The historic PG&E/clean energy vote today

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And so, after a Guardian campaign that started in 1969 to kick PG&E out of City Hall and bring the city’s own Hetch Hetchy public power to San Francisco residents and businesses, the San Francisco Chronicle reported  in Monday's edition ( 9/17/2012)  that San Francisco “is on the threshold of taking a major step into the public power realm.”

The lead story by John Cote, under a big front page head “Clean power plan would skirt PG&E,”  nicely laid out the CleanPowerSF program and even said that the plan “would effectively break Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s decades-old monopoly on the consumer power market in its headquarters city.”

He quoted Sup. David Campos, sponsor of the legislation, as saying that “This is about giving consumers a choice. And for the choice to be meaningful, it can’t be dependent on one company deciding the energy future of this city.”  The plan goes before the board on Tuesday (9/18/2012) and public power advocates say they have the votes for passage, despite PG&E’s furious lobbying inside and outside City Hall.

What Cote didn’t say, and what the Chronicle has been blacking out for decades, is the crucial point that this clean energy/ public power plan is no ordinary vote on an ordinary issue.  It is an extraordinary vote that would  start the process to enforce the federal Raker Act of 1913 that mandates that San Francisco have a public power system because the city dammed Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park for its cheap public water and cheap public power.  The city got the cheap Hetch Hetchy water, but it never got the cheap Hetch Hetchy power because PG&E stole it and forced the city to buy PG&E’s expensive private power all these years. The cost: billions of dollars for decades to the taxpayers and enduring structural corruption at City Hall. The Guardian has called this PG&E/Raker Act scandal the biggest urban scandal in U.S. history. It still is.

It’s quite a story and I urge you to check out the hundreds of investigations, stories, editorials, cartoons, and graphics the Guardian has used for years to illuminate the scandal and fight to enforce  the Raker Ac t and bring our own Hetch Hetchy power to our own people in San Francisco.

Buried in the Cote story is a key political point: Mayor Ed Lee, the man who became interim mayor on a phony premise and then lied his way into a full term as mayor, reiterated his “concerns” through a spokesperson that he is, gosh, golly, gee, “concerned about the opt-out provisions, the risks associated with the contract and the cost to residents.”

Marvelous. Simply marvelous. Lee is once again enunciating the PG&E line that mayors before him, notably Willie Brown and Gavin Newsom, have used to keep City Hall safe for PG&E and undercut the threat of public power coming to San Francisco and disturbing PG&E’s questionably legal monopoly. Brown, let me emphasize, was under PG&E’s thumb before, during, and after his mayoral tenure and now operates as an unregistered, $200,000-a -year PG&E lobbyist, Chronicle columnist, and key Lee confidant  and ally.

The current public power proposal isn’t as strong as the three public power initiatives that PG&E spent tens of millions of dollars to defeat.  PG&E would still own the lines and network, handle maintenance, and send out the bills.

But the proposal would provide l00 per cent renewable power to residents who want to pay a bit more for it, build a customer base and revenue stream for city-owned renewable power generation, advance the city’s greenhouse-gas reduction goals, and set aside $2 million to study public power options.  Most important, it would be a helluva good first step toward enforcing the public power provisions of the Raker Act and kicking PG&E out of City Hall.

The supervisors and Lee should approve the legislation and move it forward vigorously and without delay.

This is a historic moment and a historic vote in San Francisco history.  The question is, who is going to be on the right side of history and who is going to be on the wrong side of history with a PG&E vote that will live in infamy?  B3

P.S. A tip of the clean energy hat to Ed Harrington, who successfully wrestled  the proposal through the sea of crocodiles and hippos at City Hall.  He delayed his retirement as general manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to finish up the proposal.  “This is the single biggest program that is even on the  horizon within the city and county of San Francisco to make any difference toward any of the goals that you have set as board members in terms of having a change in greenhouse gas emissions and climate change in San Francisco,” he told the supervisors’ budget committee last week as reported by Cote.  “This program can make a dramatic change.”  

And a tip of the clean energy hat to Sup. Campos, who put the proposal forward up against  fortress PG&E,  More: a tip of the clean energy hat and a  bow to all the many public power advocates who have fought for years to bring clean energy and public power out of the wilderness and to this position. Furthermore, I salute  Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, who led the first  two public power initiative campaigns as the unpaid manager and then took on the herculean job of orchestrating the clean energy/cca proposal inside City Hall .when he became a supervisor. Mirkarimi is now paying the price for, among other things, successfully taking on PG&E and the PG&E establishment. His was an enormously courageous and important public service.  On guard,   B3

 

Comments

the Mirkarimi bomb at the end
Of course M is being punished for taking on PG&E!
Never mind the conviction, look at this shiny thing over here!
You just can't help yourself, can you?

