Green isn't PG&E - Page 2

The private utility is trying to sell itself as an ecofriendly company. Here's the truth

The new pipeline would increase daily supply by 50 percent.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is considered the cleanest of the fossil fuels, but it's still a hazardous, flammable material and can freeze-burn skin, crack ship decks, and asphyxiate.

A "small" LNG tanker is the length of three football fields and burns 170 metric tons of fuel (natural gas and heavy-duty diesel) per day. Planners anticipate at least six to seven ships will dock per month at a new LNG terminal in Coos Bay, Ore.

PG&E recently showcased a hybrid natural gas–electricity plug-in Toyota Prius with V2G, or vehicle to grid, technology. Unlike those of other electric cars, the connection is two-way — power comes from the grid to the car, but power can also go from the car to the grid. PG&E has said that if enough people own these cars, each one will be a miniature storage unit of power for the utility to draw on during peak hours — eliminating the need for more power plants. If the utility takes too much electricity from your battery while you work or sleep, you can still run the car on natural gas. But either way, you're paying PG&E for the electricity and the fuel, and since PG&E electricity is hardly renewable, it isn't doing much for the ecosystem.


Twenty-four percent of PG&E's so-called nonemissions burning power comes from nuclear plants in Humboldt Bay and Diablo Canyon. When asked if PG&E is considering future nuclear power plants, spokesperson Keely Wachs said, "We're not ruling it out." Some reasons to worry:

One of PG&E's newest board members is Richard Meserve, former chair of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The decommissioning of nuclear power facilities is set to begin at the Humboldt Bay plant in 2009 and at the Diablo Canyon plant in 2024, at a cost of $2.1 billion, or more than $5 billion in future dollars — all of which you will pay.

PG&E will undergo a $16 million study of the feasibility of relicensing Diablo Canyon (at your expense).

PG&E currently has contracts out for $539 million of nuclear fuel, which you will pay for.

And, of course, PG&E spends millions fighting public power (which is almost always more environmentally sound than PG&E's private mix). Green city or greenwashing? It seems pretty clear to us. *