Our Opinion: Good to See Citizens Involved

  • The Imperial Valley Times
  • By Imperial Valley Staff
Imperial Valley Staff

It is good to see Citizens Energy has stuck with the Sunrise Powerlink project. The Massachusetts-based nonprofit is working with San Diego Gas & Electric to pay for the cost of running the lines through Imperial County. Citizens will pay for half of those costs, which will be in the millions of dollars.

That is good news for SDG&E because the partnership will obviously save it some cash. But it is potentially even better for the people of the Valley, as Citizens is a company that takes its profits and puts them toward helping low-income people through energy programs. Those funds and programs will be a help in Imperial County.

Citizens is no stranger to the Valley or this project, once being linked to a proposed northern route. It was founded by Joseph Kennedy II, a former Massachusetts congressman who is the son of the late Robert Kennedy. Kennedy has spent time in the Valley and understands the issues with this project well. And Citizens has shown it is focused on helping low-income people with their energy needs.

What that means in our area is programs to help teach people how to conserve energy and save money. The goal is not to simply hand out checks when an individual or family is struggling to pay electric bills. That would be a temporary relief, but would not fix the overall problem. The answer, according to Citizens, is to teach people how to conserve energy and get the most out of what they have.

That makes good sense to us. And we know there are many Valley families who could use this type of assistance.

The Sunrise Powerlink has been in talks for years, and the process at times has been very divisive and difficult, to say the least. But with the southern route nearing the start of construction ? depending on legal issues ? it is a positive that Citizens is again publicly involved (although talks with SDG&E never ended) with the project.

We are sure the construction process will take longer to begin and finish than all involved hope, but when it is completed we are confident that Imperial County families that need it most will be glad that Citizens is a partner.