Regardless of this idocy in the article, I hope the Supes vote in favor of this,

Posted by danimalssf on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 7:32 am

Progressive minds just don't think the way reactionaries do, and such a connection needs to be highlighted in order to gain the wide acceptance it deserves.

Progressives always seek to find comity and make the world a better place. Reactionaries constantly brood over what they percieve as previous slights and injustices and seek to destroy the perpetrators of what they see as crimes perpetrated against them.

Progressives: look for positive aspects in their opponents which can be turned towards good.

Regressives: look for any observed flaws -- i.e. arguing with your wife -- and seek to use such to *DESTROY* their "enemies."

Yes. PG&E. Damn right.

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 8:09 am

i most decidedly do not look for positive aspects in my opponents

i despise moderates, neo-conservatives, and even liberals, and pray for them all to burn in hell for the rest of time

Posted by anonymous on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 10:27 am

"progressives always seek to make the world a better place.."
And all the non-progressives are out to "destroy" what a load of bull excrement!

Progressives are the most condescending misogynistic buffoons in government!
They are a bunch of arrogant male dominant bunch of bullies with Mirkarimi and Daly leading the pack. No women allowed in that male only club, ofcourse not, the "private matter" went public and now Mirkarimi's bullying ways are exposed.

Last Mirkarimi sighting, a Mixed Martial Arts fight at USf with his wife and son! What kind of peace loving prog brings his 2year old to a MMA fight?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

Progressive minds just don't think the way reactionaries do, and such a connection needs to be highlighted in order to gain the wide acceptance it deserves.

Progressives always seek to find comity and make the world a better place. Reactionaries constantly brood over what they percieve as previous slights and injustices and seek to destroy the perpetrators of what they see as crimes perpetrated against them.

Progressives: look for positive aspects in their opponents which can be turned towards good.

Regressives: look for any observed flaws -- i.e. arguing with your wife -- and seek to use such to *DESTROY* their "enemies."

Yes. PG&E. Damn right.

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 8:10 am

Repeating yourself is a sign of madness, make sure you take the right dosage.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

"Furthermore, I salute Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, who led the first two public power initiative campaigns as the unpaid manager and then took on the herculean job of orchestrating the clean energy/cca proposal inside City Hall .when he became a supervisor. Mirkarimi is now paying the price for, among other things, successfully taking on PG&E and the PG&E establishment."

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 8:50 am

Yes you are terribly, terribly, persistently demented.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

Until I read Bruce's hysterical, hyperbole-filled piece. This is an example of why Progressives nearly always fail in their political goals - they see vast conspiracies everywhere rather than actually working on a combined, citywide effort to put in place their goals.

Posted by Troll II on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 9:41 am

a good idea, or a good policy, is still good, even if some of its supporters come across as whacked out to you. Would you really stop supporting something you agree with just because some knucklehead at the SFBG spouted junk? Out of spite? I hope not

Posted by danimalssf on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 10:05 am
Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 10:50 am

I was just asking if Troll II would really not support something just bc the SFBG approved of it, and you, once again, accuse me of being Troll II. I'm questioning myself??

I know you have a hard time being open minded, but I'll say it again to you, I am nobody else but myself. I only post under my name. I think it is lame when other people steal other people's names on message boards or comment sections. I have never done so to you or anyone else, nor have I ever pretended to be someone else but myself

you can believe that or you can once again think I'm bullshitting you, but it is the truth.

Now, go outside and get some exercise or something. The amount of stuff you post online per day is bordering on creepy

Posted by danimalssf on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

But I think Bruce's column is, like most of what he writes, reprehensible.

Posted by Troll II on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

Lilli speaks, makes no sense....speaks, makes no sense....and speaks, makes no sense...again speaks, makes no sense again...dreams of Ross in a sheriffs uniform....speaks, makes no sense

...and 3..2...1...will speak again...,drumroll..,,

Posted by Guest on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

Hmmm... seems to reveal a belief in the same "thought process" that neccessarily underpins the frequent impostering being done around here.

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 10:15 am

Had me at Hello..lost me at "I Salute Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi..."
Could NEVER agree with someone who condones Domestic Violence:(

Progressives should start associating themselves with more integrity; Avalos, Campos, Chiu AND less of Douchebags; Mirkarimi & Daly!

Posted by Guest on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 11:06 am

as *especially* calling people "douchbags" since it presents itself as in line with your other projectionary predilections. Take a cue from your presidential candidate Mitt Romney and come clean with what you truly think.

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 11:32 am

Hey lilli,
Ross Mirkarimi is the progs equivalent of Mitt Romney.

