POWER PLANTS IN SAN FRANCISCO (10/26/08)
Most San Franciscans are fully cognizant of the fact that San Francisco had two power plants both once belonged to Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). At some point PG&E continued to hold to its power plant at Hunters Point and sold the other one by Illinois Street closer to the Bayview Hunters Point to Mirant.
Both power plants have polluted the Bayview Hunters Point for over fifty years. Dumping the worst types of particulates and other heavy metals like mercury and lead. The Hunters Point power plant is closed now - and for years - when technically it was not supposed to be in operation - PG&E brought Credits from other power plants to operate this toxic plant - and continued to poison San Franciscans and more the constituents that lived by Middle Point, Kiska Road and the Oakdale Public Housing.
As we all know - some of us played a key role in shutting down the Hunters Point power plant - I can tell you for certain it was not Sophina Maxwell and other dubious characters like Linda Richardson - that were quick to jump on the bandwagon and take credit.
Michael Boyd, Maurice Campbell, Lynne Brown, joined me and a select few to impress upon Pacific Gas and Electric, the California Independent Systems Operator, and other Regulatory Agencies - why a dirty power plant situated at Hunters Point was not needed. The chapter has been closed - and today the Hunters Point power plant is history.
Earlier the Mirant Plant was sold by Pacific Gas and Electric and some $13.6 million dollars - most mitigation money was given to the City and County of San Francisco to help those adversely impacted. This was done around 1996.
Willie L. Brown Jr. chose to do two things - create the Department of Environment and entrusted with the Department to create projects to address Environmental Issues. Willie also appointed Sophina Maxwell as head of an Environmental Fund to work with the then SF Department of Environment to dole out grants to some vested community organizations.
Dubious so called community organizations received grants Literacy for Environmental Justice to build a Living Class room a few feet from the Hunters Point power plant on very toxic land. Bayview Hunters Point Advocates who invested in some Solar Projects but wasted thousands of dollars as was revealed in an audit. $1.5 million was given to the Golden Gate Conservatory- money that should have been utilized in the Bayview Hunters Point community. $900,000 on solar panels that were to be installed on Enola Maxwell Middle School but never made it. We could go on and on. There is an audit that shows how thousands of dollars were wasted - if not millions.
The main point is that the District 10 Supervisor - Sophina Maxwell was in charge and in doling out this money - there was little if no accountability. Many in the City know about this and especially Michael Boyd, Lynne Brown and Francisco Da Costa.
With the $13.6 millions we could have had a Blue Print to shut down Mirant as soon as possible. Knowing very well the damage that Mirant was doing to a vast area. The damage this old power plant was doing to the Bay waters and the continuous spewing of very toxic particulates and heavy metals into the environment.
Around the year 2000 the California Independent Systems Operator was fooled by companies like Enron. Most of you - enlightened San Franciscans know about this debacle. Many of us that live in San Francisco had exorbitant bills and we religiously paid them. To date we continue to pay for the ills of PG&E.
After a period of time - the truth was revealed and Enron, the Williams Gas Company and others were penalized. As a settlement - San Francisco could have been compensated by money - but, our dumb, inept, arrogant District 10 Supervisor opted for some four Combustion Turbines as compensation. One of the reasons - she being the Supervisor where Power Plants resided in - District 10, so much for dumb - representation.
These Combustion Turbines (CTs) sit in a ware house in Texas and every year since the year 2000 - the City and County of San Francisco has to pay over $250,000 to house them and maintain them. Every now and then they have to be tested.
Around the year 2000 there was also plan by some including Sophina Maxwell to build conduits across the Islais Creek to accommodate transmission lines to cater to the Combustion Turbines that were to be placed by the Mirant power plant. All these deliberation were done behind close doors.
The conduits were compromised - the Force Main carrying over eighty percent of the City Sewage by Marin on Illinois Street - by Pier 80 - destroyed the Muwekma Ohlone Park and Sanctuary. The project was kept hush- hush.
