The wildfires in San Diego recently have been nothing short of unpredictable and scary. For the past week we have been eyeing our backyards with suspicious caution and watching the news with angst. Our hearts go out to the families and communities that have been affected by these tragic fires.

These wildfires are one example of how much harm climate change is having on our region, and why we are asking San Diego to take immediate action on a strong climate plan that will prepare residents for the effects of climate change and reduce the pollution that causes climate change. 

But these effects are not only a concern to San Diego. On May 6, the White House released its third National Climate Assessment to give the most updated scientific report on how climate change is directly impacting different areas of the country. The report identifies impacts on the Southwest, including:

  • Snowpack and streamflow amounts are projected to decline in parts of the Southwest, decreasing surface water supply reliability for cities, agriculture, and ecosystems. (p. 78)
  • Increased warming, drought, and insect outbreaks, all caused by or linked to climate change, have increased wildfires and impacts to people and ecosystems in the Southwest. (p. 78)
  • Short-term (seasonal or shorter) droughts are expected to intensify in most U.S. regions. Longer-term droughts are expected to intensify in large areas of the Southwest, southern Great Plains, and Southeast. (p. 42)

For a comprehensive list of how drastically climate change is affecting our environment, our communities and our everyday lives, click here

Climate change is something that affects us all. These wildfires, the rising temperatures, the drought and much more are making it harder for us to enjoy where we live with the people we care about. Join us in urging the City of San Diego to adopt a plan that wastes no time in reducing the pollution that causes climate change and preparing us for the unavoidable effects of climate change. Click here to learn more and find out how you can do your part to reduce pollution and donate to EHC today to help us ensure our region takes strong and immediate action to combat climate change.

 

Come to tomorrow night's open house at the Port of San Diego and demand clean air, healthy communities and environmental justice become priorities for the next 50 years in San Diego. The workshop runs from 6-8 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center (140 East 12th St, National City, 91950.) 

Click here for EHC's suggested talking points

Port sid voorakkara and rafael castellanos for port commissionWe have a great opportunity to get involved in shaping the future of our community. The Port is currently developing its guidelines and plan for the next 50 years. While it has taken some actions to address the negative impacts of its pollution on Barrio Logan and Old Town National City -- which experience some of the highest cumulative pollution impacts in the state-- we need it to adopt a clear commitment to clean air, healthy communities and environmental justice in San Diego. Clean air, healthy communities, and environmental justice are not too much to ask.

We want the Port to commit to taking all available action to reduce the cumulative health burdens on its neighbors as it continues to grow and develop.

Please attend on Tuesday, April 22 or Wednesday, April 30 and let the Port know we care about clean air, healthy communities and environmental justice today and for the future of our children. If you are unable to make the workshops, you can still make your voice heard by taking the five minute survey

Click here for more information on the open houses.

Did you know the Port of San Diego oversees 5,333 acres of public land? Of that 5,333 acres, 3,520 are water and 1,813 are land along the shore. Yet only eight percent of the 5,333 acres is parks, while 70 percent is currently "leasable land," also known as available space for big, industrial manufacturers or hotels and commercial operations.

Can you imagine how different San Diego would be if more than eight percent of the Port's 5,333 acres included parks, paths, benches, viewpoints and more for community members? 

Port of San Diego tenantsWe have a chance to tell the Port that is what we want. Now, the Port of San Diego is asking for our feedback as it drafts a new plan for land and water use for the next 50 years. Eight environmental organizations came together to recommend guiding principles to include in the Port's vision for the San Diego Bay, and now we must join them and make the community voice heard even louder. 

Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey (also available in Spanish) and let the Port know you want:

• Clean air
• Clean water
• Safe, reliable and accessible public transit
• Protection of natural resources in and along the Bay
• Increased recreational opportunities along the Bay, including access to the waterfront, parks and more

With your help, we can request the Port of San Diego lead the way in environmental justice. The Port has an opportunity to set an excellent example for the city by prioritizing nearby residential communities and pollution reduction, just as they did with the recent start-up of Shorepower on the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal. 

EHC has already prepared its recommendations, now it's your turn to recommend the Port take action by:

• Pursuing immediate action to improve public health by reducing air and environmental pollution
• Ensuring that Port and tenant operations don't continue to negatively effect the health and safety of adjacent residential communities
• Commiting to taking all available action to reduce the cumulative health burdens on Barrio Logan and National City
• Proactively ensuring that ecology of San Diego Bay is enhanced, not degraded, over the next 50 years
• Adopting clean air and clean freight policies that are aggressive and effective
• Implementing the Climate Action Plan and meet local pollution reduction goals and develop a plan to protect areas from sea level rise and other effects of climate change

Join us in specifically asking the Port to make San Diego's next 50 years clean, safe and healthy – a future we all deserve.

