AES is being forced by the state of California to stop the use of once-through cooling so ocean water is no longer needed to cool the turbines of power plant. The area surrounding the plant is the most densely populated coastal area in California.
What AES is proposing to do is invest $500 million in to a new plant. The new plant, in the same location, would occupy a smaller footprint (12 acres vs. 50 acres now), but it would operate more, and thus pollute up to 15 times more than the current plant. (the current plant is just a peak plant that only operates 5% of the time). They are claiming it will pollute less because of the modern technology, but fail to mention it will operate more. The amount of Nitrous Oxide and Particulate Matter will SURGE with a new plant, inevitably leading to more heart disease, cancer, asthma, and lung disease to both children and adults. AES will obtain exemptions to exceed state and federal pollution government guidelines, claiming electricity is needed in the area, when it isn't, according to state officials.
City Council, with the exception of one member, is not taking a stand against a new plant for fear of being sued, either as a city or individually. The City three years ago tried to get AES through a ballot measure to pay a gas user utility tax (UUT), like every resident and business in town, which AES exempted themselves from and challenged. They ended up suing a former city councilman and a current school board member personally, both of whom signed on to the argument in favor of the UUT. Eventually, the suit was dropped, but we believe they were trying to intimidate people and their First Amendment rights. They won the election since there was no organized campaign to enforce the UUT and AES was organized.
AES, in our opinion, is a very bad corporate citizen. They are hardly involved in the community, will only employ 21 people with a new plant, gives little to the schools, and ignores the wishes of the community. The president of AES Southland was allegedly involved in manipulating electric generation during the Enron fiasco in 2001. http://articles.latimes.com/...
Congresswoman Janice Hahn, Congressman Henry Waxman, State Senator Ted Lieu, State Assemblywoman Betsy Butler, and State Assembly member-Al Muratsuchi are all opposed to a new plant, as is Redondo Councilman Bill Brand. However, the City Council is cowering to a large corporation for fear of being sued. AES will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in election material to convince voters that a new plant is needed (an electricity expert said there is plenty of current and future power generation available for the next 15 + years without AES Redondo). All AES wants is the large contract from the PUC and Chase to produce electricity, against the desire of the residents in the area. The only thing our side is almost 500 volunteers who will give their time to go door to door to fight this company that doesn't care about our health.