We know millions of dollars was lost. The conduits have transmissions lines that are compromised for ever. Such nonsense could happen only in San Francisco. Sophina Maxwell cannot answer question pertaining to this mess - which she had full knowledge of and endorsed.
For years I have said that the best route our City and County of San Francisco must take is Clean Renewable Energy. Our City and County of San Francisco lacks behind most other cities in this area.
I am against any power plants using fossil fuel and spewing dangerous particulates into the environment. I am for an Environmental Impact Report and strict goals and time lines. Well, this City and County of San Francisco and more importantly Sophina Maxwell and her cronies are for pussyfooting around.
When Susan Leal was the Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) - folks like Sophina Maxwell, Joe Boss, and others were riding on Cloud Nine. Meetings were held behind close doors and Interveners were pursing projects - there was lots of conflict of interest. There was no Accountability and Transparency.
Sophina Maxwell, Joe Boss , and Susan Leal decided to move the site of the proposed CTs from the Mirant Plant to Pier 80 next to the present brand new Municipal Transportation Agency Maintenance Facility. Some of us seeing no clear transparency objected to the proposal of placing the CTs without proper vetting and public meetings. Pacific Cement was kicked out to make room for the proposed CTs by the MTA Maintenance Facility.
To our chagrin we found out that Susan Leal, Barbara Hale and some others were not giving us the correct information about the Combustion Peakers. They all work for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. The problem got so hot that some SFPU Commissioners resigned. Some of the Commissioners that resigned were well respected and knowledgeable - today San Franciscans suffer because of Susan Leal, her cronies and that includes Sophina Maxwell.
In the year 2008 we are in the worst economic crises since the great depression. Hundreds of meetings have been held linked to the Combustion Turbines, the Mirant power plant, the now closed Hunters Point power plant, the Stake holders meetings held at 77 Beale, other meetings held at SFPUC when Ed Smeloff was there, the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, LAFCO, and we can go and on. I have never seen Sophina Maxwell attend one single meeting. She purports to know - everything.
Sophina Maxwell likes holding meetings behind closer doors. There this dumb, inept, arrogant woman will spew her diatribe - intimidate others and think that she is going - somewhere.
Most decent constituents have no clue how Sophina Maxwell wasted millions of dollars linked to the $13.6 million - mitigation grants. Have no clue about the compromised conduits that cost the City and County of San Francisco - millions. Have no clue about the millions we have spent since the year 2000 housing the CTs in Texas in some ware house. Have absolutely no clue how clueless this Black woman is. Just watch her speak and see for yourselves how in-articulate she is.
Today - we have the Jefferson-Martin Transmission line that has yet to be tweaked to perform - well. This transmission line was built to get rid of the Hunters Point power plant. It has really not performed well and we must be vigilant. This transmission lines comes under the jurisdiction of Pacific Gas and Electric.
We have a smaller transmission line from Potrero to Hunters Point that also comes under the jurisdiction of Pacific Gas and Electric. This transmission line too has to be tweaked to perform well. We have serious flaws with many hubs that PG&E operates - one of them is the Larkin Station on Mission Street. I really do not want to go into details with the other hubs that are not known to most folks - for Security reasons. Suffice to say what I have revealed - have been published for the Public and the Larkin sub-station has had several fires and severe black outs impacting large areas.
Sophina Maxwell has been using the Bayview Hunters Point Advocates as a tool. This organization has received millions in grants and has not preformed well. In previous years this organization tried to sue PG&E and settled out of court. This organization is on the take and a mouth piece for Sophina Maxwell. So, it goes without saying any organization that joins with BVHP Advocates tarnishes themselves - for one simple reason - Sophina Maxwell - is dubious in nature.
Mirant power plant must do all in its power to stop killing life in the Bay as soon as possible. The City and County of San Francisco with Sophina Maxwell as its head - in previous years has not held good faith discussion and negotiations with Mirant. In recent months the Mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom and his Director of Economic Development the former Jesse Blout and the present Director - Michael Cohen - have negotiated with Mirant without permitting the SF Board of Supervisors to have a real say.
