Green City: PG&E's two faces - Page 2

Seeking to water down environmental standards
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As Metropulos puts it, "PG&E supports AB 809 since they get a lot of power from hydro."

Again, the question at hand is: if PG&E is seeking the title of "the nation's greenest utility," why is it working against green energy in California?

Aliza Wasserman of Green Guerrillas Against Green Washing said the answer is simple: "Their actions are blatantly hypocritical." She sees PG&E as a duplicitous entity, pandering to the public with its "Let's green this city" marketing blitz while simultaneously lobbying against renewable energy.

Wasserman notes that while PG&E is touting itself as a friend of the environment and sponsoring "every environmental event and organization in town to appear green," it only generates 1 percent of its energy from solar and less than 2 percent from wind. Comparatively, 24 percent of its energy is from nuclear generation, an energy source that produces toxic by-products and harms aquatic ecosystems.

SB 411 comes up for vote again in January 2008, pending a feasibility report by the California Energy Commission. "This is a critical moment in history," Wasserman says. "Are our legislators going to sell out or step up?"

Comments, ideas, and submissions for Green City, the Guardian's weekly environmental column, can be sent to news@sfbg.com.

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