Citizens Must Remain Vigilant and Proactive Against the University City Power Plant

By Brent Perkins

Our problem has not been solved; it has merely gone underground. We have a City and a Mayor’s Office that seems determined to shoehorn an 800 megawatt industrial power plant directly amidst our schools, parks, shopping centers, churches, and densely populated neighborhoods. Any government that would, by design and intent, bring such an abomination to our homes is dangerous and ill intended.

Is there any doubt that, between the meeting last June 25th and today that Capital Power and the Office of the Mayor have met, talked and moved forward with plans to place the lease agreement on the next available ballot for a citywide vote? Is there any doubt that the Mayor’s Office and Capital Power have devised a strategy for completion of the UTC power plant? Has anyone at the City informed us of the status of the project? Have we received any information from anyone at the City regarding what has transpired at the City between last June and today? We have not. There is an information blackout. We are in the dark just as we were last June.

Nothing has changed in the City’s desire to move forward clandestinely. From my observations over the last twenty-five years, the San Diego City Council, the Office of the Mayor, and the City Manager’s Office have a long history of deception, misdirection, and secrecy. This is, in my opinion, the central problem of local governance we all face in San Diego.

My view is that we must monitor the complex and too often devious and deceptive politics of the Council and the Office of the Mayor. I truly want to believe that the City is dedicated to our best interests. History shows painfully otherwise. The basic political strategy may well be for the district one council member, whoever it is, to speak passionately against the project while the other district members are “enticed” into putting the forty-year lease agreement on the ballot. If this is done, the council members in the other districts cover story will be “we let the people decide”. Once the lease agreement is on the ballot for a citywide vote, a majority of the voters outside of University City will vote in favor of it out of fear that if the don’t the power plant will end up in their neighborhood. This scenario is, I believe, the key strategy being pursued by the City, Capital Power of Canada and Mr. Kennedy, the lead lobbyist for Capital Power.

Regardless of one’s views on global energy policy, this particular power plant in this particular location is sheer lunacy. I will continue to attempt to create broad strategies that will result in ending the career of any local politician or bureaucrat who attempts, directly or behind the scenes, to ruin our neighborhood and damage our children with this abomination.


  1. avatarShelley Plumb says

    Thank you to Sherri Lightner for jumping on this as soon as it came to light and for opposing the building of this monstrosity.

  2. avatarDeborah Knight says

    City Councilmember Sherri Lightner stood up for the community big time on this one. She led the opposition to this project, and any potential support for it on the city council evaporated. Our community is certainly lucky to have Sherri. The mayor’s office or the power company could try to push it forward again at some future time. But Sherri continues her strong opposition to this project. And what Sherri says, Sherri does. She’ll stand up for the communities she represents.

  3. avatarSandy says

    I share Mr. Perkins’ passion about this nightmare scenario, and so does our committed Council representative. Councilwoman Lightner has been in strong opposition to yet another project claimed to be good for the community. What’s that old saying: “Everybody loved it but the people.” Maybe Mr. Perkins can get both mayoral candidates to take a stand in written word and join Lightner to “fight on” against this dangerous disaster.
    Mr. Perkins, you know you have Councilwoman Lightner doing battle with you. Please write again after asking Mr. DeMaio and Mr. Filner to weigh in on this critical issue for the votes.
    Sandra Lippe

  4. avatar says

    Interestingly enough, as more distributed solar power hits the grid via private installations, the projected future demand for these new power plants (including the ones in Santee and coastal North County) is only declining…

  5. avatarJones says

    This power plant would destroy the community of University City. It is not necessary and it sounds like part of the plan is for Capital Power to sell energy to Orange County because San Diego won’t need it. Let me get this straight, they pollute our neighborhoods (local homes, schools, parks and rec centers within 0.25 miles), Capital Power makes a lot of money (to benefit the Canadian economy) and Orange County gets energy while San Diego gets paid less than peanuts (SERIOUSLY!!??). How could the mayor’s office even consider this??? And the pollution is a MAJOR threat. There have been studies done on long-term effects of LOW LEVELS of these particulates over time (they build up in the blood). SO many health problems associated (especially in children living near to this type of plant). The location is completely inappropriate! Thank you Sherri Lightner for taking a stand against this monster – let’s keep fighting!