I do not condone such types of deliberations but, knowing Mayor Gavin Newsom - he loves dabbling in such type of dirty politics. He will smile on your face and stab you in the back. He did that to Alex Trouk, he did that to Susan Leal, and he has done that too many people that I know and tell me the truth.
I participated in many meetings in Sacramento, Folsom, San Mateo, San Francisco, and other places linked to Transmission Lines, Permitting, Public Hearing on the Environmental Impact Report, and so on.
It takes a lot of sacrifice and the least we can expect from our so called Representatives, our SF Board of Supervisors - is a little bit of decency, some accountability, and of course transparency. I have seen none of that from Sophina Maxwell who now heads the Land Use Committee and calls for numerous hearings - many of them - a waste of time - without any action. She is often joined by her side-kick Aaron Peskin - who term has termed out.
The Mirant power plant is not far from Pier 70 that some want developed. Tall hotels, mix use buildings, open space and so on. Sounds good but the land is polluted and will take at least $20 million to clean up. There are hot- spots of mercury, ammonia spills, PCBs hot spots, and a large number of other very toxic elements - that will be revealed if a thorough Environmental Impact Report is created.
There is Proposition D on the November 2008, which favors development of this proposed area - Pier 70 - with little deliberation by the Public. Sophina Maxwell does not speak about this too much - except with Joe Boss and other dubious characters.
Sophina Maxwell stop wasting our time. In District 10 at Hunters Point alone a Rogue Company Lennar has bombarded the community with toxic elements and toxic dust. It was fined $515,000 by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Sophina Maxwell is in bed with Lennar and its dubious plans. She endorsed Proposition G which will destroy San Francisco and bring us shame.
Over 80 tons of Methane Gas is spewed daily into the Environment at Hunters Point, the Phelps Sewage Plant and other areas in the Southeast Sector of San Francisco contributing to this mess. One ton of Methane Gas equals twenty two tons of Carbon Dioxide. Go figure.
Other operations spew mercury and other heavy metals - Sophina Maxwell has done nothing to abate such operations. Bayview has a large number of Dry Cleaning facilities with Dry Cleaning Operations on the premises. Daily polluting the environment- they must all be shut down. Residents live close by and do not know what they are daily - exposed to.
Sophina Maxwell has no clue what Representing means. She is not educated on issues and has always been on the take. Lennar a Rogue Company that has adversely impacted our Seniors and Children - has gone so far unchecked - because of Sophina Maxwell.
The City and County of San Francisco does not have a sound Energy Plan. We had one when Ed Smeloff was here - but Susan Leal decided to fire him. Now that Susan Leal has been fired - the mess she created has dragged too many into a cesspool. The SFPU Commissioners have no clue about the current Mirant debacle and the CTs. Some of them have to start all over again. Mayor Gavin Newsom is in the cockpit and in November, 2008 - Aaron Peskin, Sophina Maxwell¹s side-kick will be history.
At this late hour some Resolutions are being crafted to stall Mirant. Mirant has a number of permits that are coming to an end. But, Mirant is a power player - no pun intended - they are in the process of building several power plants and have a cozy relationship with the non-profit California Independent Systems Operator - that hands them the permits to operate. The Mirant one under Reliability Must Run - every year Mirant receives over $17 million - just for running the operation. If Mirant makes changes to the plant and grandfathers in - the current standards do not affect them. Sophie Maxwell - just found that out.
The California Energy Commission favors Mirant and so does the California Public Utilities Commission. Even the local SFPUC is in bed with Mirant. Go figure. Only a fully and thorough Environmental Impact Report will reveal to us the major flaws. Then only can be take the Regulatory Agencies - take Mirant to task and bring about some holistic - solution. If ever - in this very corrupt world.