Why does Southern California Edison really want to put another power-generating plant, a peaker, in Oxnard? Oxnard already has two power plants, at Ormond Beach and Mandalay Beach, owned by Reliant Energy. There are other cogeneration plants in Oxnard owned by private companies.
The Reliant plants will be going away. They are old, inefficient and no longer need to be located on the coast. New power plants no longer need seawater for cooling. When these eyesores are gone, there will be a wonderful opportunity for coastal restoration.
The Reliant plants were owned by Edison prior to deregulation. Now Edison wants to get back into the power generation business in a big way.
Edison says Michael Peevey, California Public Utilities Commission president, is requiring them to build five peaker plants, including one in Oxnard. Peevey just happens to be a former top executive of Edison.
The peaker is basically a gas-fired jet engine generator that does not use seawater and does not need to be on the coast. The peaker would be located in the coastal zone. Oxnard's local coastal plan does not allow noncoastal dependent energy facilities in the zone. Therefore, Edison would have to get a local coastal plan amendment.
It is obvious Edison's true motivation is to get the amendment so it can build a large new power plant when the Mandalay plant is decommissioned.
There is no need to locate any additional power plants on the precious and environmentally rich California coast. Oxnard has been dumped on in the past with Halaco, landfills and power plants. BHP Billiton, with its liquefied natural gas proposal, thought Oxnard was the community of least resistance. It learned otherwise.
Residents must attend the Oxnard Planning Commission meeting and say no. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at the City Council Chambers, 305 W. Third St.
— Shirley Godwin, Oxnard
(The writer is chairperson of the Saviers Road Design Team. — Editor)