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Hayward, CA to get new power plant with greenhouse gas controls

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Right on the heels of the passage of the landmark American Clean Energy and Security Act, which establishes a kind of "cap-and-trade" system for greenhouse gas emissions, we have a project I'm excited about as it will be the first power plant in America designed with a federal greenhouse gas limit. It's called the Russell City Energy Center and will be constructed in Hayward, California.

The facility is slated to employ 650 people and generate a one time tax revenue of $30 million and an annual revenue of $6 million for the City of Hayward, according to the website for the proposed facility.

What's exciting about the development that we're finally seeing a project that languished in development hell since 2001 finally see the light of day under the Obama Administration and the new act. The act calls for modernization of the electric grid; this is a brand new power plant. It calls for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; this plant has a limit on such output.

For those seeking construction jobs, you're wondering when it will start construction? Well, it's got to go through a public comment and hearing period first, then The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) will issue an air permit for construction and operation. Having gotten approval from the California Energy Commission, the project is one permit away from breaking ground.

That permit's a big hurdle. It seems there are groups and people who, well, just don't believe the facility will do what it's designed to do, and that's a shame. So much of California's economic problem rests with NIMBY's who fear any type of real progress. The plant's developers have agreed to every alteration requested to date. What we need to have is a pro-development culture; right now, what we have is an anti-development culture where people struggling to pay the rent don't want anyone else to have a chance at earning a decent living making things; in this case, power.

To the opponents, I say, give this one a chance. The San Francisco Bay Area, crumbling under the weight of the shrinking economy, needs this power plant. We've got to get over this habit of people constantly offering pseudo-intellectual arguments crafted to kill almost any project that might be proposed. This constant habit is costing us much needed jobs and sorely needed revenue.
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