Ruling Slams SDG&E’s Plan
for a New Gas Pipeline
By Ry Rivard | Voice of San Diego
California utility regulators seem to have little appetite for San Diego Gas & Electric’s $640 million plan to build a new natural gas pipeline across the county.
A draft decision released Wednesday shows how regulators have begun analyzing major new projects through the lens of climate change. In that context, a California Public Utilities Commission judge said SDG&E’s plan makes no sense. The state is trying to reduce the use of natural gas, which is a major contributor to climate change.
“Applicants have not shown why it is necessary to build a very costly pipeline to substantially increase gas pipeline capacity in an era of declining demand and at a time when the state of California is moving away from fossil fuels,” the decision said.
The five-member commission must approve the judge’s draft to make it final. That vote could happen as soon as June 21.
In 2015, SDG&E and Southern California Gas Company – two subsidiaries of San Diego-based Sempra Energy – asked the CPUC for permission to build a new 47-mile pipeline. They pitched the line as a rare chance to increase the safety and reliability of the region’s natural gas system.
SDG&E argues San Diego is overly dependent on a single major natural gas pipeline and is vulnerable to gas and power outages without a second major line.
Gas imported into the region is used by industry, by homeowners with gas stoves and water heaters and by SDG&E itself, which burns natural gas to create electricity. The city of San Diego is pushing SDG&E to ditch gas-fired power, which could cause a dramatic drop in the demand for gas.
This week’s decision takes SDG&E to task for a variety of problems with its proposal.
The judge, Colette Kersten, concluded the company had proposed using a sledgehammer when a scalpel would do.
The existing major gas line to San Diego has only gone down unexpectedly once in 57 years, according to evidence presented to the CPUC. Customers were unaffected by the outage.
There is a chance demand for gas could slightly exceed existing pipeline capacity in the next few years. After that, though, demand is expected to fall.
In the meantime, Kersten said SDG&E should consider buying space in a pipeline that comes into San Diego from Mexico or building a battery to store electricity. In proposing the battery option, Kersten argued that technology that can store solar and wind power is more practical than infrastructure that carries fossil fuels.
“Battery storage now plays an important role in reliability, in line with the commission’s greenhouse gas reduction objectives,” she wrote.
If a big new big pipeline were built, SDG&E would have twice as much room in its pipelines as it has demand for gas.
That spawned theories over the past few years that SDG&E’s real motive was to use the new pipeline to get gas across the border. Sempra wants to begin exporting gas across the Pacific Ocean from the west coast of Mexico but it needs to get more gas into Mexico to make that work. SDG&E officials have dismissed the Mexico speculation as an unfounded conspiracy theory.
But the CPUC ruling found that the pipeline “could help facilitate exports of natural gas from Baja California to international markets.”
Jennifer Ramp, an SDG&E spokeswoman, said the company was disappointed with the ruling.
“This draft decision puts San Diego at risk and prevents us from investing in the modern infrastructure that this region deserves,” she said in an email. “The Pipeline Safety & Reliability Project is a critical infrastructure project that is needed to enhance safety of the natural gas system so that we can continue to meet the energy needs of approximately 880,000 customers including hospitals, the military, schools, universities, biotechnology, hotels and restaurants.”
The ruling also spends a lot of time talking about the safety of an existing SDG&E pipeline.
New regulations following a deadly 2010 pipeline explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area are why SDG&E said it proposed the new pipeline.
SDG&E needs to do one of three things to ensure the safety of a small, older pipeline that brings gas into the region: It needs to test the line to make sure it’s still safe. Or it could replace the line with a new, modern pipeline. Or it could find some way to take the old pipeline out of service. The line currently carries only about 10 percent of the region’s gas. The existing major pipeline carries the rest of the region’s gas.
According to SDG&E, the cost to test the pipeline is so high that it might as well just build a new, bigger pipeline – particularly if those tests find the old line needs major repairs.
But the company also wants to keep the old pipeline in the ground and send some gas through it at a much lower pressure, something that could reduce the risk of it exploding or the consequences if it did.
