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Carlsbad city councilmember Matt Hall stood before the Encinitas City Council on Wednesday, January 14, and asked for their support in opposing a proposed power plant near the Agua Hedionda Lagoon in Carlsbad.

The applicant, NRG Energy, wants to build the 1200-foot long, 558-megawatt facility on the site of their current power plant, along with a 14-story smoke stack. The California Energy Commission is considering the application.

Carlsbad residents and city officials say the plant poses a security threat. After the upcoming widening of I-5, the proposed facility will be within 60 feet of the freeway. If built, the facility will become the closest power plant to a major freeway in the state of California.

The region’s residents say noise, the 900,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas that will be emitted annually, the amount of water required to cool the facility, and the unattractive appearance of the plant are more reasons to oppose the project.

Councilmember Hall, standing before the Encinitas City Council, suggested the project could negatively impact tourism along North County’s coast.

“Obviously, tourism is a big concern for us, as it is for everyone on the coast. I can’t express enough what a landmark this is going to become. When you drive down the road, you’re going to be 65 feet away from these big iron structures. You’ll be able to tell people, ‘When you see the big iron structure, it’s three ramps south and to the right to get to [your] hotel.’ This whole region has a buy in on what we do with our coastline.”

Encinitas mayor Maggie Houlihan said the council would consider placing the item on an upcoming agenda.

For more information on the project, go to energy.ca.gov.

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