| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 20, 2006
Groups and Communities Rally at End of Activist’s
Media Tour Offered to Meet Trekker, View Impacts to State Park
San Diego, Calif. – Conservation groups and communities are holding a rally and celebration against San Diego Gas and Electric’s controversial “Sunrise Powerlink” transmission line project on Thursday, April 20 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Groups and communities will greet Sierra Club activist Kelly Fuller as she crosses the finish line of her 10-day, 78-mile desert protest walk and celebrate a recent early victory against the power line. The formation of a new unified coalition of communities threatened by the Powerlink will also be announced.
Groups are offering a media tour immediately preceding the rally from noon to 2 p.m. to meet Fuller as she nears the end of her walk, visit the transmission line corridor in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and hear about possible harm.
The rally will take place near the rural community of Warner Springs at a large dirt pullout area on the northeast corner of Highway 79 and County Road S-2, approximately 1.5 hours from San Diego.
The media tour will begin at the same location. For directions please contact David Hogan at 760 809-9244.
Kelly and supporters have walked the route of the Powerlink to document possible harm from the line on the fragile desert environment and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and invited SDG&E executives and state and federal decision makers to join in the trek.
Kelly is on schedule to complete the walk despite serious pain from an old leg injury, sand storms, and early desert heat. Kelly’s walk has been supported by five other conservation groups -- the Anza-Borrego Foundation, California Wilderness Coalition, Center for Biological Diversity, Desert Protective Council, the Friends of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park -- and many volunteers.
“This walk has inspired me to redouble my efforts to stop this awful project,” said Kelly Fuller. “I’ve seen with my own eyes how the Powerlink would turn parts of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park into an industrial no-man’s land and forever destroy the wild beauty of miles and miles of undeveloped desert where there are no existing power lines.”
A new unified coalition of San Diego County communities threatened by the Powerlink project – Communities United for Sensible Power (CUSP) – will also be announced as a natural response to the horrific threat posed by the project.
"We are embarking on the next evolutionary process in our community organization," said Jim Ward, executive director of Friends of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and community representative for Canebrake, one of eight communities involved. "We are on the edge of something new, at the intersection between the past and of grand new ideas that can shape our future and protect our homes and our environment – we are at the CUSP!"
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 line from near El Centro to Warner Springs when the company only proposes smaller capacity lines from there to San Diego. Questions have also arisen over why the line would run so far north only to turn south to serve San Diego. SDG&E documents reveal that the Powerlink is just the first phase of an audacious master plan to extend the large-capacity lines from Warner Springs to Orange County, thereby opening the California market for resale at top dollar to cheaply generated power from Sempra Energy’s fossil-fuel power plants in Mexico.
For more information, please visit www.biologicaldiversity.org and Kelly Fuller’s Blog at www.kdfuller.blogspot.com.