For immediate release: November 21, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Elk Hills Power Project Gets Nod in
New Presiding Member's Proposed Decision

A revised version of the August 25th Presiding Member's Proposed Decision on the Elk Hills Power Project is now on-line at the Energy Commission‘s Web Site at:

In its revised version, the Elk Hills Siting Committee concludes that, after gathering additional evidence, it finds the western Kern County project “will comply with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations and standards, and that all associated impacts will be mitigated to below the level of significance.”

Based on evidence added to the formal hearing record since its August 25th proposed decision, the Elk Hills Siting Committee has determined that the project's ground water supply from the West Kern County Water District satisfies all requirements of the Warren-Alquist Act and the California Environmental Quality Act.

The Elk Hills Siting Committee has determined the power plant's cooling water supply, from the West Kern County Water District, is not potable domestic water. Such use of potable water, said the Committee, would have stood in the way of the project's certification.

With evidence now proving that the power plant cooling system will be using non-potable water, the Elk Hills Siting Committee recommends full-Commission approval of the power project.

This is not a final decision. There will be a 15-day comment period on this revised document, and the Elk Hills Siting Committee will hold a conference on the Revised Presiding Member's Proposed Decision as follows:

1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
California Energy Commission
First Floor Hearing Room A
1516 Ninth Street
Sacramento, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)

The full Energy Commission will consider the Revised Proposed Decision at its December 6, 2000 Business Meeting.

Elk Hills Power Project would be a 500-megawatt combined-cycle power plant located south of Bakersfield, near the community of Tupman. Its 12-acre site is at the approximate center of the 74-square mile Elk Hills Oil and Gas field, from which the plant would extract locally produced natural gas to fuel its turbines. Electricity produced at the plant would be fed into the State's power grid near Buttonwillow.

The Energy Commission Public Adviser, Roberta Mendonca, can provide additional information about how to participate in the power plant siting process. Contact her at (916) 654-4489, toll-free at (800) 822-6228, or by e-mail

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Note to Editors: The Energy Commission offers an automated mail list that e-mails reporters and other interested parties news releases and other notices related to power plant siting cases. Information about the Energy Commission's automated list servers is available at:

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