J and D's Corner

From the Letters Archive

Some time back the city of Palmdale decided a city-run power plant would be a good idea and embarked on the project.  It got to the final permitting stage with rival political factions decided to attack it and enlisted the always-ready environmentalists as their storm troopers.

I really don't know if the plant is truly a good idea from a financial standpoint but it definitely won't kill us.

Interestingly, after this letter appeared there was a second letter saying the same things but with more elaborate research into city-owned facilities elsewhere.


To:  AV Press

Date: 05/17/2011

Re:  The Palmdale Power Plant

Valley residents who have been hoodwinked by the disingenuous use of “pollution” scare tactics related to the upcoming Palmdale power plant would do well to research the matter a little.

Prior to moving to the AV, I was a long-time resident of Burbank.  Burbank has continuously operated a city-owned power plant for many decades. The plant is located immediately across the 5 freeway from the downtown area, essentially right in the middle of the city.

Originally oil-fired steam, in 2005 it was converted to a modern 310 MW natural gas turbine/combined cycle plant of basically the same type planned for Palmdale, less the added solar collectors.  Although the San Fernando Valley has a much more “closed” atmospheric pattern than our wide-open desert, the emissions from the plant are essentially undetectable and in fact many nearby residents are completely unaware there even is a power plant in their neighborhood.

During the first energy crisis in the 1970’s the Burbank plant was worth its weight in gold to us residents, keeping the lights on and electric rates stable. It has also enabled Burbank to ride out regional power losses due to earthquakes & system glitches.

So when they try to tell you the Palmdale plant is going to create health, noise or property value problems, I recommend you tell ‘em that’s all … well, use your favorite term.

John Wilson