Center for Biological Diversity

Protecting endangered species and wild places through
science, policy, education, and environmental law.

For immediate release: March 20, 2006

David Hogan, Center for Biological Diversity, (760) 809-9244
Kelly Fuller, Sierra Club, (619) 445-4390

SDG&E announces preferred route for proposed
“Sunrise Powerlink” transmission line

Conservationists and communities oppose route through parks, forests and towns

San Diego, Calif. – San Diego Gas and Electric today announced a preferred route for its controversial “Sunrise Powerlink” transmission line project. Two conservation groups, the Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club, oppose planned construction of the line through parks, forests and communities and have renewed their call for reasonable alternatives.

The route runs from an existing “Imperial Valley [electrical] Substation” near Interstate 8 and the desert town of El Centro northwest through the middle of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, past the communities of Ranchita and Warner Springs. The route then turns south to pass through Mesa Grande just west of Santa Ysabel, then west through Ramona and south of Poway. The line then passes through the City of San Diego communities of Rancho Penasquitos, Del Mar Mesa and Carmel Valley to the “Penasquitos Substation” near the Interstate 5 / 805 merge.

“SDG&E’s preferred Powerlink route confirms conservationist and communities’ worst fears for impacts to nature and people,” said David Hogan, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Urban Wildlands Program. “SDG&E cynically selected the path of least resistance through the heart of the last best natural landscapes in the County.”

“The Powerlink isn’t just a bad idea for the people and nature of San Diego County,” added Kelly Fuller of the Sierra Club. “The project will promote Sempra Energy’s polluting fossil-fuel power plants in Mexico which in turn contribute to global warming, dodge U.S. air pollution laws, and discourage competing renewable energy development.”

In a closely related matter, the California Public Utilities Commission will make a decision very soon on the important matter of how it will handle SDG&E’s application for approval of the Powerlink. Any day now the Commission is expected to rule whether SDG&E submitted a complete application for approval of the Powerlink. (Environmental groups, consumer advocates, and community groups believe the application was not complete according to commission rules and California environmental law.)

The Sunrise Powerlink is a major new large-capacity transmission line proposed for construction from the Imperial Valley desert near El Centro to the north coastal City of San Diego and is intended primarily to move imported power from Sempra’s polluting power plants in Mexico and Arizona for resale at top dollar in San Diego.

The Ramona Alliance Against Sunrise Powerlink is hosting a rally against the project today from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the faculty parking lot of Olive Pierce Middle School, 1521 Hansen Lane, Ramona, with speakers and music including Supervisor Dianne Jacob, Bill Powers, Jeeni Criscenzo, Friends of Anza Borrego, People's Powerlink, Ramona Alliance Against Sunrise Powerlink, Rancho Penasquitos Concerned Citizens, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Community Alliance for Sensible Energy, Julian Energy Group, and Anza-Borrego Foundation.

SDG&E is holding a “Community Working Group” meeting to announce their preferred route at the Ramona Performing Arts Center next door to the rally at 4 p.m. SDG&E will also host an “Open House” at the same location starting at 6 p.m.

For more information, see the Center for Biological Diversity's Sunrise Powerlink website.


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