San Fran tried to create a city owned Energy Company—millions was spent on this socialist effort.  Finally, since so few agreed to participate, it was shut down.  Other communities, using tax dollars have started government energy companies, forcing less revenues from private firms—meaning the people of the community were being taxed to close down private efforts and taxed to subsidize high energy costs.

Surprisingly, a Democrat is proposing a bill that would force the government to have people opt-in, instead of opting out. Doubt if too many people want to voluntarily pay more for energy—and raise taxes to subsidize the government agency.

“Currently, communities can set up CCAs and residents who don’t wish to participate can “opt-out” of the program. The new bill, AB 2145 by Assemblyman Steve Bradford, D-Gardena, prohibits the creation of CCAs unless the residents “opt-in.”

Bradford said his bill makes sure that “communities can know how well the community choice aggregator will meet these goals” and provides “consumer choice and transparency for future community choice aggregator customers.”

110411-vote-sm

 

Ghost of Prop. 16 haunts the Capitol

 

by JOHN HOWARD, Capitol Weekly,  5/13/14

In the Capitol, nothing really dies.

Four years after California voters in a bruising, $46 million ballot fight turned down a plan to limit the ability of local communities to set up their own utility districts and energy providers, the issue is back.

This time, voters won’t be weighing in: It‘s in the form of a bill before lawmakers.

Proposition 16, bankrolled largely Pacific Gas & Electric Co., was defeated in June 2010. It would have required a two-thirds vote in communities seeking to create their own public utility districts, expand the existing service areas or set up local systems to purchase “green” or alternative energy.

Currently, communities can set up CCAs and residents who don’t wish to participate can “opt-out” of the program. The new bill, AB 2145 by Assemblyman Steve Bradford, D-Gardena, prohibits the creation of CCAs unless the residents “opt-in.”

Critics, led by environmentalists and alternative energy activists, said the requirement for a two-thirds vote, a difficult-to-reach threshold, actually was an attempt by the utility to stave off competition. Supporters of Proposition 16, in addition to PG&E, included the California Taxpayers Association and the state Chamber of Commerce; all said the proposition gave local voters greater control over their own energy future.

The new plan, backed by PG&E and several major labor groups, deals with a key piece of Proposition 16 – the creation of the local systems known as Community Choice Aggregators, or CCAs, that serve residents with alternative energy, rather than rely on the energy from their traditional utility, such as PG&E.

Marin County established a CCA – it serves 124,000 customers, including some in Richmond — and a Sonoma County CCA is operational this month. Nationally, about 5 percent of energy flows to consumers through CCAs, according to CCA supporters. The first CCA in California emerged in 2007 at the Kings River Conservation District on behalf of the San Joaquin Valley Power Authority, but it ceased operations in 2009, according to a Capitol consultant’s analysis. A CCA was formed in San Francisco four years ago, but it withered after the local Public Utilities Commission declined to authorize its rate schedule.

But it was the creation of the Marin’s CCA triggered the move by PG&E to go to the statewide ballot in 2010. The measure lost by about 300,000 votes.

Berkeley City Councilwoman Kriss Worthington described Bradford’s bill as a “poison pill” that  “limits a CCA’s ability to viably exist at the local level.”

Currently, communities can set up CCAs and residents who don’t wish to participate can “opt-out” of the program. The new bill, AB 2145 by Assemblyman Steve Bradford, D-Gardena, prohibits the creation of CCAs unless the residents “opt-in.”

Bradford said his bill makes sure that “communities can know how well the community choice aggregator will meet these goals” and provides “consumer choice and transparency for future community choice aggregator customers.”

“If we’re talking about trying to end CCAs, that measure was four years ago,” he said at a committee hearing. “This gives voters that same right of choice.”

But a number of critics said the ultimate effect of Bradford’s bill would be to limit the spread of CCAs, which could prove financially beneficial to PG&E.

Berkeley City Councilwoman Kriss Worthington described Bradford’s bill as a “poison pill” that  “limits a CCA’s ability to viably exist at the local level.”

” By allowing this bill to pass, stricter rules and regulations would hinder the process and make CCAs more difficult to achieve,” Worthington wrote in a May 6 letter to the council.

Other foes of the bill include the Greenlining Institute, the California State Association of Counties, the League of California Cities, Sierra Club California and the California Solar Energy Industries Association, among others.

Some in organized labor support the measure, too, saying the job creation promised by the backers of CCAs never really materialized.

“They said they were going to deliver it (energy) cheaper than the utility, they were going to do it greener and they were going to create a lot of jobs in the community, and all of these have failed,” said Sacramento lobbyist Scott Wetch, whose clients include the State Pipe Trades Council and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, among others. The State Building and Construction Trades Council also support the bill.

The power really isn’t environmentally better, Wetch contended, because much of it is produced through the use of renewable energy credits, or RECs, a sort of permission slip that allows companies to operate – at least temporarily – as “green,” even though their energy remains fossil-fuel based.

“So they really aren’t delivering green power, they are delivering phony green power,” Wetch said. “There should be truth in advertising. They should have to report the same way the utilities report,” he said, although he said he supported the new CCA that set up in Sonoma County.

Bradford chairs the Assembly’s Utilities and Commerce Committee, which recently approved his bill. The measure has not yet reached the floor of either house and Gov. Brown has not taken a position on the bill, although two of his top aides worked at PG&E when the fight over Proposition 16 was under way.

But others noted that the current system has been in effect for 12 years, and there has been no popular move to change it.

“I don’t understand why we need to change the model,” Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, said at a committee hearing. “We have a number of CCAs that are about to launch …. I don’t see how this opt-out, opt-in piece is necessary for that.” She added that “it’s something I’m uncomfortable with at this point.”

She noted in a separate interview that the CCAs that are being put together “were developed on the opt-out model. It’s unfair to change the model while these others are still in the pipeline.”

 

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Kizi 3

That picture gives us a lot of strange feeling, I like it

May 15, 2014 at 9:36 pm

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