The California Energy Commission (CEC) issued a decision accepting the offer of the California Independent System Operator (Cal ISO) to conduct a clean energy alternatives analysis to the proposed Puente power plant. While the CEC is legally required to evaluate alternatives to Puent, until now, clean energy alternatives to Puente have not been fully explored by the CEC. Cal ISO will conduct a study on behalf of CEC to determine ways in which a new dirty and costly power plant can be avoided. The proposed Puente project, which is located in Oxnard on a coastal site the California Coastal Commission has determined is threatened by sea level rise, is strongly opposed by the City of Oxnard and environmental and environmental justice organizations. A summary of objections to Puente is available here.
Organizations opposing Puente issued the following response:
Lucas Zucker, Policy and Communications Director at Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE):
“The working-class immigrant community of Oxnard who have been fighting this power plant for three years are celebrating today being given a chance to breathe cleaner air. Justice for our community is long overdue.”
Matt Vespa, Senior Attorney at the Sierra Club:
“We appreciate the CEC is beginning to take its obligation to look at clean energy alternatives to Puente seriously. We have the technology to meet reliability needs without new gas plants, the only thing we need is political will.”
Tom Steyer, President, NextGen Climate:
“The Puente Power Project is wrong for California and would be disastrous for the people of Oxnard. This is no time to build a dirty energy power plant of the past that would threaten the health and safety of a vulnerable community. Californians want clean air and safe water, not more polluting power plants.
“The Energy Commission made the right call ordering further study of the project. The CEC must uphold its duty to California citizens by rejecting this plan outright—there are better clean energy alternatives that would cost less and protect the Ventura community’s environment and public health.”
Strela Cervas, Co-Director at California Environmental Justice Alliance
“Today the California Energy Commission took a step in the direction we need all our leaders to follow, so together we can build the clean energy future we need for Oxnard and communities across the state who urgently need cleaner air. In this critical political moment, we applaud the CEC for this necessary shift.”
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