Palmdale blasts Lancaster for power plant smear campaign

(Image concept of Palmdale Hybrid Power Plant, courtesy Inland Energy Inc.)

(Image concept of Palmdale Hybrid Power Plant, courtesy Inland Energy Inc.)

This flyer on the Lancaster city website was found on a page titled "No Power Plant." Click the image to view the page.

This flyer on the Lancaster city website was found on a page titled “No Power Plant.” Click the image to view the page.

PALMDALE – As a vote to decide the fate of the proposed Palmdale Power Plant draws near, Lancaster city officials appear to have ramped up their opposition campaign against the project.

They’ve used mailers, a newspaper ad, an email newsletter and fliers to encourage residents to speak out against the proposed Palmdale Power Plant at a board meeting on Tuesday (Dec. 17).

During the meeting, the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District will vote on whether to transfer emission reduction credits for project, which is the last remaining phase of approvals needed for construction of the plant.

Palmdale city officials are fighting back against Lancaster’s opposition, calling it a “campaign of lies” that “reached a new low.” In a recent city news release, Palmdale officials took aim at a Lancaster-funded postcard and newspaper advertisement created to oppose the power plant.

Read the Palmdale city news release below:

Fact vs. Fiction, Part 7  – Lancaster Campaign of Lies Plunges to New Lows With Postcard, Ad Fraught with Misleading Graphics and Statements

The City of Lancaster, led by the disingenuous and outrageous claims of R. Rex Parris and Marv Crist, reached a new low with their latest attempt to scare, misinform and mislead the public through a recent “hit mailer” and newspaper ad created and paid for by Lancaster.

“It is disgusting that public officials would resort to using cheap Photoshop tricks and deceptive statements on a mailer to residents and an ad in the local newspaper,” said Palmdale City Attorney Matthew Ditzhazy.

“It is sad that the leaders of Lancaster are spending taxpayer dollars—at least $20,000 the mailing and $4,400 on the ad —to intentionally deceive and mislead their residents,” said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. “They continue to ignore scientific evidence and lie to their constituents, all for their own sordid political gain.”

“Just because a Mayor has killing a power plant on his bucket list doesn’t mean you have the right to ignore the evidence that the project is safe, clean and approved by the California Energy Commission, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District,” Ledford said.

Parris was quoted as including on his bucket list stopping “Palmdale from moving ahead with that natural-gas fired hybrid energy power plant” in an article in the Antelope Valley Press on July 8, 2013.

Some of the deceptive images and statements made by Lancaster on the postcard and ad include:

  • Using a photo of an alleged power plant that looks nothing like Palmdale’s with phony ‘smoke’ added on top.
  • Inserting a quote from an AVAQMD employee out of context encouraging people to attend the meeting under the headline, “This may be your last chance to stop the power plant.”
  • Quoting from the California Energy Commission’s (CEC)  staff assessment in 2010, which was actually written a year BEFORE the CEC issued its Final Decision,  Lancaster attempts to show that the power plant would not comply with all applicable Laws, Ordinances, Regulations and Standards (LORS), or with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements. However, the very same paragraph from where the quote was taken states that the adoption of staff recommended conditions would overcome the problems. A year later the CEC states in its  Final Decision, “that implementation of the Conditions of Certification, below, and the mitigation measures described in the evidentiary record, will ensure that the PHPP conforms with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards relating to air quality. (CEC, Final Decision, Air Quality, 6.2-35)
  • Threats that the power plant will impact health of families and children despite the findings of the CEC and EPA to the contrary.
  • Claiming the power plant will be 60 feet away from Lancaster when the power block is 1/3 mile south of Avenue M and Lancaster city limits. Furthermore, the Lancaster property that is adjacent to Palmdale is a combination of heavy and light industrial use property as designated by the City of Lancaster zoning map.
  • Ignoring the Community Choice Aggregate option as a mechanism to lower electricity rates.
  • Misrepresenting emissions from the power plant which are, in reality, 25 tons less than the emissions which will be generated by the two big box outlets Lancaster proposed to build across the street from Quartz Hill High School.

“These and most of the other points they make on their pieces of propaganda are really irrelevant to what the AVAQMD will be doing next Tuesday,” said Palmdale’s Communications Manager John Mlynar. “They keep trying to deflect from the matter at hand which is the approval of transfer of ERC credits—something the board has done 17 times previously. The fact of the matter is, this meeting on Tuesday is about receiving the ERC credits which Palmdale has lawfully obtained.”

Previous lies from the deceptive duo of Parris and Crist have included that the power plant:

  • Would kill children
  • Claims that the EPA has stated this type of facility “will cause death”
  • Create a six mile high plume of pollution that would float over schools and soccer fields
  • Cause job losses at Air Force Plant 42
  • Be akin to the Challenger space shuttle disaster
  • Was approved because the CEC and EPA processes are “flawed”
  • Was approved because the CEC “rubber stamps” power plant approvals

Parris’ latest bizarre statement came during last Tuesday’s City Council meeting, where he asked a Lancaster staff person after a presentation on the City’s disaster plan, “So if they build the Palmdale Power Plant, could we get FEMA money under the terrorist provision?” The staff person replied, “If we can make a finding.” To which Parris replied, “Good. Let’s work on that. You know, you’ve got to find every dollar you can find.”

