Unanimous CPUC Decision Hands Community Choice Advocates Big Win:
Door Open for Renewables Buildout
In a last minute midnight compromise decision brought about by presuure from AB117 sponsor Carole Migden, San Francisco Supervisor Tom Ammiano and Senate President Pro Tem John Burton, The California Public Utilities Commission voted 5-0 to adopt an electric utility procurement framework that will leave room for Community Choice Aggregation and renewable energy.
The decision approved a utility procurement framework phasing in utility contracts, limiting the amount of power the utilities buy and the speed at which they buy it., leaving space for San Francisco, San Diego, Marin County, and dozens of other California cities seeking to escape utility procurement to aggressively develop renewable resources and energy efficiency technologies.
Hunters Point activists and other San Francisco residents, Sustainable Novato, Sustainable Mill Valley, Fairfax activists and local officials joined Ratepayers for Affordable Green Energy in asking the Commissioners not to order utilities to overbuy power contracts that would make California dependent on foreign natural gas.
On December the CPUC was prepared to approve a five year contract authorization that would have locked in available power plant capacity and put ratepayers on the hook for 100% gas-fired capacity.
Commissioner Lynch, seconded by swing vote Commissioner Geoffrey Brown and Commissioner Carl Wood, credited coalition members for educating the Commission on the negative impacts of their previous procurement plan, whose December 18 decision was delayed to January 8, delayed again until today, redrafted, then rewritten into a new draft last night.
Comparison of Lynch Plan to Peevey and Walwyn Plans (January 20, 2004)
RAGE Comments to CPUC Supporting Commissioner Lynch's Procurement Plan (January 20, 2004)
RAGE Coalition, Cities Oppose Utility Contract Framework (Press Release Jan 5)
CPUC Delays Decision to Put Ratepayers on Hook for Power Contracts: January 8 Vote on Multi-Year Electric Utility Procurement Dwarfs Recent $8 Billion Bailout of PG&E (January 2, 2004)
Carole Migden Op Ed Against New Utility Contracts (December 31, 2003)
Letter to CPUC on Utility Contracts (December 30, 2003)
December 18 is "Double Dip Day" At California Public Utilities Commission with Proposals to Bail Out PG&E and Put the State's Ratepayers on the Hook Again for Utility Contracts & Power Plants (December, 2003)
Local Power Joined by Greenpeace USA, Public Citizen, and Local Groups in RAGE Coalition Opposing CPUC Plan to Put Ratepayers on the Hook for $ Multi-Billion Utility Power Contracts and New Gas-Fueled Power Plants (December, 2003)
Local Power Asks CPUC to Stop Monopolies' Plans to Block Comunities from Finding Alternative Energy Providers (Feb 2003)
Local Power News: In California, Cities Seek Alternative Power Providers, Fear Monopolies' Plans to Block Them (Jan 2003)
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Founder and Director of Local Power, Paul Fenn is author of California's Community Choice law, AB117 or Chapter 838 of 2002, which allows municipalities to switch their communities to alternative energy providers - as well as author of San Francisco's 2001 voter-approved "Solar Bond" or "H Bond" authority, and a plan to use H Bonds and Community Choice aggregation to take 1/4 of San Francisco's electricity load off-grid by 2012 with solar power, wind power, conservation and energy efficiency technologies. Mr. Fenn is also author of new state "Solar Networking" legislation, Senate 697, sponsored by Pomona Senator Nell Soto. Local Power is based in Oakland, California and may be found at www.local.org
Copyright 2004 by Local Power.