PG&E vs. Greenaction

Pub date April 7, 2006
SectionAlertsSectionNews & Opinion


Pacific Gas and Electric Company has been promising for years to shut down its filty, dangerous Hunters Point power plant. Now state regulators have signed off on the plan, and it should be happening any day. But PG&E and Greenaction — which has been the group leading the charge to close the plant — have very different ideas about the timeframe.


Here’s PG&E’s claim:



   PG&E Completes Potrero-Hunters Point Transmission Line
                               in San Francisco

      Utility on Target to Closing Hunters Point Power Plant This Spring

    SAN FRANCISCO, April 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Pacific Gas and Electric
Company has released into service a new underground transmission line in San
Francisco, bringing the utility closer to its goal of closing its last San
Francisco power plant.
    The Potrero-Hunters Point Cable is a 115,000-volt transmission line that
improves electric reliability and increases electric capacity in San
Francisco. Built at a cost of about $40 million, the Potrero-Hunters Point
Cable spans 2.5-miles and is entirely underground, connecting two large
substations in southeast San Francisco. Construction on the line began in June
    The Potrero-Hunters Point Cable is the second-to-last of nine transmission
projects PG&E has completed in its effort to obtain California Independent
System Operator approval to terminate the must-run contract for the Hunters
Point Power Plant. The California ISO has required PG&E to run the plant to
assure continued reliable electric service in the region, but completion of
the transmission projects will allow PG&E to maintain reliable service without
the plant.
    The final transmission project, the Jefferson-Martin 230-kv Transmission
Line, is scheduled to be completed this spring, even though excessive rain
during March and April has posed challenges. PG&E is investing approximately
$320 million in the nine projects that will increase electric capacity,
improve reliability and also allow for the Hunters Point Power Plant to close.
    Ten business days after PG&E notifies the California ISO that the
Jefferson-Martin line is in commercial service, the "reliability must-run"
contract under which PG&E is obligated to operate the plant will terminate, at
which point PG&E will immediately close the plant.
    "PG&E worked closely with the community, the City and the Port of San
Francisco to get the Potrero-Hunters Point Cable project approved and built in
a timely manner," said Jeff Butler, senior vice president of energy delivery
at PG&E. "Everyone understood the project’s role in closing the Hunters Point
Power Plant."
    "The Close It Coalition and the A. Philip Randolph Institute have been
instrumental in seeing that Hunters Point Power Plant close," said Lynette
Sweet, a community resident and advocate, and board member of the Bay Area
Rapid Transit District. "I’m grateful that PG&E listened to the community and
worked hard to keep their promise."

    For more information about Pacific Gas and Electric Company, please visit
the company’s Web site at

SOURCE  Pacific Gas and Electric Company
    -0-                             04/07/2006
    /CONTACT:  PG&E News Department, +1-415-973-5930/
    /Web site:


Here’s what Greenaction has to say about that:

For immediate release: April 7, 2006


For More Information Contact: 

Marie Harrison, Bradley Angel, Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, (415) 248-5010

Tessie Ester, Bayview Hunters Point Mothers Committee for Environmental Justice, (415) 643-3170


                  Showdown at PG&E Hunters Point Power Plant


           Greenaction and Community Groups Set Tuesday, April 11, noon

                as Deadline to Shut Down PG&E’s Polluting Power Plant


PG&E claims plant will close, but fails to set date & makes conflicting statements about closure

Tired of broken promises over the last 8 years, residents issue ultimatum


San Francisco, CA – Fed up with PG&E’s refusal to set a specific date to close the dirty and outdated PG&E Hunters Point power plant and tired of years of broken promises to shut it down, Bayview Hunters Point community residents and Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice will take nonviolent action at the power plant on April 11th at noon to ensure it closes once and for all. 


The power plant is located at Evans and Middlepoint, San Francisco, in the heart of the low-income Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood. As one of California’s dirtiest and oldest power plants, it has polluted the community for over 77 years.  Residents suffer very high rates of asthma and cancer.


PG&E officials have recently made numerous conflicting statements about the supposed upcoming closure of the power plant. First, in September PG&E told the California Independent System Operator (ISO) that the plant should be able to close by early April. Next, in November they wrote a letter to the ISO stating it should close by the end of the second quarter (by end of June). Then, two weeks ago a PG&E official told Greenaction that construction of transmission lines required for ISO approval for the shut down had been completed, and were undergoing testing. Early this week PG&E told a City Department of the Environment official that construction had not been completed. On April 6th PG&E Vice President Bob Harris told an environmental group representative that the plant would be closed "8 days after the rains stop." It is very unclear which rains the PG&E official was referring to.


PG&E has had so-called community groups that it directly supports praise the company, ignoring the ongoing criticism from residents who actually live next to the plant and suffer every day from dirty air.


Tessie Ester, resident of the Huntersview public housing project located across the street from the PG&E plant and chair of the Bayview Hunters Point Mothers Committee for Environmental Justice, said "After years of watching our children suffer with all these illnesses, we won’t be singing or dancing until it closes, and we will be there on April 11th to ensure that, in fact, it finally shuts down."


On April 11th, residents and their supporters will gather in front of the PG&E Power Plant to ensure that the plant closes, by community action if necessary. "Residents and Greenaction will be at the front gates of PG&E on April 11th to make sure this dirty polluter is shut down once and for all," said Marie Harrison, community organizer for Greenaction. "We are tired of delay after delay and broken promises from PG&E and government officials, and we will be at the front gate on April 11th."

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