Lancaster’s opposition is a 180 degree turnaround from its previous position. At a Lancaster City Council Meeting in Nov. 2008, Parris had previously endorsed the power plant. Parris stated: “Personally, I think this is an incredible step in the right direction for the entire Antelope Valley. It would appear that the entire Antelope Valley will soon become the 21st century energy capital of the world. That’s what we’re looking forward to…be sure to convey our sentiments to Palmdale. We absolutely will be a cooperative partner in this venture.”

Other Lancaster officials, including City Manager Mark Bozigian, Councilmember Ron Smith were quoted in an Antelope Valley Press article on Oct 6, 2008 as supporting the power plant.

The tone has certainly changed.

Lancaster has also traveled outside the Antelope Valley with hopes of sabotaging the power plant. At a recent Kern County Board of Supervisors meeting, Assistant City Manager Jason Caudle implored the Board to vote against Palmdale’s request to transfer ERC credits from the San Joaquin Valley Air District to the AVAQMD, but only before informing the board that Lancaster would soon be applying for credit transfers themselves. Supervisor Mike Maggard noted this apparent contradiction in his closing remarks as the Board rejected Lancaster’s request.

“This is the type of behavior we have come to expect from the City of Lancaster,” stated Ditzhazy. “This is a City whose Mayor claims he—-not Lancaster—- is suing Palmdale over voting rights, and yet their City Manager shows up at our hearing in court in Los Angeles. Their act is getting old and tired.”

“And now Crist wants to start a water war in the Antelope Valley?” said Palmdale City Manager Dave Childs in reference to a comment Crist made in the Antelope Valley Press on Dec. 12  where he vowed to prevent Palmdale from obtaining the recycled water it plans to pipe from a treatment plant in Lancaster to the power plant site. “Exactly how is that a business friendly action?”

“Lancaster lied about job losses at Plant 42. They lied about children dying on the soccer fields. They lied about a six mile high plume that they claimed would interfere with air traffic at Plant 42. They’ve use words from AVAQMD employees of context to make it look like the AVAQMD was opposed to the power plant when staff approved the ERC credit transfer. They’ve used statements from outdated CEC reports that contradict what the CEC stated in its Final Decision. They deny the statements in the EIRs that show that their shopping centers they want to build across from Quartz Hill High School will generate more emissions than the power plant. They Photoshop ‘smoke’ on their hit mailers. Why anyone would believe a word they say about the power plant is beyond reason,” said Mlynar.

The Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District meeting starts at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17 in the Antelope Valley College Performing Arts Theatre, located at 3041 West Avenue K in Lancaster.

Previous related stories:

AVAQMD staff recommends approval of offset credit transfers for Palmdale Power Plant

VIDEO: Lancaster opposition continues over Palmdale Power Plant

Palmdale Power Plant drawing support from elected officials, community leaders

  19 comments for “Palmdale blasts Lancaster for power plant smear campaign

  1. chrlrss
    December 18, 2013 at 4:34 am

    Saw Crist on the news last night again going on & on about all the children who have asthma here in the AV.
    They sure don’t seem to care about the kids when it comes to the solar farms tho. Notice how we have sand storms now in North Lancaster? I am at J & 25th West & there have a been a few times where we haven’t been able to see to the end of the street because of the sand blowing.
    That only started after they put in the solar farms where they cleared the land & keep it scraped so all that top soil is blowing away.
    What is that doing for all those affected by asthma? Can’t be good for them.

    • William
      December 18, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      I was at the hearing from 10 AM till 4:30 PM and it was a hoot. For those watching the video at home, you could have had a drinking game every time Marvin Crist spoke,

      “B, b, but what about this paragraph? (from the CEC report) ” – Crist

      The counsel for Palmdale would clearly and precisely answer his questions according to what the California Energy Commission rules and guidelines were.

      Then, Crist would say “B, b but, what about this other thing?

      And so on and so forth for hours. He wouldn’t accept any answers to his questions and would simply ask another and another.

      The problem was, he and the AVAQMD board was only there to approve or not approve the transfer of credits and NOT TO REHASH THE ENTIRE CEC REPORT, that the opponents misrepresented in their mailer by taking a sentence out of context and before the final report was finished among other lies.

      All their lies and misleading information was rebutted but it took forever because Crist was there to make sure the denial happened for Rex and he failed.

      You shoulda seen Rex’s plea to the jury, I mean the board, I mean just 2 of the members of the board who weren’t already for or against. He stood in front of the board with his back to the audience and was presenting his case like a lawyer to a jury. Hilarious. At one point he said that the CEC found no evidence of any risk, not that there wasn’t any risk from the emissions and he blamed himself because he hadn’t done the work to provide such evidence in the past. Really?? The board was supposed to acquiesce to his plea for mercy at the hands of the jury, I mean, board? I don’t think so. That wasn’t their job or charge and he looked like a fool for playing it that way. The board was only bound to accept the CEC report and the credits, as is, without having to independently research those items. Dummies Rex, Crist and a few others couldn’t get that through their heads. They thought that their opinions, fears, unfounded speculations and lies were going to save the day. The board said “NO!” to that nonsense and it was a joy to behold.

