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Issa's Project Shouldn't Sidestep Federal Review

November 10, 2002

I am writing to express my opposition to a proposed transmission line in the Cleveland National Forest that San Diego Gas & Electric has proposed and that Rep. Darrell Issa has submitted to Congress in the form of H.R. 5409. This project has many problems. One of them is Issa's attempt to exempt this project from the National Environmental Protection Act and other federal environmental laws, rules and regulations that call for studies, guidance and oversight. It is necessary to protect public lands here in Southern California from development, which will ruin the natural character of our mountains and deserts.

I am adamantly opposed to tying this project to the Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage project, which would take water from Lake Elsinore to a reservoir to be built in Morrel Canyon, a pristine area adjacent to the San Mateo Wilderness. According to the Wilderness Act, large projects are not to be built within view of any wilderness. The face of the Morrel Canyon dam would be in the line of sight from the wilderness. The San Mateo Wilderness is home to many endangered species. Morrel Canyon should be added to the wilderness, not be a site for a commercial scheme such as the Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage project.

Paul Carlton

San Clemente

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