The real smokescreen

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by Amanda Witherell

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The real smokescreen is the one PG&E is puffing in the Potrero and Bayview neighborhoods. This is the flier their bogus front group mailed out last week. PG&E is claiming the neighborhood can't handle any more pollution -- which is true -- but at the same time, the corporation is mishandling the clean-up of their toxic Hunter's Point power plant, which was shuttered in 2006.

"They agreed that once their plant was shut down they would not keep us in the dark about the clean-up," said Marie Harrison, the community organizer for Greenaction, an environmental and social justice group that was instrumental in closing the plant. Harrison said there had been promises from PG&E of regular updates on the dismantling of the power plant and the clean-up of the surrounding water and land -- and the corporation has yet to deliver on those promises and is not cooperating with requests for information regarding what kinds of toxins they're dealing with. Greenaction's holding a protest on Saturday, 8/25 at noon at the old power plant, calling for more accountability with the clean-up.

Yes, PG&E...such a friend to the community.

Here's another bit of energy gossip. Apparently this was sent out to district 11 residents right before the Board of Supervisors voted to approve Community Choice Aggregation, the city's new plan for renewable, city-owned power. Though this seems to be the work of the California Urban Issues Project, it's probably the beginning of a long and dirty campaign PG&E will soon be launching to oppose the city's plan. Mayor Gavin Newsom signed the CCA legislation right before the deadline, but issued a caveat claiming he had "concerns" about the plan. Playing both sides during the election year, eh Gav -- so much for strong, convincing leadership on bringing renewable energy to the city.