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Coolwater-Lugo: On the Way Out

To the thousands of people who spoke up against the Coolwater-Lugo Transmission Project—at meetings, and in letters and petitions: Great job! The California Public Utilities Commission is one step away from turning the project down.

On April 20, 2015, the CPUC issued a Proposed Decision to deny the project, finding that the applicant, Southern California Edison, can no longer point to any viable evidence that Coolwater-Lugo is needed.

This Proposed Decision, if adopted by the full Commission at its meeting on May 21, will represent a major victory for High Desert communities, and for ratepayers throughout California. CPUC Commissioner Mike Florio put it this way:

“If the Proposed Decision is adopted by the CPUC, we may have a very fortunate outcome—saving consumers nearly a billion dollars and preventing environmental impacts…”

Commissioner Florio’s comments about the project’s enormous cost and environmental damage echo what so many of us have been saying. Now the Proposed Decision highlights a third point: The project isn’t even needed.

SCE has signaled that it may refile its application, restyling the project as necessary to serve utility-scale renewable energy projects that don’t exist and may never be built. If that happens, we’ll be ready!

Big congratulations and many thanks to everyone who spoke out against this project!