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September 25, 2009

LADWP Backing Down On Green Path North?

That's what the L.A. Times, the Press-Enterprise, and Reuters are suggesting. But the California Desert Coalition counsels skepticism:

CDC is encouraged to learn from several news sources that Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa's administration has heard the concerns of desert communities regarding the Green Path North (GPN) Project and that the City of Los Angeles plans on putting more emphasis on utilizing existing transmission lines to transmit renewable energy to the city.

Most encouraging is the Press Enterprise’s report that the mayor’s press secretary, Sarah Hamilton, indicated the city is "seriously contemplating" removing the GPN preferred alignment (from Desert Hot Springs and up through the high desert to Hesperia) from the list of proposed routes for the project.

And, as reported by Reuters, Deputy Mayor David Freeman, who is in charge of the mayor's environmental agenda, has said "We are taking a fresh look at the whole ball game, including the Green Path North transmission line."

The Los Angeles Times reported that the Villaraigosa administration appears to have shifted to a policy focused more on developing renewable energy sources closer to LADWP’s existing power transmission lines, primarily those that stretch to Owens Valley and east toward Utah.

The article also reports that LADWP General Manager David Nahai, who has often claimed that the utility must own GPN transmission lines, says that LADWP "hopes to" share the I-10 corridor with Southern California Edison. CDC also "hopes" LADWP has had a change in its thinking, but until Mayor Villaraigosa has the city-owned utility remove its preferred alignment route from the formal Bureau of Land Management process, we cannot rest in our efforts to stop LADWP from pursuing this route. With the GPN public scoping process coming up the first of next year, we will need everyone’s continuing support to participate in that process and ensure LADWP’s preferred alignment gets removed from further consideration.

We cautiously compliment Mayor Villaraigosa on his reconsideration of the city’s renewable energy planning. The shift to use of existing transmission corridors, when Los Angeles reaches outside of its boundaries for renewable energy, is certainly a move in the right direction that will help preserve pristine desert areas. We will be encouraging the mayor, in his quest to make his city the greenest big city in America, to also shift his administration’s policy away from primary reliance on utility-scale projects to meet his ambitious renewable energy goals. Destroying pristine lands, either with transmission lines or with large-scale solar and wind generation, is not necessary nor appropriate as a way to reach "green" goals. The mayor must allow the citizen’s of Los Angeles to do their part; he must adopt policies that make possible widespread use of solar photovoltaic (PV) on the rooftops of Los Angeles residences, as well as on commercial buildings.

April Sall, Chair
Ruth Rieman, Vice Chair
California Desert Coalition

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Green Path North | permalink | September 25, 2009 at 08:40 PM

Comments

Quite true, Patrick. Often the latest, most complete news on our valley comes from the L.A. Times or Press-Enterprise. Another example, besides this story, is the news about Duroville. The L.A. Times was always on top of that, while the Desert Sun's reportage was spotty.

Posted by: Ron's Log at Sep 26, 2009 1:45:09 PM

The Desert Sun chooses to leave valley residents uninformed. Local residents are forced to rely on better-managed news sources because the Desert Sun refuses to invest in adequate and competent local coverage. Running a dated City News Service re-write is disappointing and perhaps unethical coverage of such an important local story.

Posted by: Patrick H at Sep 26, 2009 10:46:04 AM

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