 

sunset at Mission BeachTired of seeing your energy bills go up while your air keeps getting polluted from dirty power plants? Brace yourself; we might be in for more of both. On top of the rate hikes proposed for low-energy users to help out the energy hogs, we're likely to see rake hikes from new gas plants too.

Here's the scoop:

A few weeks ago, the California Public Utilities Commission— the state agency that regulates large energy providers like San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)— voted in San Francisco to approve SDG&E's application for Pio Pico— an unnecessary gas power plant in Otay Mesa. This will cost SDG&E's customers (that's you) $1.6 Billion in rate increases, plus the rising cost of the gas itself, plus the 685,626 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent each year, or about 130,000 cars-worth of climate change causing pollutants.

Less than a week later, the California Public Utilities Commission announced a draft plan to let SDG&E replace the now-closed San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station with 1.6 times more power than we got from the generating station in the first place. What's worse is that they're proposing to allow SDG&E to produce that power with polluting gas. The Commission may vote on this proposal in just a few weeks, again in San Francisco.

So what's the problem?

We shouldn't pay to build more power than we need.
Pio Pico isn't necessary to keep the lights on, neither is the state's proposal to replace the generating station with way more energy than we need. Building more energy than we need—dirty or clean—comes at a cost because we'll be paying for all that infrastructure whether we use the power or not.

We shouldn't approve new gas plants during a gas shortage.
Somewhere in between the state's approval of gas-fired Pio Pico and the unveiling of the plan to let gas plants replace the generating station, SDG&E had to ask customers to reduce their energy use due to a shortage of gas reserves. Seriously.

San Diegans deserve to be heard by our public decision-makers. 
San Diegans and southern Californian's have made clear in polls and local rallies they want to see more clean energy in their neighborhoods, not fossil fuels. But our voices are not making it up to San Francisco, where the California Public Utilities Commission is deciding our energy future. Travelling to San Francisco to influence Commission decisions is business-as-usual for SDG&E and parent company Sempra, as is made clear by their lobbying report; but for the average resident the cost and time of the trek is prohibitive. We asked the Commission for a local hearing on Pio Pico and on the replacement plan for the generating station, but our requests have been denied. Is it fair that the utility and its gas-peddling parent company are the only "locals" who can afford to have their voices heard?
IMG 5144

What's the solution? 

We should replace the generating station with clean, renewable energy, when needed.
At a time when Californians— especially low-income communities of color— are increasingly feeling climate change impacts, we can't afford to allow more polluting and expensive gas plants that harm our climate, our health, and our wallets. Gas plant prices are on the rise and they pollute; clean energy costs keep dropping and it doesn't pollute our air. Shouldn't this be an easy choice? Let's make a firm commitment.

We deserve better.
For the sake of our health, our future, our wallets San Diegans deserve for our decision makers to make a firm commitment to clean energy, not leave the door wide open for the utilities to build more gas plants and hike our rates at their discretion.

And for the sake of democracy, local residents deserve to have a say in what kind of energy produced their region and powers their homes and businesses.

We demand better!
Join EHC, the California Environmental Justice Alliance, and communities around the state in demanding a clean energy future! Sign the petition today!

 


Port_of_San_Diego_Workshop_PlanningThe Port of San Diego is drafting its plan to guide land and water use for the next 50 years, and we must make our voices heard. On Tuesday, February 18 and Wednesday, February 19, community members have the opportunity to provide feedback at the two-night Integrated Planning Workshop.

We need your help to make sure the Port's 50-year plan steers San Diego towards a clean, safe and healthy future.

Join us to request the Port of San Diego lead the way in environmental justice and set an example by prioritizing nearby residential communities and pollution reduction. Together, let's ask the Port of San Diego to:

  • Pursue immediate action to address climate change by reducing air and environmental pollution.
  • Ensure that its operations don't continue to negatively effect the health and safety of adjacent residential communities.
  • Commit to taking all available action to reduce the cumulative health burdens on Barrio Logan and National City.
  • Proactively ensure that San Diego Bay is enhanced, not degraded, over the next 50 years.
  • Adopt clean air and clean frieght policies that are aggresive and effective.
  • Implement the Climate Action Plan and meet local pollution reduction goals.

Please join us!

Tuesday, February 18, 6-8 p.m.
B Street Cruise Ship Terminal
1140 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego 
(Parking is available on the Pier)

Wednesday, February 19, 6-8 p.m.
Norman Park Senior Center
270 F St, Chula Vista 

If you can't make the meeting but would still like to give input for the planning process, submit your comments here