Thursday, May 24, 2007

PowerLink in Jamul?

Reader Michael passed along this article in the San Diego Union Tribune, which reports on a new alternate route proposed for the PowerLink (the huge new power transmission line designed to accommodate San Diego's anticipated growth in energy requirements). As usual, it is frustratingly short of any real information. The graphic in the article is hard to read, but if I've got it right, it shows the route following I-8 west until about Buckman Springs Road, where it heads due south and then makes a sweeping loop to the west, traveling south of Lake Morena, south of Barrett Lake, and then heading north back to I-8, passing between Gaskill Peak and Barrett Lake. That last leg is only a couple miles east of our home.

From one perspective, I can see the attraction in this route -- it passes through some of the least populated areas of San Diego County. However, they are not unpopulated -- and I'm sure the Jamul residents in the area it would pass through are not happy about it.

I've read several debates about whether there's even a need for the PowerLink -- some people question the growth projections, and others claim alternative energy (especially solar) generated within the County would satisfy any growth. Others say the PowerLink is a "must have"; that San Diego's growth will be stunted without it. I have no personal knowledge or expertise on that question, so I have no inclination to take either side of that debate. If, however, you assume (even if just for the sake of argument) that the need for PowerLink is real -- then the darned thing has to be built somewhere. And you know there's nowhere at all it could be built without impacting some group of people.

This is exactly the sort of issue that the power of eminent domain was intended to address. And the sort of messy debate we're currently going through, with lots of shouting and raised blood pressures, is the best way I know of to get it all resolved. It's like making really would rather not watch the process unfold, but the end result will most likely be a tasty one...

1 comment:

  1. State commission approves Sunrise Powerlink project
    - The California PUC votes 4-1 to approve SDG&E's Sunrise Powerlink without conditions that it be used for renewable energy
    - 23-mile, $1.9 billion project
    - Ratepayer increases may be necessary at the outset to recoup the cost

    => so, we will pay more money, have higher fire risk, and Sempra will get to import their dirtier (mexico-generated) power.