Kersten said current rules are unclear about whether SDG&E could still use the line, even at a lower pressure, without testing it. So she ordered the CPUC’s Safety Enforcement Division to clarify current rules and also for SDG&E to come up with a plan to test its old pipeline if it plans to keep it in service.
The judge also found that SDG&E had done a poor job providing safety records for the old pipeline. She concluded that SDG&E’s response to requests for information had been “either incomplete, inaccurate, unverifiable or untimely.”
Airport Authority Seeking Applicants
for its Innovation Lab’s Acceleration Program
The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, in concert with its Innovation Lab’s third-party operator, Detecon Innovation Institute, has released the first two “opportunity statements” to solicit applicants to participate in its accelerator program.
One opportunity will focus on airport parking while the other will zero in on ways to assist passengers with unique needs to simplify the journey through the airport.
Ideally, applicants will have prototype innovations close to ready to test in the airport environment. Those selected will participate in a 16-week program to prepare them to present to the Airport Authority with the possibility of getting a contract and gaining experience for work in other airports.
“In general, we want innovations that improve the airport experience for everyone,” said Rick Belliotti, the Airport Authority’s director of innovation and small business development. “Our driving goal is about enhancing customer satisfaction and the overall airport experience.”
The unique Lab was launched to reduce barriers for innovators to break into the aviation industry. Its goals are to enhance the passenger experience, improve operational efficiency and decrease costs for the Airport Authority.
For more information and to apply, visit www.innovate.san.org.
Salk Researchers Build Better Mini-brains
to Study Neurological Diseases
Salk Institute scientists say they have developed a superior way of cultivating human brain tissue, guiding research for treating neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
Scripps Research Institute Scientists Receive
$12 Million for Malaria and Flu Vaccine Research
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute aim to improve flu and malaria vaccines with the support of a new $12 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. With the funding, the Scripps Research team will expand their studies of antibodies that can neutralize many strains of malaria and influenza. Past Scripps Research studies have shown these “broadly neutralizing antibodies” can serve as guides for designing promising vaccine candidates against influenza, AIDS and other diseases.
The World Health Organization estimates that malaria killed 445,000 people in 2016, the last year when data was reported. Influenza also remains a global killer—up to 650,000 people die each year from seasonal flu.
The grant will be administered by Ian Wilson, DPhil, DSc, Hansen Professor of Structural Biology at Scripps Research and chair of the Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology, who has studied influenza since 1977. Wilson and his colleagues have analyzed the structures of possible influenza vaccine candidates with the potential to eliminate the need for an annual flu shot.
Kratos Trains Air Force Special
Mission Aviators on Aerial Gunnery
The Air Force Global Strike Command has approved Kratos Defense and Security Solutions’ aerial gunnery simulator to aid training of special mission aviators.
Jose Diaz, senior vice president at Kratos’ training solutions business, said in a statement the AGT Simulator seeks to address AFGSC’s annual continuation training requirements.
The company trains special mission aviators at its Aircrew Training Center in Orlando, Fla., as part of a contract with KBRwyle, the government services business of KBR.
ATC is equipped with full-mission simulators that instructors use to prepare the command’s aircrew members for future missions.
Kratos, based in San Diego, also provides crew coordination, rescue hoist and cargo sling training services at the center.
Inaugural San Diego Tattoo Invitational
Set for May 4-6 at Golden Hall Downtown
San Diego is the site for the inaugural San Diego Tattoo Invitational May 4-6 at the San Diego Concourse Golden Hall in Downtown. Event producer Bill Canales, a tattoo artist of 25 years, is the owner of two tattoo shops — Full Circle Tattoo in North Park and South Park.
Sponsors expect attendance of more than 5,000.
Cadets exploring an aircraft during their visit to the Miramar Air Museum. (Photo courtesy of the Army and Navy Academy)
Army and Navy Academy to Launch
Four-Year Aviation Course in 2018-19
Citing the growing shortage of pilots over the next few years, the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad is launching a four-year aviation training program in the 2018-19 school year, designed to stimulate interest in an aviation career on the part of high-school age Cadets and prepare them to pursue further training after graduating.
