LANCASTER – Lancaster City officials remain opposed to the Palmdale Power Plant, and they say an objective third party, Kern County, may soon follow their lead. In a press release issued Thursday, Lancaster city officials cited a Kern County staff report that advises the Kern County Board of Supervisors to consider opposing the transfer of emission reduction credits needed for the construction of the Palmdale Power Plant. Read the Kern County staff report here.
Read Lancaster’s press release below:
The Kern County Board of Supervisors will consider a recommendation from County Planning and Development staff to oppose the transfer of emission reduction credits from the San Joaquin Valley to the Antelope Valley at its upcoming meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 22, according to a County staff report released today.
A transfer of emission reduction credits (ERCs) is needed for construction of the proposed Palmdale Power Plant.
“While providing needed base load electricity, the Palmdale Power Plant will not provide any economic benefit in the form of jobs or property taxes for Kern County or any other San Joaquin Valley county,” the staff report stated. “Staff is concerned that without careful consideration of each ERC transfer out of the SJVAPCD [San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District], future opportunities for attracting and fostering new industry will be limited.”
The California Energy Commission decision issued in August 2011 regarding the Palmdale Power Plant outlines a plan “to mitigate the project’s contribution to ambient ozone,” which includes acquiring emission reduction credits for nitric oxide (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the SJVAPCD, as well as paving roads to mitigate particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5).
“In spite of spending a number of years in the development process and investing approximately $35 million in taxpayer dollars, the City of Palmdale has failed to complete even some of the most basic tasks to ensure the project’s viability,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “As Vice Mayor Crist and I have stated previously, at this advanced stage, the plant still lacks an interconnect agreement, an offtaker, and the transfer of ERCs required to create additional pollution in the Antelope Valley.”
The staff recommendation also advises that the Kern County Board of Supervisors write a letter to SJVAPCD “opposing transfers of Emission Reduction Credits outside the Air District unless they benefit Kern County or other Valley Air District counties or related cities,” with the exception of ERCs set to expire within two years.
“This ill-advised project has now affected not only the health of our citizens, but also our ability to transfer ERCs from the San Joaquin Valley to engage in future job-creating economic development projects,” Parris said. “Palmdale’s never-ending quest to push through this foolhardy project at all costs has created an unforeseen problem. Due to their greed in attempting to acquire highly valuable air credits in return for just 35 jobs, we will now likely lose the opportunity to transfer credits from the SJVAPCD in the future, which could ultimately cost the Antelope Valley projects with the potential to create hundreds or even thousands of jobs for our residents. Clearly, Kern County understands the value of air quality and its power to expand industry and create new jobs for its citizens.”
Palmdale officials have not yet presented a plan for the transfer of ERCs to the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District.
“In recent months, we have reached out to various community organizations to share the facts regarding the Palmdale Power Plant,” said Vice Mayor Marvin Crist. “Once these prominent citizens understood the alleged benefits and true costs to our community, time and again, they asked the same question: why? Now, as an objective third party, Kern County has arrived at the same conclusion: why?”
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