The long-overdue closure has been delayed chiefly by a state requirement that San Francisco be able to supply its own power in the event of an emergency, according to Coté. Plans to replace the aging facility with a new, cleaner-burning natural gas plant were ultimately dropped in favor of transmitting power from other parts of the state. Coté says some officials hope the change, while not an ideal solution, will keep the city from making a long-term commitment to non-renewable power generation as it explores more "imaginative alternatives."
The decision is particularly welcome news to nearby residents, writes Coté:
"The impending closure comes after bruising political infighting at City Hall and is a clear victory for residents of the oft-neglected southeast corner of the city. Many residents there suffer from disproportionately high rates of cancer, asthma and other health problems. Some have fought for more than a decade to shut down the plant, which sits between the waterfront and a residential neighborhood."