Lights out? I think not


The big bold headline on the front page of the Ex: Lights out for power project. The article actually isn't that bad, although it's framed as a setback for public power.

But that spin is completely wrong. A huge victory for public power -- the defeat of Prop. 16 -- gives the city a little breathing room to get a better contract. That's all that's happening.

Sup. Ross Mirkarimi was pushing hard to get the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to sign at least a tentative deal to get the city's community choice aggregation program locked in before June 8, just in case Prop. 16 passed. The artificial deadline set by Pacific Gas and Electric Company was, frankly, forcing the city to get the best deal possible in a short time frame. And even an imperfect deal would have been preferable to losing out on CCA altogether.

But now that threat is gone, and the city has a little breathing room to negotiate -- and to nobody's suprise, the SFPUC, with Mirkarimi's full support, is taking advantage of it. CCA isn't dead; it's not "lights out." It's not even that far off schedule. If the PUC doesn't drag its feet, the program can be up and running early next year.

So there's no cause for alarm or panic. The city will probably get a better deal now, anyway.

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