Letter to the Editor
Bakersfield Californian November 12, 2013
HECA claims were deceptive
I live within two miles of the proposed Hydrogen Energy California project, and I see huge risks from this 300-truck-perday coal plant in the middle of farm land. What a shame that Les Clark misled readers with inaccurate information (“HECA will mean jobs, power and product for Kern County,” Nov. 6).
Clark was repeating some of HECA’s statements that have since been challenged by the California Energy Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency. HECA will not power 160,000 homes with its 300 MW of power. The CEC says the plant will need all of that power itself to make chemicals. In fact, HECA will need all of the power it generates plus an additional 60 MW from the grid. When not making chemicals, HECA at most will put only 50 MW into the grid. It is deceptive to claim a win-win for power when we get so little. The CEC told HECA to find an alternate way to cool its plant instead of pumping 5,000 gallons per minute for 25 years from our overdrafted water basin. The EPA agrees and stated that HECA would use more water than any other power plant in California. The EPA stated the CEC should deny HECA a permit unless air cooling is considered.
Clark said it’s time to move on because there have been countless workshops. Countless, but the workshops have revealed even more serious problems. The CEC’s voting commissioners will hear public comments at Buttonwillow’s recreation center at 5 p.m. on Nov. 20. Hear the countless issues for yourselves.
Sasha Kosareff Buttonwillow