MEDIA ADVISORY – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PROTEST/PICKET LINE IN ALPINE TO STOP SUNRISE POWERLINK
Protest Rally and Picket Line to Stop Sunrise Powerlink
Downtown Alpine, CA
March 1, 2011, 7am
Ray Lutz – 619-820-5321 – COPS coordinator; firstname.lastname@example.org
SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CA (Feb. 25, 2011) – Opponents to the Sunrise Powerlink will be gathering in downtown Alpine to protest the construction of the transmission line by staging a picket line at the work site of the project starting at 7:00 a.m. on March 1, 2011 in downtown Alpine, CA.
NOTE: The concept of this event has changed to distribute literature and invites for the March 7th event in downtown San Diego to the Alpine community, the people stuck waiting for the construction traffic.
Although the project faces numerous court challenges and a new state administration, SDG&E continues to push forward with construction of a transmission line that will never be useful in the future of the region and a waste of ratepayer money. Opponents argue that the nearly $2 billion of San Diego County ratepayer money would be better spent on in-basin solar energy systems, as each one reduces the need for the Powerlink, which has no guarantee that it will carry renewable energy. In today's market, $2 billion of in-basin solar would produce all the energy the line could carry. Projects in the Imperial Valley touted as rationale for the project have been scrapped, and there is no current justification of the line that makes sense.
Workers at the site are requested to respect the peaceful picket line by discontinuing work while the picket line is in operation.
The event – organized by Citizens' Oversight Projects (COPs – Citizens Oversight.org) in cooperation with other organizations opposing the project – is open to the public. Participants who wish to block the project are encouraged to bring signs and sunscreen and join in the picket line / project blockade at 7am or throughout the day(s). Organizers don't know how long the picket line will last.
“We have no dispute with the good union workers on this project,” said Ray Lutz, COPs Coordinator, “and we love to see these people working, but we do have a dispute with SDG&E and we hope those union workers will respect our picket line and discontinue work until our grievances are addressed by the company. Unions must respect our picket line if they want us to respect their picket lines during labor disputes.”
COPS and other organizations will be holding a follow-on rally in front of the Sempra Energy building in downtown San Diego on March 7, 2011, at 12:30pm, with march to the federal courthouse where a lawsuit will be heard starting that day to stop the project.
STOP THE POWERLINK PROTEST EVENT!
WHEN: Tuesday, March 1, 2011, 7am-noon.
WHERE: Alpine Blvd in Alpine at Victoria Dr West.
WHAT: Street Protest, Literature distribution
As they rip up the streets in Alpine, the public is still unaware that the Sunrise Powerlink is far from a done deal, and that a new federal case is starting in federal court on March 7th.
---> PLEASE JOIN US ON THE STREET IN ALPINE WITH SIGNS ETC.
(Coffee and snacks -- we'll bring some but feel free to add to the supply!)
The concept for this event has changed from earlier notices. The union responsible for the work in Alpine, IBEW, is under a Project Labor Agreement that bans them from respecting any work-stoppage picket lines. Therefore it is unlikely that our picket line will stop their work, and we are not advocating anyone putting their personal welfare at risk by getting in the way of the project, and we absolutely want to avoid direct physical conflict with workers on the project.
INSTEAD, we will be distributing informational fliers to the community to inform them of the key issues surrounding the project and inviting them to the rally in downtown San Diego on March 7th. There will also be a number of speakers who will be attempting to communicate to the community, feel free to join in.
(Attached is the flier we will be handing out to drivers waiting in line at the construction areas.)
> IF you have good informational fliers to hand out, please bring them!
Content of the flier being distributed.
Stop the Powerlink!
SDG&E says the Sunrise Powerlink (SRPL) is necessary to supply San Diego with renewable energy from the desert – from solar or wind farms. This is not true.
IF YOU INVESTIGATE, YOU DISCOVER their true game plan: To import LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) from Asian sources using their new Baja port, piping the NG to plants in Mexicali that generate electricity out of the jurisdiction of the EPA. (But smog does not understand international borders!) Then the electricity is imported to the US and Sempra Energy plans a connection to the LA market where the power will be sold to discourage distributed renewables, such as rooftop solar and other technologies. Key desert solar projects are scrapped and the existing Southwest Powerlink has sufficient unused capacity.
The SRPL is unnecessary. SDG&E does not guarantee that the line will carry even 1 kw of energy from renewable sources. SDG&E's own EIR recommended against the project in the top four alternatives.
The nearly $2 billion in ratepayer funds should instead be spent to leverage installation of rooftop solar and other in-basin renewables, resulting in far more energy produced locally than the foreign energy that the power line could carry, because you don't have to pay the full tab to get those installed.
SDG&E is playing bait and switch. They desperately want to reduce rooftop solar (low profits, low emissions) and put in yesteryear’s transmission line solution (high profits, polluting!) using fossil fuels from politically unstable sources.
Some say the fight is over, but don't believe it. A new lawsuit in federal court is still pending; with our new governor, the entire issue could be reconsidered due to illegal lobbying activities that corrupted the original decision.
Regardless of political leanings, everyone who finds out the details is unanimously against the project. Everyone, that is, except those who stand to profit by putting it in. It is definitely a mistake for the San Diego ratepayer!
- 01 Mar 2011 - 7:00a - Sunrise Powerlink Protest and Picket Line at the work site in downtown Alpine, CA.