LAFCo: "PG&E’s claims have no basis in fact or reality"


By Rebecca Bowe

The SF Weekly once made up a story on its Snitch blog about how LAFCo is the Guardian’s imaginary friend (this was back before they had imaginary delivery vehicles). So it’s kind of ironic that LAFCo should be the one to respond to an attack mailer paid for by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. which has quotes from an SF Weekly story splashed all over it.

The PG&E-funded mailer even borrows from the language of that Weekly article, calling CCA a “scheme” after the title of the piece, “Green Scheme,” and telling voters that the program will be implemented “whether you like it or not,” which sounds a lot like a line from the Weekly article, which says, “like it or not, you’re already signed up.” Given all this striking similarity, it's almost like the Weekly is PG&E's very own imaginary friend.

LAFCo is the Local Agency Formation Commission, the driver behind San Francisco’s Community Choice Aggregation program, which a “coalition” financed by PG&E attempted to shoot full of holes in a smear campaign we told you about yesterday.

LAFCo's response to PG&E's mailer is posted below.


PG&E Continues Campaign against San Francisco’s Clean Energy Program

Latest Salvo from PG&E is riddled with False Assumptions and Deceptive Marketing

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – On December 9, 2009, San Francisco businesses received a direct mail piece from the “Common Sense Coalition.” In it, the alleged “Coalition” critiques the City’s Community Choice Aggregation plan to provide cleaner, more renewable energy to its residents and businesses through a newly proposed clean energy program to the businesses and residents of San Francisco. Financed by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), the mailer makes several specious economic claims sourced from outdated documents, including a 2007 City Controller’s report. However, that very same report states that the program “has not yet advanced to the stage where any definitive economic impact statement can be made. A detailed economic impact assessment will not be possible until the RFP process is complete.”

The City just issued its own comprehensive and through RFP four weeks ago and responses are due on December 29th. There is no set contract with an energy service provider and more importantly, no structured, long-term rate plan has been formulated. Consequently, PG&E’s claims have no basis in fact or reality.

“While the world gathers in Copenhagen to renew our collective fight against global climate change, back here in San Francisco, PG&E is doing its best to stymie our local efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. PG&E will stop at nothing to protect its bottom line, keep using its fossil fuel power plants and prevent our dream of providing the City with cleaner, more renewable energy from becoming a reality,” remarked LAFCO Chair and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.

PG&E’s mailer is nothing more than a monopoly’s attempt to protect its own interests above those of the businesses and people of San Francisco. The success of our clean energy program will force PG&E fossil and nuclear fueled electricity to compete against a significantly cleaner, greener , and renewable energy. As the Controller Report indicates, this “could lead to greater competition in the City’s electricity markets, lower rates for consumers, and a greater reliance on local sources of renewable energy and conservation.”

Ed Harrington, General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and City Controller when the Controller’s Report was issued in 2007 stated that, “It’s disappointing to see these kinds of irresponsible scare tactics when our unbiased RFP process to select an energy service provider and negotiate a contract is still underway.”