does not diminish the values of such a special and wild place."
Terry Weiner, Imperial County Projects Coordinator for the Desert Protective Council, said, “We applaud Kelly Fuller and the other citizens who will walk the proposed route of the Sunrise Powerlink through our fragile, irreplaceable desert. This desert trek will alert the public to the scenic beauty and the special plants and animals that will be damaged or lost forever if the construction of this transmission line is allowed to proceed.”
Jim Ward, Executive Director of Friends of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park said, “With unprecedented, unrestrained arrogance for one of the most pristine ecosystems in the world, SDG&E’s unjustified SPL would slash through Anza-Borrego parklands that the Department of the Interior has designated as a natural national landmark and that the United Nations has designated as a biosphere reserve. It’s crucial that SDG&E come and experience the irreplaceable natural treasure they are planning to ruin for the millions who visit the park and future generations.”
Chuck Bennett, Trustee and past-President of the Anza-Borrego Foundation said, “The importance of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the largest state park in the lower 48 states, must not be forsaken when alternate routes for powerlines are available. Where an unleashed dog is prohibited to protect a globally recognized and revered ecosystems, surely so should power lines and their mammoth towers.”
The Sunrise Powerlink is a major new electrical transmission line project from the Imperial Valley desert to the north coastal City of San Diego. Many have questioned the need for SDG&E’s proposed construction of a high capacity segment of the project from near El Centro to Warner Springs when the company proposes smaller capacity lines from there to San Diego, and why the line would run so far north only to turn south to serve San Diego. SDG&E documents reveal an audacious master plan by the company to extend the large-capacity lines from Warner Springs to Orange County, thereby opening a large California market for resale at top dollar of cheaply generated power from Sempra Energy’s fossil-fuel power plants in Mexico.
For more information on Kelly Fuller’s work to defeat the Powerlink please visit her profile in the San Diego Union-Tribune http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/business/20060321-9999-1b21fuller.html