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Why is Riverside bashing its neighbors?

By in Press Enterprise on June 17, 2017

By Verne Lauritzen

A few weeks ago, an opinion piece from the city of Riverside appeared in this newspaper attacking the cities of Norco and Jurupa Valley for standing in the way of a needed electrical transmission line for Riverside. No one is standing in the way. Everyone wants a sensible solution to the problem.

Here is the problem: In 2006 a blackout occurred in the city of Riverside. The cause of the blackout was that there was only one transmission line into Riverside, and it failed. The state ordered Riverside to build a backup transmission line. Here we are 11 years later and there still is no backup line. And much has changed.

Eleven years ago, there was no city of Jurupa Valley. Now there is. And it has more than 100,000 citizens. Eleven years ago, the right of way for the needed Riverside transmission line would have gone through undeveloped land. Today, there are people living in that right of way. Certainly, one could ask why the city of Riverside didn’t take care of this problem 10 years ago, but blaming and insulting Norco and Jurupa Valley folks at this point in time for raising legitimate concerns about the project is not productive. What we need are real solutions.

Both Jurupa Valley and Norco are trying to find solutions. The utility that will build this transmission system has made a proposal to the California Public Utilities Commission that recognizes in part the need for a flexible solution and it includes partial undergrounding of this transmission line. We think that is a good first step, but if you can underground for part of the project, why not more? The cost should be about the same.

We are not standing in the way of this project. We understand that Riverside needs this project. We only […]    

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