Tuesday, May 27, 2008 | Hundreds of citizens traveled to Borrego Springs on May 12 to attend an extraordinary meeting of the CPUC to discuss SDG&E’s proposed behemothic transmission line through San Diego’s backcountry.

Opponents of the line spoke from numerous points of view: transmission-line-sparked wildfire, public resources sacrificed for corporate profit, stewardship of our parks. What was striking about the statements of the line’s supporters was the monotonous recitation of the “singing points” provided by SDG&E. “Renewable and reliable energy” goes the first verse, quickly followed by the refrain “We gotta keep the lights on,” sung in an ominous minor key.

The repetition of this song should have come as no surprise considering it was simply the execution of SDG&E’s 2004 strategy to provide “political cover” for its ugly-from-the-start transmission line. That political cover was none other than a song called “Renewable and Reliable Energy from a Transmission Line.” SDG&E officials have been singing it ever since and teaching it, apparently with some success, to a lot of business people.

In a Herculean effort the CPUC has evaluated thousands of pages of documentation and 27 specific alternatives to SDG&E’s proposal. As detailed in its 7,500 page Environmental Impact Report, the CPUC has identified five alternatives to SDG&E’s plan that would provide San Diego with renewable and reliable energy without SDG&E’s proposed transmission line, and therefore without sacrificing the treasures of San Diego’s backcountry: our deserts, our mountains, our magnificent parks.

There is a new song on the hit parade. It’s called “Renewable and Reliable Energy without Lining SDG&E’s Pockets,” and it seems to be rapidly climbing the charts. Stay tuned.

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