Letters to the Editor: Dec. 19, 2008


5/56 article needs clarifying

Dear Editor,

Regarding your article called “Stop5Noise: Interchange proposal is ‘insane’” I would like to clarify some statement and concepts. First, the cost for the I-5/SR-56 expansion and connectors is $300 million not $30 million. Secondly, there is little objection to a Connector being built on the East side of I-5 since this will only take parking spaces in local hotel and office building.

The issue on the Westside of I-5 is the wholesale destruction of Portofino Circle, Point Del Mar and Portofino Drive. Is destroying an entire neighborhood worth saving 8 minutes in traffic 30 years from now?

Hope you attend the Caltrans Steering Committee meeting scheduled for Dec. 18 at 2:00 p.m.

Dennis Ridz,

Torrey Pines Community Planning Board

You pay for San Onofre’s mess

Dear Editor,

There is a misconception, oft repeated by the media, that Southern

California Edison pays for the problems created by the operation of San Onofre. This misconception was most recently on view in the article “Wetlands Milestone Marked” (Dec. 11), which said of a wetlands restoration “The $86-million restoration project began in December 2006 and is funded by Southern California Edison as mitigation for environmental damage caused by their San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station.”

It was the ratepayers of SCE and SDG&E, not the utility, who paid $86 million for a mitigation project for environmental damage caused by the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station, after the public sued SCE for that damage, and after decades of push-back by the utility.

That won’t be the last time you are asked to pay for SCE’s lack of foresight when it constructed its reactors on California’s coast. SCE has now asked the CPUC to charge you for the cost of a license renewal feasibility study to operate its aging reactors for twenty more years after current licenses expire in 2022.

The California Energy Commission has issued a report highlighting the uncertainties of continuing to rely on aging nuclear plants beyond current licenses. The judge hearing the SCE license renewal case has proposed denial of SCE’s request, calling it “premature.” But the Public Utilities Commissioner assigned to the case (a former So-Cal Edison VP) wrote an “alternate decision” allowing these costs to be passed on to ratepayers.

There’s more: SCE proposes to cut a 28 foot by 28 foot hole in each reactor to remove old steam generators and replace with new generations purchased from Japan … at a cost of close to $800 million. SCE has had several well-publicized problems involving lapses in their “safety culture” over the past year, and has been rebuked by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The costs of these lapses is not yet known.

Here’s the bottom line: At a time when Californians are losing their homes, their jobs, and their businesses and the state is unable to balance its budget, unnecessary utility rate increases should not be dropped on consumers. Ratepayers, not the utilities, are increasingly paying for the degradation caused by aging reactors on our seismically active coast. It’s time to tell the Public Utilities Commission “no.”

Rochelle Becker,

Executive Director Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility

Pacific Beach

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