Monday, Jan. 22, 2007 | In a column earlier this month, activist Serge Dedina was off base in his criticism of Sempra Energy and our critical energy projects.
He specifically mentioned our liquefied natural gas (LNG) receipt terminal under construction near Ensenada in Baja California and San Diego Gas & Electric’s proposed Sunrise Powerlink transmission powerline.
Our LNG terminal’s primary role is to provide reliable, clean-burning natural gas to an area which has no indigenous natural gas supplies: Baja California. In fact, Baja California is situated at the end of the North American natural gas supply line and until the terminal becomes active, is totally reliant on U.S. sources and pipelines for natural gas.
Our LNG will help Baja California continue to convert from high-sulfur industrial fuels to clean-burning natural gas at facilities like the Rosarito Power Plant. This will contribute significantly to improved air quality in the entire San Diego/Baja region. Additionally, excess natural gas supplies from the LNG terminal will supply consumers in the Western United States. California, for example, produces just 15 percent of the natural gas it uses every day. New supplies of this clean-burning fuel will help reduce costs for all of us.
The proposed Sunrise Powerlink transmission line not only will improve power reliability for San Diego electric customers, it will pave the way to import new supplies of renewable energy — such as solar and wind power — into our region. These supplies will not be able to reach San Diego without new transmission lines, like the Sunrise Powerlink. SDG&E has a goal of acquiring 20 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2010. Sunrise is essential in accomplishing this significant goal.
We share Dedina’s concern for the environment — I and 5,600 of my fellow employees who live and work here in San Diego are dedicated to preserving its natural beauty.
The need and development of robust energy infrastructure and supplies to meet our region’s future requirements are not mutually exclusive to our environmental commitment. I firmly believe that this can be accomplished in an environmentally responsible manner. This is a critical focus for us as we move forward with our important energy infrastructure projects.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to the Sunrise Powerlink as the Southwest Powerlink. The story has been corrected.
Jessie J. Knight, Jr. is the executive vice president of external affairs with Sempra Energy.