Is Redlands home to the most polluting power plant in California?

mtnview112513.jpgWith the San Onofre nuclear plant shut down utility companies, specifically Southern California Edison, is in the midst of a struggle to keep pace with electricity production.

One facility is the Mountainview Power Plant which is located in Redlands.

On Sunday about 100 people picketed the power plant because of a report which names it as the one which produces more pollution than any other in California.

Among the protesters was Allen Hernandez, of the Sierra Club, who blamed the plant for blighting the air quality, despite pictures from the picket which reveal a clear day, a blue sky and wispy clouds.

You can also see the plant’s venting stacks in the background.

(Programming note: Allen Hernandez will be live on Radio today at 3:30 p.m.  Link to this page to stream the broadcast live, call with your opinions and ask questions.)

“If you ever wanted to see a place where global warming is real, this is the place, the Inland Empire,” according to Hernandez.

powerprotest112513.jpgThe Mountainview facility makes 1,054-MW of electricity by burning natural gas as fuel for two General Electric combustion turbines.  Because the generation process produces intense heat it is cooled using well water from San Bernardino County.

All was quiet in 1998 when power demand was lower, San Onofre was operating, and Mountainview had essentially been retired.mvoverhead112613.jpg

Since then everything has changed.

The Mountainview plant (pictured right) is in operation, and the nonprofit Environment California Research and Policy Center claims that the Redlands facility creates 1.85 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.

At that rate, in that study, Redlands holds a dubious distinction.   It is also doing what is necessary given the loss of San Onofre.

Mountainview is capable of producing enough power for more than 600,000 homes and businesses.

Compare that to the gap created by San Onofre, which once powered 1.6 million homes.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

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