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Bob Filner and San Diego’s Democratic city-council majority have a lot of problems to solve — including global warming, in the opinion of one well-connected nonprofit. According to a recent lobbyist disclosure filing by the Environmental Health Coalition ­— the so-called environmental justice group that backed Filner’s election with major cash — the chief priority on the city’s agenda should be “adoption of a climate action plan.” The measure needs to “meet state goals, protect public health, and create green jobs,” the filing adds.

The environmental group is also against the so-called Quail Brush power plant, proposed by giant Cogentrix Energy for ten city-owned acres north of State Route 52 off Sycamore Landfill Road. The EHC has a strange bedfellow in its Cogentrix opposition: San Diego lobbying giant Southwest Strategies, LLC, retained by giant developer Pardee Homes — which usually finds itself at the other pole from environmentalists — to kill the plant. That’s according to an October disclosure filed by Southwest principal Al Ziegaus, the former San Diego Tribune reporter turned local political kingpin.

Cogentrix enjoyed the support of Republican ex-mayor Jerry Sanders, whose administration assembled the details of the massive power plant, as well as another generation project in North City, deep within the recesses of the mayor’s inner office. The Cogentrix power project, currently said to be on hold but always lurking for possible revival, would presumably face tougher sledding with Democrat Filner, a personal friend of Environmental Health Coalition chief Diane Takvorian.

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JamieOrtiz Jan. 23, 2013 @ 2:20 p.m.

Hi Matt.

Nicole Capretz, EHC's Green Energy / Green Jobs Director, had this response to your article. She asked me to post it:

"You got it right that we believe the City of San Diego has an obligation to keep its residents healthy and safe by ensuring the city addresses climate change. A large part of that responsibility should be moving our region from dirty power plants that pollute the air toward greener alternatives like roof-top solar. For the record, EHC’s affiliate, Environmental Health & Justice Campaign, a registered 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation, endorsed Filner, not EHC. Its website is found here: ehjc.org."

Thank you, Jamie Ortiz, EHC Communications


fletch92131 Jan. 24, 2013 @ 9:15 a.m.

I beg to differ with JamieOrtiz, I believe the primary purpose of city government is to deliver services efficiently, whether or not it uses energy from renewable sources, or from fossil fuels. After all, the city has no experts on global warming, climatology, meteorology, or other expert fields that could gauge how the earth is doing by man's emissions of GHG. Also, to take a somewhat more pessimistic view of the IPCC mantra, there are numerous sources of information which dispute that view of the world's demise.


monaghan Jan. 24, 2013 @ 3:12 p.m.

Are there really "numerous sources of information" that dispute carbon emissions are causing irreversible climate change? Name one. Are any of them reputable scientists?


Tiger Cherry March 11, 2013 @ 4:45 p.m.

"People need to realize that oil is a finite resource, and using it in the crazy, irresponsible ways we use it today is in fact suicidal - suicidal within one generation," - Tad Patzek, chair of the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at the University of Texas and co-author with Joseph Tainter of Drilling Down: The Gulf Oil Debacle

Even if you thought something "might" not be true, would you not want to hedge your bet?

We need every sane San Diegan to step it up and join us to stop Cogentrix from placing a power plant right on top of Mission Trails Regional Park. The CPUC is the last stronghold, and they have now delayed their vote FIVE TIMES. We need to let them know ONCE AND FOR ALL that an archaic fossil-fuel power plant is not needed here in sunny San Diego.

WHEN: Thursday, March 21 at 9:00 a.m. (8 a.m. Rally at the site, so come early if you can) WHERE: Conference Center Hearing Room, 5520 Overland Ave., San Diego, CA 92123


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