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While Other Cities Withdraw, Irvine Sticks with OCPA



At last week’s Council meeting, sparks flew as the City Council once again debated Irvine’s continued participation in the Orange County Power Authority (OCPA) … and once again voted 3-2 against pulling out.
The often-heated discussion came just one week after Huntington Beach voted to withdraw from the beleaguered agency, and the other two remaining member cities, Buena Park and Fullerton, announced they are also considering a vote to withdraw from OCPA.
Councilmember Larry Agran calmly but forcefully laid out the reasons for withdrawal in his opening remarks.
“What we are dealing with is a failing enterprise,” said Agran. “The original promise was cleaner electricity at cheaper prices, delivered with full transparency and yielding a bounty of excess funds that would permit investment in many local green-energy projects. All of those promises — all of them! — have been broken.”
Agran continued: “In breaking those promises, Irvine ratepayers are paying an extra $30, $40, $50 per month, depending on the size of their home, above Southern California Edison’s (SCE) rates. That’s gouging.”
“OCPA is not getting us any closer to carbon neutrality as compared with SCE and is sucking an unconscionable amount of money out of our residents’ pockets. I’m done with it,” Agran concluded.
Carroll, the former chair of the OCPA board, said that he is worried Irvine and its taxpayers will be left “holding the bag” if the City doesn’t get out now.
During the heated discussion, Carroll confronted Councilmember Tammy Kim about her statement to Voice of OC that he is part of “an orchestrated effort by conservatives” to bring down the agency. (Kim, along with Councilmember Kathleen Treseder, is the City’s paid representative on the OCPA board.)
Without addressing the mounting financial problems at OCPA, Councilmember Kim — joined by Treseder and Mayor Farrah Khan — voted to remain in OCPA, with Kim stating that the City needs to “see through what it started.”
Despite the 3-2 vote to stick with OCPA, Carroll said the issue is not over. “Make no mistake, Irvine Councilmembers,” Carroll said, “this is coming back.”
Roger Bloom


Irvine, CA
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