The letter by UCLA Chancellor Young is as good a piece of special pleading and disinformation as we've seen in a long time. (Times, Sept. 2) The chancellor mentions an outside source for power that is both too expensive and unreliable and must therefore be replaced to provide better service to the UCLA campus.
What the chancellor does not mention is that the outside power source is the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and that UCLA is its biggest customer. All power systems are subject to very occasional outages. That is why medical centers, air-traffic control centers and other critical facilities must have backup systems, regardless of who supplies the power.
As DWP customers, as well as California taxpayers, we are very concerned about the financial aspects of this new power plant. Leaving the environmental questions completely aside, we as Los Angeles residents cannot be comfortable when our municipal power company loses its biggest customer. You can be sure that the rest of us will have to pay for this loss of revenue through higher power rates.
And as California taxpayers, we get a double whammy. Who provides the funds to the UC system for its expenses but the taxpayer? Even should some fancy funding arrangement be made, the final guarantor will still be you and I.