I only call 4 people Douchebags;
1. Mitt Romney
2. Ross Mirkarimi
3. Chris Daly
4. Bush

Btw, voted for Avalos, not Lee
Could care less for dirty cops(Suhr) or dirty sheriffs (Ross) or dirty fire chiefs( Hayes-White).

AND could care less for people that assume one is in line with Romney, just because you do not agree with my views on your oh so pure Lilly-innocent, poo poo smells like roses, Ross.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

Progressives have had their fill of concern-trollery.

Ross Mirkarimi has a long track record of public service: from attempting to break the stranglehold of the two party system on our state and nation, to enacting medical marijuana law, to promoting sustainable ecology, to promoting greater vitality of our democratic institutions.

If you were the kind of progessive who thought Ross Mirkarimi was suddenly "dirty" because he made a brief mistake during an argument with his wife and grabbed her arm, then I'd have to announce that you are a "dirty progressive." Stop your lying, troll.

In fact, I have no doubt that you share the jackass pampered prig Romney's belief that poor people "don't pay taxes" and that such progressive policies of banning plastic bags are some kind of crime against humanity. Filty lying reactionary haters cannot do anything else.

D'ya know? I believe there *are* some progressives that have been convinced that Ross should not be sheriff, but you are certainly not one of them. Progressives don't use straw man (false) rhetoric such as your claim that I think Ross is "lilly innocent." Ross grabbed his wife's arm, that's all. Not "lilly innocent" -- but not Ed Lee, either.

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

Lilli-innocent was an adjective created to describe Ross in your lilli way, Lilli.

"Ross grabbed his wife's arm, that's all"
Your condoning of Domestic Violence is very pre-OJ.

It's a good thing your not the DA, the Mayor, an Ethics Commissioner, Police Investigator, Domestic Violence advocate, a concerned friend, or a helpful neighbor. Otherwise, Ross the admitted convicted criminal and admitted domestic violence abuser of his wife would still be sheriff.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

and turning the van around -- as in the Ross Mirkarimi case -- with the repeated blows to the victim's face and torso, slamming of her head against a marble floor, the yelling at her that she'd only get out of it by jumping off the Golded Gate Bridge to her death, and with the attack ending not with the victim pulling her arm away and saying "no!," but rather only when the assailant was surprised by a visitor -- as in the Mason Mayer case.

A good thing I wasn't DA or I wouldn't have "served justice" by settling for the exact same plea "misdemeanor false imprisonment" agreement and sentencing details in the Mirkarimi case as in the Mayer case; even though the victim in the latter case had her earlobe torn and an eyelash ripped out, and was subsequently threatened with more violence and psychological trauma if she reported the attack, unlike in the Mirkarimi case where Eliana never called the police and made the video at her erstwhile friend Ivory Madisons behest with the idea that it might be useful in the case of some future possible custody battle and tearfully begged the judge not to forcibly separate her family with a judicial restraining order.

Yes. It's good I'm not DA.

http://sfappeal.com/news/2012/03/brother-of-google-executive-allegedly.php

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

Hey, just curious. Can anyone explain the lilli logic there? Specifically his contention that the existence of a DV case that was WORSE than Mirkarimi's somehow exonerates his hero? He seems really fixated on it.

Obviously lilli isn't a well person and I'm really interested as to how he could draw that conclusion....in a post about renewable energy no less.

Posted by Another Guest on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

Shhhhh.. Maybe his meds haven't kicked in yet.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

The invalid Straw Man argument is portraying my comment about Mayer's case as exonerating Ross Mirkarimi for his brief grab of Eliana's arm and turning the van around; but interestingly, it actually contains a valid Reductio Ad Absurdum argument.

The Reductio argument is that if the DA allowed Mayer to plead guilty to the exact same misdemeanor false imprisonment charge with three years probation and one year DV counseling that the sheriff -- facing trial in a courthouse shaded by billboards proclaiming his guilt -- was compelled to take, then it neccessarily follows that there is no need to adjust the penalty to fit the crime.

Now for the absurd: the Los Angeles prosecutor would have had far greater success getting a conviction against OJ Simpson if he'd been offered the option of pleading guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment, right? Why wasn't that the deal?

No. In fact my point is that the prosecution of Mirkarimi was *always* politically motivated, and the DA used leaks of hearsay evidence and threats of same as a cudgel to convince the sheriff's team to settle for a deal that was out of proportion with facts in the case as means to acheive his true goal: overturning the results of the November election.

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 6:32 am

Lilli,

Can we just stipulate that Mayer shouldn't be sheriff either?

Didn't think so.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 7:10 am

Ross Mirkarimi was *elected* by *the* *people* to be sheriff; and that election is being overturned by special interests through an opportunistic use of the criminal justice system and a misreading of the city charter.

