The California Public Utilities Commission issued two proposed decisions regarding the approval of the Oakley Generating Station. This project is a new, low emissions, state-of-the-art energy facility that is specifically designed to integrate with new renewable energy projects, like wind and solar. The project is critically important to the city of Oakley, the county, and to our community.
In East County, some union trades have over 45 percent unemployment. This project creates over 740 new union jobs. Most of these jobs will be filled locally, and many by veterans. In addition, the project will generate a local payroll of over $120 million, and there will be many more jobs for our small local businesses. This project will provide property taxes directly to the city of Oakley and the county of over $10 million per year, and will continue for over 30 years.
These dollars will enable the city of Oakley to balance its budget and provide important community services. In addition, Oakley will receive a $3 million grant from the project for city improvements such as playgrounds and roads. Also, the project will provide $250,000 to a new community grant program that will fund local nonprofit organizations that provide services to our community.
The Oakley Generating Station is one of the few energy projects in California that is in an advanced stage of development. It takes more than eight years to develop a new energy project like this and to bring it "on line." Additionally, the permits for this project were approved by the California Energy Commission in May 2011. After a thorough regulatory review by the CEC, the final decision stated that the Oakley project will reduce greenhouse gases.
This is a new, state-of-the-art energy facility, built by local union labor with American turbines, and it is strongly supported in the Oakley community. As the newly elected assemblyman from Oakley, and a former Oakley mayor, our community wants this project approved by the CPUC at their Dec. 20 meeting. I will be there to speak in favor of building the Oakley Generating Station.
Jim Frazier is a member of the Oakley City Council.