OXNARD, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Today, Calif. Assembly Member Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo) introduced Assembly Bill 248 that directs appropriate state agencies to collaborate with local authorities to study, evaluate and report back options related to the future of the two natural-gas-fired electrical power plants located at Mandalay Bay and Ormond Beach in Oxnard, California.
“Over the next few years, there may be a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the people of California to acquire and preserve precious property along the coast in Oxnard,” said Assemblyman Gorell. “I have authored this bill to ensure that government, community and corporate stakeholders all come to the table to determine whether there is a path to consensus to decommission at least one of the Oxnard power plants and convey the property to the public for preservation.”
The bill would also evaluate options related to replacing one or more of the plants with a modern, low profile, low carbon footprint facility.
“The City of Oxnard will be at the table with stakeholders on this important study,” said Mayor Tim Flynn. “We have an interest in providing reliable power to our constituents while pursuing possible opportunities to reclaim and improve our coastal resources. If there’s a path to consensus on retiring one or more of these coastal plants, we will endeavor to find it.”
“This is not an affront to the company which owns the plants, or its shareholders,” said Gorell. “We want to forge a path forward by consensus with them at the table.”
Built in the 1970s, the power plants at Ormond and Mandalay Bay are among the oldest and most outmoded natural gas-fired power generators in the state. While recognizing the top priority of the community is to preserve energy reliability and maintain regional system integrity, the bill’s stated intention is to determine what policies, legislative actions and other federal, state and local incentives, if any, could synchronize with the interests and contractual obligations to the current facility owners/operators, to effectuate the ultimate retirement of one or both of the two power production facilities and return the property to control of the City of Oxnard, County of Ventura, State of California, or some other responsible entity for preservation as a natural resource in the California Coastal Zone.
The bill requires that the report is to be completed and returned to the Chair and Members of the Assembly Committee of Utilities and Commerce by January 1, 2015.