Editor’s Note: Even as the City Hall power structure argues Proposition B will avoid the need to build costly high-voltage transmission lines to bring green power to Los Angeles, it is rushing forward to do just that: Build a costly high-voltage transmission line across the Southern California desert to bring green power to L.A. In both cases, the DWP’s goal is maintain its energy monopoly — whatever it costs the public, whatever damage it does to the environment. In both cases, the result is growing community opposition. Prop. B is under attack because it isn’t a solar energy plan at all but a payoff to the DWP’s union, the IBEW. The desert plan faces massive opposition because it will destroy beautiful and sensitive areas. The DWP has just rejected an offer to add its lines to existing SCE transmission towards along I-10. Sheila Bowers, a long-time Santa Monica resident who spends a lot time at her home near Joshua Tree National Park, sent this email that eloquently bridges the two worlds from the desert to the sea and she asks how we can all come together to bring green power to Southern California and protect the environment and our pocketbooks..By Sheila Bowers
Studded with the exact rock formations and unique plant and animal life, that made Joshua Tree rise from a simple desert into a National Park, and surrounded by flat-topped mesas with enormous spiritual significance for our native american predecessors there, this is an irreplaceable spot of endless beauty, tranquility, drama, danger and purity.
LADWP is planning to destroy this pristine wilderness with important cultural resources on it, and bulldoze, dynamite, scrape, poison, pave and develop this gorgeous region, and force hundreds of people from their homes — people that will never see a single watt of the power, even though there are FANTASTIC solar resources right in LA that DWP resolutely refuses to tap, despite LA’s sprawl, urban heat islands and desperate need for local jobs and economic stimulus for residents. No, they want to destroy lives, property values and the fragile desert ecosystem (which happens to be a highly effective carbon sink when left intact), and jack up rates, to support their monopolistic desires.
So, who are the NIMBY’s now? Who is refusing to bear the costs of their own consumption in their own yards? Not rural desert dwellers, who are very anxious to have policies that will promote rooftop solar and microwind on our own properties – policies like feed-in tariffs which pay us for power we produce and feed into the grid, instead of forcing us from our properties to produce (and transmit) the same exact power on the same exact properties, only owned by monopolists. Ironically, many of those in the path of this despicable death train are already living “off grid” in total harmony with their environments. How unfair is that?
We in the desert also want policies like guaranteed financing for PV (photo-voltaic), which can be repaid through AB 811 and the property tax system. Financing, incentives and compensation for power we produce are so basic, and so critical throughout the region, the state and the nation if we want to prevent the Robber Barons of Big Energy (including LADWP) from re-centralizing the grid and bottling OUR sun and OUR wind on OUR land and selling it back to us for a high profit, yet we still don’t have them.
Why not? It’s unconscionable, and people need to know that Villaraigosa and Nahai are speaking for them when they say, in essence “Screw Joshua Tree. Screw our Ratepayers. Our ends (monopolistic chokehold over ratepayers) justify our means (destroying carbon sinks, poisoning and decimating wilderness areas and watersheds, impoverishing thousands of rural people, hijacking DWP ratepayers, denying economic stimulus and jobs to a city starving for them, etc.).” Are they speaking for you? If not, better have a word with their bosses, eh?
How can they find billions of dollars to build massive, wasteful,
unneeded and overpriced infrastructure, but they can’t find that same
amount to loan to ratepayers for PV, with guaranteed payback through AB
811? How come it’s acceptable to jack rates 25% to pay for LADWP’s
capital costs, but it’s not acceptable to raise rates only $3-$4 per
month to subsidize the level of feed in tariffs that would turn the
entire city into a massive solar generation facility that does not
destroy the planet? And that money would be coming into our community
directly – monthly checks!
Why is it that Edison has offered
to share, under a long-term contract, their existing transmission
capacity from Salton Sea into LA, and David Nahai has snubbed them, as
though “renting is not an option” is an acceptable answer to someone
facing a wrecking ball at their family home in Joshua Tree so 3 more
McMansions 150 miles away can run extra plasma TVs?
Here’s my reply to you, Mr. Nahai, “Joshua Tree is not an option.”
can we coordinate efforts to get the winning solution I mention below
onto the table? As mentioned, even though I am facing eminent domain,
thanks to LA City Council policies, they refuse to speak with me about
it. Can you get it into the discussion with the Solar 8? Can you get
it in front of the City Council, or at least get me in front of them?
Local point of use solutions cross all political parties, do not
require “belief” in global warming, and appeal to every single person
(other than those entrenched in the Big Energy Boondoggles). EVERYONE
wants solar panels on their roof, if they can afford them, and
especially if they can make money off them.
The time is now. The place is SoCal. The urgency is apparent. How can we make this happen?