The University of California-approved Warrior Aviation Course will connect aviation and aeronautics, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses (STEM) with other core subject curriculum to prepare Cadets for future careers as certified pilots of commercial and military aircraft as well as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or drones. Cadets will receive college credits to help them pursue aviation at a four-year college or university.
“There currently is a major shortage of pilots around the world with estimates that 255,000 new pilots will be needed by 2027,” said Ethan Segovia, dean of academics, for the all-boys military academy. “The U.S. will need an average of 70 new pilots per day to overcome the rapid rate at which current pilots are and will be retiring. There will be tremendous career opportunities for those interested in aviation.”
Cubic Expands Footprint with
Office Opening in Dallas, Texas
Cubic Mission Solutions, a division of Cubic Corporation, has opened a new office location in Dallas, Texas. Strategically located near AT&T headquarters, the new office allows Cubic to provide localized support for AT&T personnel and its customers, such as onsite product demonstrations, sales, engineering support and training.
In 2017, Cubic and AT&T began collaborating to develop an interoperability solution. This year, a formal partnership was established to develop a leading-edge capability for interagency communications, centered on Cubic’s next-generation interoperability gateway, the Vocality RoIP. The teams have been working closely to enhance this shared vision for AT&T’s customers in verticals such as public safety, energy and business critical infrastructure.
“At Cubic, we take pride in our ability to provide exceptional service to our partners and customers,” said Mike Twyman, president of Cubic Mission Solutions. “As the commercial side of our business grows, our strategic site in Dallas gives us the opportunity to provide personal and immediate support for AT&T and we are thrilled to continue our great working relationship.”
Strike Looms at UCSD, Hospital Delays Surgeries
A threatened strike involving three different unions could impact everything from surgeries to trash collection at University of California campuses across the state. Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) have notified university leadership that they intend to strike from Monday, May 7, through Wednesday, May 9, over wages and other labor practices. Sympathy strikes by the California Nurses Association and the University Professional and Technical Employees Union are planned for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Elena Ridloff Joins ACADIA Pharmaceuticals
Elena Ridloff has been appointed to the newly created position of senior vice president, investor relations, at ACADIA Pharmaceuticals. She will lead investor and financial communications activities, reporting to Steve Davis, president and CEO.
Ridloff joins ACADIA from Alexion Pharmaceuticals, where she was vice president, investor relations, reporting to the chief financial officer and serving as a member of the Operating Committee. In building and leading the investor relations function at Alexion, she played a key role in developing and executing the company’s investor relations strategy and outreach to broaden and strengthen the shareholder base.
Prior to Alexion, she was CEO and managing member of BIOVISIO, an independent consulting firm providing strategic, financial and investor relations counsel to the life sciences industry. Ridloff was also a managing director at Maverick Capital, a hedge fund based in New York, and was responsible for investments in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and life science sectors.
- San Diego bans pot billboards near schools, playgrounds
- San Diego developer Doug Manchester puts former Copley estate up for sale
- Mega Man: Fully Charged Animated Series Debuting At San Diego Comic-Con
- San Diego Among 3 CA Cities On Top Of Bed Bug List
- Seawater off San Diego hits an 'extraordinary' record breaking 81.3 degrees Fahrenheit as scientists warn sealife is 'in peril'
- Shots Fired Near San Diego Marathon: Cop Wounded; Female Suspect In Custody
- Report: FAA gave Southwest “preferential treatment” in approving Hawaii flights
- Giant Tortoise Diego Retires After Fathering 800 Offspring–And Saving the Species
- Metro Denver home price gains move into the middle
- Report: Longtime Giants Ace Madison Bumgarner Reaches 5-Year, $85M Deal With D-Backs
- BUSINESS NEWS HEADLINES JAN. 21
- San Francisco’s ban on fur sales just took effect. Now the industry is suing
Daily Business Report-May 3, 2018, San Diego Metro Magazine have 2361 words, post on www.sandiegometro.com at May 3, 2018. This is cached page on VietNam Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.