      It would have been nice to make a bonfire out of all those mailers Rex sent but the smoke would have killed children somewhere, somehow.

      Good won over evil.

      Now, the question is “Who will be the next vice-mayor?”.

      • 345
        December 18, 2013 at 4:58 pm

        Did “William..” wear a paper bag over his head so no one would find out who he really is..?

        I think Makeda would be a swell choice for the local head of the future Thought Police…

        Made up of ONLY black people ready to pay back whitey for slavery and Jim Crow…

        • William
          December 18, 2013 at 5:47 pm

          Hey, loosen the bone, Wilma. And, take Midol.

  2. Sharon Hill
    December 17, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    When I came out to California in April I saw many of these solar panels going up on Avenue O, also on out at the road that goes over to Adelanto. .. I am just wondering how they are going to keep the sand from forming up around the panels, as if I remember right those sand storms get so bad you can not see more than 3 feet ahead of your vehicle. As I was taking my husband thru one of them, when he was having a heart attack in December of 1996.. Once these panels start piling up with sand, it will be a big mess to clean them up again, plus will cost the people more money ….. I am just concerned about this .. Not that it is going to be money out of my pocket ,as I no longer live out there….

  3. Alex B
    December 17, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Im happy Lancaster is paying extra money in efforts to keep this power plant out of our valley! I am a tax payer and Lancaster has MY permission to use that money to keep the power plant out of MY home. Thanks for trying to keep us safe!

    • Brenda
      December 17, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      I hope you are a resident of Lancaster. Palmdale is happy to have the jobs and we are smart enough to see through the lies R Rex Parris likes to spew. I have read multiple reports that go against everything he says. Perhaps you should worry about the pollution created by the walmart he approved in Quartz Hill.

      • john Howard
        December 17, 2013 at 4:08 pm

        Brenda.. The AV Mall is about 4 times the size of the ‘proposed’ Quartz Hill retail center and the number 1 producer of mobile pollution in the entire Antelope Valley. Perhaps you and the rest of Palmdale should worry about continuing to be the number 1 producer of pollution in the Antelope Valley.

        • William
          December 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm

          @ John Howard. Don’t you live in West Lancaster and you wanted the Walmart for your convenience? Why didn’t you move closer to the other Walmarts?

          That’s like someone moving out to Leona Valley for the rural landscape and wanting a Walmart to come to them.

    • William
      December 18, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      @Alex B. I just want to remind you that another restaurant closed on the BLVD over a week ago while Rex was playing the village idiot. Only he’s the ‘valley idiot’.

      It was embarrassing, his presentation at the hearing.

  4. 123
    December 17, 2013 at 1:03 am


    Palmdale Power Plant BAD…

    And EVEN Rex’s pretend Cowboy PAL… Antonovich drops his insanity and evil doings…

    Nice..! No..?

    Never fear THE GENIUS Debater… William will be there… Will he wear a mask so no one will know who he really is..?

  5. Frank T.
    December 16, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    “They lied about a six mile high plume that they claimed would interfere with air traffic at Plant 42.”

    On the flyer it only claims 600 feet. On a still day, or when the wind is it’s usual SW flow, air traffic should be Unaffected by a 600 ft plume. However Santa Ana winds or the occasional flow from the North, could easily be a problem on the flight line.

    • Fired Reporter
      December 17, 2013 at 7:18 am

      Airplanes fly through clouds all the time. A 600 foot puff of steam on occasion will not stop any flight any time anywhere. Get a clue.

      • Frank T
        December 17, 2013 at 5:49 pm

        If you say so, Mr Expert.

    • Stinger
      December 18, 2013 at 12:10 am

      The United States Air Force disagrees with you, ‘Frank T.’ In the reports that you seem to have failed to read, they found nothing that would inhibit thier operations now, or in the foreseeable future, from this project.

      • Frank T
        December 18, 2013 at 9:22 am

        USAF is not all that concerned with flight operations out of Plant 42. Nothing there is mission critical. Lockheed and Northrop would have a bigger dog in that fight. I wonder if anyone asked them.

        • Jay
          December 18, 2013 at 3:59 pm

          The big 3 said they are okay with it

      • Son of the Anti Rex
        December 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm

        why bother reading reports when all you have to do is read what lancaster wants you to read? they know better than all the experts anyway.

  6. William
    December 16, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Wow! That was awesome. Just awesome. I live in Palmdale and got the mailer the other day and sent Brett Banks, whom it quoted, an email pointing out some of the lies and misleading dates of documents and using his name as though he also opposed it.

    I’m so glad that they ‘named names’ directly and tied them to their lies.

    Can’t wait to be at the meeting Tuesday.

Comments are closed.