SF could lead the way on public power for California–to RATIONING

At least the folks in San Fran are honest.  They prefer a Cuban style economy, which includes ending private sources of energy—only government can control the supply and cost of energy.

“While energy prices keep going up, he said, and shutoffs endanger people with disabilities and communities of color, PG&E’s chief executive officer made $50 million in 2021.

Almost everyone in SF agrees it’s time for SF to take over PG&E’s facilities; can it be a statewide effort?

“PG&E’s failures are hurting our health,” he said.

Government controls education—which is a failure.  Government controls transportation, a massive failure.  Government controls law enforcement—and we know the State has become seriously dangerous due to the lack of action, via policy, of government.

Government controls our water supply—and has failed miserably.  Now the San Fran Cuban sycophants, want our energy supply to look like that in Havana—cheap, but only available a few hours a day.

SF could lead the way on public power for California

Lafco hearing sets the stage for a new effort to replace private utilities, in the city and statewide.

By TIM REDMOND, 48 Hills,  1/20/23   

The SF Local Agency Formation Commission held a hearing today on the failures of PG&E—and set in motion what could be a valuable process for moving toward public power.

The speakers at the hearing were clear and direct: As Antonio Diaz, organizational director at PODER, told the panel, “PG&E is a failed utility.”

While energy prices keep going up, he said, and shutoffs endanger people with disabilities and communities of color, PG&E’s chief executive officer made $50 million in 2021.

Almost everyone in SF agrees it’s time for SF to take over PG&E’s facilities; can it be a statewide effort?

“PG&E’s failures are hurting our health,” he said.

Jonathan Kline, senior auditor with the California State Auditor’s Office, talked about the report his office did last spring that showed in detail how PG&E has failed to protect the state from wildfires—and how the state has failed to hold the utility accountable.

Mari Rose Taruc, an organizer with Reclaim our Power, noted that during PG&E’s bankruptcy in 2019, state Sen. Jerry Hill managed to get passed a bill that created a plan for a public takeover if the utility didn’t manage to survive. SB 350 set up the potential for a nonprofit Golden State Energy system—but only if PG&E never emerged as a viable company or if the state Public Utilities Commission decided to revoke its license to operate.

PG&E emerged from bankruptcy, and the CPUC has shown no signs of making any effort to push public power in California.

But Golden State Energy is still out there, albeit it with no staff or budget, and Taruk noted that it offers a potential path to creating alternatives to PG&E.

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Jackie Fielder, the chair of Lafco, introduced a resolution directing the agency’s executive officer to study what would be involved in San Francisco leading the way on a statewide effort to activate Golden State Energy. It passed.

The could lead to a much larger study on statewide public power—although it might require resources beyond San Francisco, say the state Legislative Analysts’ Office, to do that work.

I have no illusions that Gov. Gavin Newsom, his CPUC, or the current state Legislature will do anything meaningful to challenge PG&E. But the LAO could potentially do a study.

Meanwhile, of course, San Francisco could take steps at any time to enforce the Raker Act and take over PG&E’s system.

I spoke to Taruk this afternoon, and she agreed that it will be difficult to get the governor or the Legislature to move against PG&E; even the San Francisco delegation approved an extension of the nuclear license at Diablo Canyon.

But she also agreed with me on an important point: Public power in California could be done at a regional level, with local control.

San Francisco already has a public-power agency, and could not only take over PG&E’s local system but potentially provide power to the more than a  million customers on the Peninsula who currently buy water from the city.
The East Bay Municipal Utility District already supplies water to 1.4 million customers; it could add the infrastructure to deliver power. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District already delivers lower cost power with a strong renewable portfolio to 1.5 million customers, and could take over PG&E’s system in the surrounding area.

In other words, there’s a way to build public power in the state on a regional basis, even if the governor and the Legislature won’t take on the private utilities.

“Today was hopeful,” Taruk said.

But for anything real to happen, San Francisco will have to lead the way.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Rico Lagattuta says

    If the money people in San Francisco don’t like the flavor of the political environment, they should pack up and leave. In Cuba the government got away with this type of governing because they could prevent the rich from leaving and taking their assets with them. In San Francisco the rich are saying “I want it my way” The have nots are saying “I want it my way” And, the have nots are winning.

  2. Sure ….. why not ….. Cuba is warmer and you only have to worry about force 3 hurricanes and a government incapable of helping the people.

    Oh gee did the idiots of Frisco know that So. Cal. Gas has a carbon neutral product that is green?

    You idiot Dem’s don’t let facts get in your way.

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