ATA BESS ALERT!
Check this page frequently for BESS Activity Alerts – what Los Angeles County and BESS developers are up to, and how the Acton Community and Supporters can counter their surreptitious efforts.
ATTENTION ACTON COMMUNITY – IMPORTANT BESS ACTIVITY UPDATE!
Acton Takes Action | September 8, 2023 – On Sept. 7, Ruthie Brock, Chair of the Acton Takes Action Community Task Force (ATA), posted the following summary on Next Door and Facebook regarding what Acton Takes Action, its sister community group: Save our Rural Town (SORT) directed by Jacki Ayers, the Acton Town Council, and ALL of our many, wonderful pro-active Acton residents and outside community supporters have accomplished thus far.
Here's what we've accomplished in just a few, short months... everyone give yourselves a big clap on the back!
- We’ve held a rally.
- We’ve gone to the media.
- We’ve written letters to our Supervisor.
- We’ve circulated a petition of protest and gathered 1,892 signatures!
- We’ve emailed County Planning and explained in detail why a BESS does not belong here.
- We’ve submitted proof that a BESS facility in Acton would be a violation of the Zoning Code.
- We’ve pointed out that a BESS in Acton would be non-conforming to the Antelope Valley Area Plan.
- We’ve brought County’s attention to the fact that a BESS is not permitted in Rural Acton according to their General Plan.
- We’ve reached out on behalf of our residents and pleaded with County to sit down and discuss these issues and hopefully try to find some common ground.
- We’ve made it crystal clear that we wish to exhaust all administrative remedies to resolve this dispute over the wrongly issued ministerial approval of the Hecate Grid Humidor BESS project and the CEQA Notice of Exemption granted in violation of CEQA guidelines.
But now, we have to ask... what more can we do?
We only have one more option and the decision as to whether we will pursue this option will be made based on what happens in the next few days.
Will Los Angeles County show us the respect and consideration that the residents of Acton and constituents of LA County deserve?
Will they come to the table?
Stay tuned Everyone!
DONATION SCAM ALERT FOR RESIDENTS OF ACTON & AGUA DULCE!
BESS DEVELOPERS USING “DONATIONS” TO LOCAL ACTON GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS TO GET BESS PROJECTS FAST-TRACKED TO APPROVAL BY THE CEC
Acton Takes Action | June 22, 2023 – Ruthie Brock, Chair of the Acton Takes Action Community Task Force (ATA), was contacted by the Acton Town Council (ATC) with urgent information regarding recently made “donations” by BESS developers to local groups and organizations in Acton. The Council said, "Simply accepting and endorsing a check received from a BESS (Battery Energy Storage Systems) developer demonstrates acceptance of the donation. This simple action can be used by the developer to MANIPULATE the community by claiming that their donation is evidence that they have provided a 'Community Benefit'."
The Acton Town Council became aware of this "donation" ploy when they found out that the Acton-Agua Dulce United School District (AADUSD) was recently approached by a BESS developer with the hope of securing the AADUSD’s acceptance of a donation! Luckily, because the School Board cannot act without a Board vote, this donation opportunity was required to be put on the Board agenda. They are now informed of what this “donation” opportunity actually represents...
Providing a “community benefit” can help BESS developers get fast-tracked project approval from the California Energy Commission (CEC) by QUALIFYING their project under a specific requirement included in the new “Opt-In Program” created by the California Assembly, AB205, Bill. (Footnote 1)
The Bill states that a developer must demonstrate that they are meeting the “Community Benefit” requirement in the Bill by providing a benefit, or benefits, to a community by DONATING to local social organizations, groups, or clubs; schools; religious organizations [churches, synagogues, et al]; sports organizations, including boy and girl scouts, 4H club, and many others. These “donations” are exactly what the CEC is looking for. If a BESS developer can prove they have met the “Community Benefit” requirement in AB205, that gives the CEC, as “Lead Agency,” the sole power to approve BESS projects. (Footnote 2)
Unfortunately, the BESS developer or an agency acting on their behalf, is NOT required to tell the recipient of a donation who they are, what the acceptance of the donation means, or that acceptance of the donation would REQUIRE the head of such group or organization to sign a legally-binding contract with the BESS developer.
That contract will quickly help them to fast-track their BESS project approval through the CEC, and open the door to allowing Lithium Ion Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) facilities to be located in Acton.
WE NEED EVERYONE’S HELP IN THE ACTON-AGUA DULCE COMMUNITIES TO DO THE FOLLOWING...
If you know someone who is a member or participant in any local association, club, organization, or group in the AAD communities please, immediately make them aware that they absolutely should NOT accept any outside donations [unless they are absolutely sure that the donation is not being made by a BESS developer, an agent representing a BESS developer, or a vendor or associate of a BESS developer or any other person or other entity that has any type of interest - financial or otherwise - in any BESS developments or any BESS-related developments].
All local groups in Acton and Agua Dulce are ripe targets to be approached by the BESS developers! Following are a few examples of groups that will be targeted and approached:
Sierra Youth Sports; Desert Winds Soccer; 4-H Club Groups; Boy Scouts of America; Acton Women’s Club, Democratic Women’s Club of Agua Dulce; Agua Dulce Women’s Club, Rusty Studs; Acton rangers; Friends of Acton-Agua Dulce Library; Acton Chamber of Commerce; Lion’s Club; Local Churches and Religious Groups; Animal Rescue Groups, and so many more!
If you are a part of any of our many local organizations, we will be happy to further explain why we are putting out this community-wide warning about the “Community Benefit” BESS Developer Bribery Scam. Please have your lead person or head of your organization contact ATA Chair, Ruthie Brock at – email@example.com, or the Acton Town Council at – firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the June 28, 2023, Acton Town Council letter to LA County BOS Supervisor Kathryn Barger notifying the Board of Supervisors of the "Donation Scam" BESS developers are using to manipulate residents and local organizations in Acton and Agua Dulce. ATC BESS Developer Donation Activities Letter
Please spread this alert to your friends and neighbors!
MARKETING FIRM CALLS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED BY ACTON RESIDENTS LOOKING FOR INPUT ON ENERGY SUBJECTS.
A coincidence? ATA thinks not!
These innocent sounding marketing calls could be being done on behalf of a BESS developer through their public relations, advertising, or marketing firms, and construed by the CEC as a further demonstration that the BESS developer is meeting the “Community Benefit” requirement in Bill AB205. Ruthie Brock, ATA Chair, was one such recipient of this type of marketing call. Ruthie said, “I opted not to participate in their phone survey; I’d advise everyone to do the same. Be very alert!”
- California Assembly Bill AB205. (To come: Link to Bill.)
- If the developer chooses to try to fast track his application through the CA Energy Commissions new Opt-In program created in response to Assembly Bill AB 205, they are still bound by CA Code of Regulations and Public Resource Code statute, which specify transparency and public involvement and comment throughout the process. Thus far they have tried to manipulate this requirement and ATA & ATC don’t think it’s a good look for the developer.