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The city of San Juan Capistrano is suing state regulators over a proposed $350 million transmission line that critics argue is the latest in a series of unnecessary and costly utility projects.

In a 35-page lawsuit filed late Friday in U.S. District Court, the Orange County municipality asked the court to stop the project, citing reports of excess power on the stateís electric grid, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The cityís initial evidence for the case includes reports in the Los Angeles Times that detailed how California regulators continue to greenlight new power plants even though the state is producing more electricity than it needs. In some cases, California is even paying other states to take excess solar power.

The lawsuit against the California Public Utilities Commission is one of a growing number of steps being taken by government leaders and ratepayers to combat energy regulators. California invested heavily in solar power. Now there’s so much that other states are sometimes paid to take it.

Residents and officials in the Ventura County city of Oxnard have bombarded the California Energy Commission with hundreds of emails in the last couple of weeks, urging commissioners to reject a roughly $250 million natural gas plant they argue isn’t needed, according to The Times.

“The CPUC’s construction-happy, reliability-focused stance is not coincidental,” Michael Aguirre, a lawyer for San Juan Capistrano, wrote in the lawsuit against the utilities commission, The Times reported. “Utility companies have lobbied the CPUC into submission to approve their projects.”

The utilities commission approved the project even though an administrative law judge noted that it wasn’t necessary, Aguirre said.

—City News Service

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