Before the Nov. 3 election last year, David Haubert supported the development of a solar policy before approval of the Aramis and Sunwalker projects. He also stated his concern regarding the impact of the Aramis project on the ecosystem at the proposed site in North Livermore, along Cayetano Creek.
“After meeting with local residents, I have grave concerns about the impacts of the project on the environment, especially the scenic corridor,” Haubert said in an August 2020 press release. “I would also like to see a solar study completed to help inform the decision. In my experience, leaders make better decisions when they have all the facts.”
The completion of a solar policy became a common request of the county from constituents and agencies concerned with the lack of development planning. And Haubert himself joined the stance when agreeing to an October statement calling for a moratorium on all solar development until such a policy is in place.
That is why many constituents have voiced their dismay that months after making these statements, Haubert went forward and voted in favor of the Aramis project despite the county’s lack of a solar policy.
He never said that he outright opposed the project, and perhaps some of his concerns about the project’s impact on the native ecosystem were alleviated through studying and attending meetings. However, it doesn’t add up that a solar policy was once viewed as critical during the campaign, but now it’s not.
If we’re rushing Aramis through ahead of completing a policy simply because applicant Intersect Power has claimed that the project will die if delayed by 90 days, then this isn’t the right company to work with. If this is the truth, as they have asserted, then they have not planned diligently. And that is not the county’s fault.
But, in truth, the claim sounds more like a slick salesman’s veiled threat.
Sunwalker — the much smaller project that’s proposed for the neighboring region — is set to hold its appeals hearing April 22. We hope the board will pause forward motion on this development until the county has a plan in place.