When the state Legislature approved the law allowing cities to create local public power co-ops, the bill specifically barred private utilities from interfering. So it's easy to argue that Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s ballot initiative to squash public power is, in fact, direct interference.
After all, the measure would create an almost insurmountable obstacle to creating community choice aggregation.
And the attorney general of California ought to be making that precise argument in court and trying to get this ballot initiative thrown out.
Sen. Mark Leno, a strong foe of the measure, told us he's been in touch with Attorney General Jerry Brown's staff, and is urging them to take action. He said he's been assured the office is looking into the issue.
It will be interesting to see what Brown does. As governor, he was a strong opponent of PG&E's Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, and spoke at anti-nuclear rallies, but since then, he's been awful wishy washy (and has, for example, never been an open supporter of public power.)
Now, however, he's running for governor -- and PG&E is one of the most hated institutions in the state. The old Jerry took on corporate power and positioned himself as a populist; this latest incarnation of Jerry could pick up a lot of progressive support (which he badly needs) and force Meg Whiman into a corner (what, is she going to support PG&E?).
So how about it, Jerry?
(And by the way, the San Francisco supervisors ought to pass a resolution calling on Brown to sue to get this evil measure off the ballot.)
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