Mike Barber responds to Mike Stubblefield on the Oxnard Mandalay Beach power plant replacement

By Mike Barber

Editor’s note: This is Mr. Barber’s response to a letter from Mike Stubblefield of the Sierra Club, which appeared in another newspaper, regarding the proposed replacement of the Mandalay Beach power plant.  You can figure out most of what it said from Mr. Barber’s words in this letter..


I read Mike Stubblefield’s comments and feel some things he stated were false and I am trying to set the record  straight. NRG owns 2 power naturalgasplants (in Oxnard).

SCE has a small “peaker plant” also in Oxnard, that’s 3.

NRG wants to replace the old Mandaly plant with a new state of the art, latest technology gas-fired “peaker.” Then when the new plant is up and running the old Mandalay plant will come down, That’s 3, not 4, like Mr. Stubblefield would imply.

NRG has stated that they would also dismantle the Ormond Beach Plant at a future date and allow a restoration of the wet lands around that facility .


That would make 2 power plants not 4 .

So, if Mike wants to restore the wetlands and get rid of the 2 old power plants, wouldn’t negotiating with NRG make sense?

NRG never owned or operated the power plant in Morro Bay that was decommissioned.

Mike said that these facilities prevent Oxnard from building a coastal tourist economy like Malibu and Santa Barbara. To that I say baloney.Malibu and Santa Barbara have miles of access and parking is available right at the beach. They also have Life Guards on the beach. Oxnard the largest City in VC has about 200,000 residents. On a beautiful day at the beach where would all the residents and tourists park to enjoy the beach?

I am just guessing, but I think there are about 1,500-2,000 parking spaces near and around the beach area, Is that enough for residents and tourists?

Most of the parking near the beach community is for the business at Channel Islands Harbor. How can we have more tourists with no parking?

And residents who live in north Oxnard, El Rio, and Nyeland Acres have no bus access to the beach areas.

Oxnard is at the end of a loop in the power grid. Power comes  into our area from the Santa Clarita area. If a major earthquake or wild fires destroy the power lines we are out of power. I myself am glad that we have a source of power right here in Ventura County.

The future of electric power generation is changing in the US and California. More solar and wind with gas turbine plants as back-up, this is what the future will look like. Renewable, clean and reliable.

I have heard NRG say many times they are willing to meet with the city for a Community Benefits package for this project. A good starting point would be;

  1. Guarantee that the 2 old plants will be removed
  2. Require NRG to build a parking lot on the south east corner of their property for say 1,000 parking spaces so people can access the beach
  3. Ask NRG build a bike, running and walking path along the beach on their property, which would be the start of a trail that runs from Channel Islands harbor to the City boundary line.
  4. Ask NRG to subsidize summer bus fares for our needy kids and families so they can have beach access

NRG is standing check book in hand offering to work with the city to help improve the lives of our residents. I am sure there are other needs and wants in this community, so let’s sit down and do what’s best for all.


Mike Barber is retired, works on civic projects, founded and runs the Santa to the Sea Half Marathon, lives in Oxnard.

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Steven Nash
Steven Nash
5 years ago

Mr. Barber does great volunteer work for the community and he has my gratitude. However, we need to be aware of financial relationships when judging the validity of one’s opinions and here we have NRG as a Silver Sponsor of Mr. Barber’s Santa to the Sea Half Marathon.