When I talked to Steve Francis for my story earlier this week, he pointed out that he has been “casting doubt on the Sunrise Powerlink.”

San Diego Gas & Electric hasn’t adequately demonstrated that the 150-mile-long power line proposed through Anza-Borrego Desert State Park would actually serve as a connection to renewable energy in Imperial County, Francis said. He said it shouldn’t be built if it’s just going to connect to Mexican power plants.

“I have to be assured that that’s not the case before I’m going to come out and support power lines through a state park,” Francis said. “SDG&E has a long ways to go in proving to the citizens of San Diego, to convince them it’s about green energy.”

But Francis has already come out and supported building the power line through the state park. When I talked to him in February, I asked him whether he would endorse the Sunrise Powerlink. He said he was “supportive.” Here’s what he said then:

I want there to be enough power in San Diego. And someone’s going to have to convince me that it’s not needed. The reality is that we need power. We have to have power. Because things weren’t done in the past, it doesn’t mean that we stick our head in a hole in the ground. The opponents of that plan are going to have to prove to me that it’s not needed. And show for economic reasons why it’s a bad idea.

He said, though, that he wouldn’t “be out there as a cheerleader for that power line.”

Subsequent conversations with the power line’s opponents have led him to put the burden of proof back on SDG&E, he said.

“Since that time (in February) I’ve had an opportunity to study the issue more, and what I’ve learned is that there’s more under the rock than what people have realized,” he said.


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