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 7:47 am

Beware all!
Lillipublicans ( pseudo for republican?!)
is imping everyone.
Pretending to be a Mirkarimi supporter, but no doubt making purely fake outlandish allegations toward anyone against reinstating the sheriff.
Going as far as calling everyone that supports Mirkarimi's removal as non progressive!
Lillipublicans fake outrage on anyone that does not agree with him/her is too overly exemplified that it borders on mentally unstable.
Lillipublicans is not one of progressive values, don't let his imping fool you.
A troll by any other name is lillipublican.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

I'm always amazed at the haters who speak anonymously and refuse to identify themselves. And I see none of you who have a good word to say about the efforts o to bring public power/clean energy to San Francisco and enforce the public power mandates of the federal Raker Act of 1913. (San Francisco could lose the dam if the the city isn't moving toward a public power system as the act mandates as a condition of allowing the damming of Hetch Hetchy
VAlley in Yosemite National Park. Note Prop F on the ballot, a first step to start the tear-down-the dam movement.)

Mirkarimi was a major figure in this movement, heading up two initiative campaigns as an unpaid manager, and then taking on the clean energy/ community choice aggregation (CCA) project when he became a supervisor. Today, at City Hall, the project was formally started with an 8-3 veto-proof vote and the fruits of Mirkarimi's labors (and that of many others) was]
officially recognized. More: Mirkarimi led the campaign to reform the sunshine ordinance and the sunshine task force in 2009, making the ordinance and the task force the first and best in the country, if not the world. All of this was a valuable public service which Mirkarimi performed on a volunteer basis. (See Guardian stories through the years.)

It's fair to say that the PG&E establishment, and the Willie Brown/Rose Pak/downtown gang, have and are still opposing these public service efforts.
Why not stick with the facts, give credit where credit is due, and start by identifying yourselves? My name is Bruce B. Brugmann.
Any questions?

Posted by bruce on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

Don't forget Mirkarimi's latest endeavors:

1. Abusing his wife
2. False imprisoning his wife
3. Convicted on false imprisonment of his wife
4. On court-ordered domestic violence counseling for one year
5. On court ordered adult probation for 3 years
6. Failing to cooperate with a police investigation and lying about a 3rd gun
7. Unprofessional statement of Domestic Violence being a private matter.
8. Booked in his own jail
9. SF Ethics Commission findings and outcome for his actions of incident resulted in Official Misconduct.

And also Bruce, anyone can be you.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

So much anger there Bruce, maybe Ross can fill you in on some counseling advice to curb the madness.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

despite crowing about it for 40 years, and this experimental prototype "green" power thing is merely a token gesture to manifest in his dotage.

He whines about people not identifying themselves here and yet it is HIS website that doesn't allow registration and allows anyone to use any handle.

Bruce, 76% of SF voters think Ross should go. Does it really surprise you that some of them are here?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 8:12 am

The Public Power cult has pulled a fast one on San Francisco voters. Of course most SF voters don't know that this boondoggle is headed their way, and won't until their electric bills take a giant leap upward, Then, when they call PG&E to complain, they'll happily be told to call City Hall, because it's selling the electricity now. Huh? How'd that happen? It's then that they'll realize that SF is run by backstabbing bureaucrats who don't give a crap about the will of the voters.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 11:53 pm

and of course the PG&E-friendly sop that "they don't know" about this "boondoggle" is no more true than the claim that the program first conceived here but long-implemented in Marin County has been met with other than acclaim and public support.

Sorry troll, but your PG&E/global climate change death cult just isn't likely to pick up too many new pledges over this.

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 12:27 am

I can recall at least three voter initiatives and it always lost. Sometimes by a lot, sometimes by a little, but it always lost.

So now you can pay an extra $20 a month to buy green power from Shell rather than green power from PG&E. The only difference I can see is that now the profits will go to the UK and Holland, rather than stay local.

I'm all for more choice and competition. But this is not public power and there is no mandate for that. And will be moot anyway if and when the Hetch Hetchy dam goes away.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 8:16 am

The only reason those initiatives lost was that PG&E was then in its prime, and spent tens of millions of dollars on crack ad teams attacking the measures with avalanches of deceptive ads and mailers.

After its dismal campaign loss on its 50 million dollar attempted monopoly entrenchment power grab Prop 16, as well as the San Bruno explosion, and the losses in Marin and San Francisco on Community Choice, PG&E has nowhere near the gravitas it once had to prevail in a public vote.

This is why it wisely put up less of a fight against CleanPowerSF this round, a program which gives it a little more time to readjust to its new reality before the inevitable, and to either liquidate to a Wall Street buyer, or get into another line of work; before California's local communities rightfully take over our own power systems.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 8:32 am