Three state lawmakers on Tuesday urged regulators to reconsider a controversial natural gas project proposed for Ventura County, citing environmental concerns and questions about whether the state already has too many power plants.
The lawmakers asked the California Energy Commission “to pause and reevaluate the need for the plant” in light of a report published by the Los Angeles Times that detailed how the state has created a glut of electricity capacity over the last decade at the expense of ratepayers.
The commission is holding a public hearing in Oxnard this week before it votes on whether to approve the Puente Power Project. The plant, proposed by Southern California Edison, would provide power during peak use and replace two older gas-fired steam turbines in Mandalay Bay that cause more pollution.
They were barely used in 2015, operating at about 6.5% of their capacity, according to federal data.
A recent Los Angeles Times investigation found that the state’s power plants are on track to be able to produce at least 21% more electricity than needed by 2020, based on official estimates.
Regulators continue to approve more plants and increase electricity rates, even though some plants have even been forced to shut down because their power is not needed. Californians, meanwhile, are footing the $40-billion annual bill, paying $6.8 billion more than in 2008.
Read the whole story in the LA Times