News Release


DATE: February 28, 2001

CONTACT STEVE SCHMIDT AT 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108



SAN DIEGO- Federal regulators must be flexible with restrictions on new power plants if the San Diego region hopes to make it through the summer power crunch, County Supervisor Dianne Jacob said today.

Noting that the County is more than 2,000 megawatts short of meeting its peak demand for summer, Supervisor Jacob said the Environmental Protection Agency must agree to modify its emission allowances for new generation plants.

She made her comments to lawmakers, energy officials, and consumer groups at an energy conference hosted by the County.

"We do not have to sacrifice the quality of our air to bring needed generation on-line,' Supervisor Jacob said. "We simply need to work with regulators to amend current guidelines to give us more flexibility."

'We only have two choices this summer,' Jacob said. "We can allow rolling blackouts and soaring energy bills to cripple our economy or we can get help from the EPA to prepare for summer power emergencies," Supervisor Jacob said.

In addition, Supervisor Jacob produced a list of some 1,000 potential generation sites identified by County staff and issued a call to locate similar sources around the region. She noted that hospitals, schools and businesses often have small generators which can prove vital during power shortages.

"Anyone and everyone with the potential to contribute must be located, permitted and placed on alert," Jacob said.

San Diego County needs an estimated 3,400 megawatts during the summer. Currently, it can produce just 1,400 megawatts.