For immediate release: August 29, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Energy Commission Siting Committee
Publishes Proposed Decision on Elk Hills Power Project

Sacramento -- A California Energy Commission Siting Committee has recommended that the Elk Hills Power Project in western Kern County not be approved until an additional public hearing is held on the power plant's water supply.

The problematic issue surrounding the proposed plant deals with water that would be used to cool the 500-megawatt, natural gas-fired Elk Hills electrical generating facility to be located approximately 25 miles west of Bakersfield.

Based on the evidence in the formal hearing record, the Committee's Proposed Decision reports that the groundwater proposed for use as project cooling water could be potable domestic water. Such use of potable water could stand in the way of the project's certification under the Warren-Alquist Act and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The Presiding Member's Proposed Decision on the Elk Hills Power Project is available and can be printed from the Energy Commission's Web Site at:

The Elk Hills Power Project Committee is comprised of two California Energy Commissioners, Presiding Member Michal (spelled correctly) C. Moore, Ph.D., and Associate Member Robert Pernell.

The Elk Hills Power Project has been proposed for construction and operation on a 12-acre site near the center of the 74-square-mile Elk Hills Oil and Gas Field operated by Occidental Petroleum, located approximately 25 miles west of Bakersfield.

The proposed project would include a new 9-mile overhead transmission line that would be built to interconnect at a new substation near Tupman, to the east. A proposed new 2,500-foot, 10-inch supply pipeline, owned and operated by the applicant, would supply natural gas.

The Elk Hills Siting Committee has scheduled an evidentiary hearing on the proposed power plant's water supply as follows:

THURSDAY, September 14, 2000
Beginning at 10 a.m.
California Energy Commission
Third Floor Conference Room
1516 Ninth Street
Sacramento, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)

Based on briefings and other proceedings, the Elk Hills Committee may revise its Proposed Decision. If substantial revisions are made to the Decision, the Committee may issue a Revised Presiding Member's Proposed Decision. Interested parties will have an additional 15-day comment period. The Commission will issue its decision on the Elk Hills Power Project after the close of that comment period.

The Energy Commission's Public Adviser, Roberta Mendonca, can provide additional information about how to participate in this hearing. Contact her at (916) 654-4489, toll-free at (800) 822-6228, or by e-mail at:

Editor's note: Members of the media who wish to receive the Executive Summary of the Presiding Member's Proposed Decision on the Elk Hills Power Project may do so by calling the Commission's Media and Communications Office at (916) 654-4989.

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