Kara Ueda '00, Christopher Butcher '07, Sarah Ropelato '07 Win Impressive Victory in PUC Decision
Kara Ueda '00 and Christopher Butcher '07, working pro bono as representatives of a Sacramento neighborhood association, along with Sarah Ropelato '07 of Legal Services of Northern California, succeeded in blocking a plan to build a massive natural gas storage facility beneath a southeast Sacramento neighborhood. A Sacramento Bee account of the California Public Utilities Commission hearing described the decision as "an impressive display of David besting Goliath."
Ueda, Chair of the King Hall Alumni Association Board of Directors and a partner at Best Best & Krieger, and Butcher, an associate with the Sacramento land-use and environmental law firm Thomas Law Group, were recruited by the Avondale/Glen Elder Neighborhood Association via Legal Services of Northern California. Ropelato is a staff attorney at LSNC.
Residents initially felt "outmatched" in their battle with Sacramento Natural Gas Storage over the project, which would have stored 7.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas beneath 379 acres in south Sacramento, but PUC commissioners ultimately agreed with the argument that the project was unnecessary and represented too great a risk to residents.