Environmental Groups Laud City Action to Resume Work on CleanPower SF Program

Written by FCJ Editor. Posted in Energy, Environment, Labor, Land Use, Politics

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Published on December 16, 2013 with No Comments

cleanpowersf

CleanPowerSF logo.

From 350 San Francisco, SF Green Party, Local Clean Energy Alliance, Our City, Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council

December 16, 2013

Local environmental and community organizations today lauded the San Francisco Local Agency Formation Commission (SF LAFCo) decision last Friday to complete the unfinished clean energy build-out plan for the city’s CleanPowerSF program. The plan envisions San Francisco installing hundreds of megawatts of local clean energy projects and creating thousands of local jobs over the next decade. (See an analysis and jobs estimate at: http://www.localcleanenergy.org/files/CleanPowerSFJobsEstimate.pdf )

Adopting a motion proposed by SF LAFCo member and San Francisco Supervisor London Breed, the commission unanimously directed its staff to prepare a Request for Proposals (RFP) in order to take bids from clean energy sector contractors to complete the local build-out plan. Breed indicated that she now sees it as necessary for SF LAFCo to hire independent third-party experts outside of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to oversee CleanPowerSF planning.

Jed Holtzman, Co-Coordinator of 350 San Francisco, said, “Completing this plan will give us a solid roadmap to getting San Francisco running on 50% local clean electricity within ten years of launch. San Francisco simply can’t reach its stated climate, environmental, and energy commitments without a strong CleanPowerSF program, and we can’t afford more delay.”

June Brashares, a Steering Committee Member of the Local Clean Energy Alliance, said, “This is a very important move. A key piece of work that has not yet been done is the selection of actual sites all over the city for the installation of the hundreds of megawatts of local clean energy projects that will make up CleanPowerSF.”

Bruce Wolfe with Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council said, “The labor community has said to us that we must develop a completed plan that clearly shows the jobs potential of CleanPowerSF so that they can get on board. The SF LAFCo has now moved to give us that plan. This is a vital step for the clean energy and green jobs movement.”

Eric Brooks, Sustainability Chair with the San Francisco Green Party said, “This will complete the blueprint for San Francisco to lead the country to a Green New Deal on the scale of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs of the 1930’s, that ramped up community infrastructure and environmental conservation to create millions of jobs.”

Background

On March 31, 2013, SFPUC staff outraged community advocates by halting key work on the local build-out plan, which had begun in November of 2011. As in past years when the SFPUC has interfered with progress on CleanPowerSF, advocates sought intervention from the SF LAFCo, an agency that has intervened previously to take charge and resume work on CleanPowerSF when the SFPUC has either failed or refused to act.

On August 13, 2013, the SFPUC’s five-member mayorally-appointed commission further deepened CleanPowerSF’s difficulties when it indefinitely stalled the program using a procedural technicality, by voting 2-3 to refuse to set a rate ceiling for customers. Following this action, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a September 17, 2013 resolution (also drafted by Supervisor Breed) demanding that the SFPUC immediately comply with a 2012 Board action directing the agency to implement CleanPowerSF. When this was followed by three more months of inaction by the SFPUC, the SF LAFCo stepped forward with its December 13 decision to pursue RFPs to complete the local build-out planning.

Links & Contacts

Local Clean Energy Alliance:   http://www.localcleanenergy.org
June Brashares:  415-425-3733

350 SF:   http://www.350bayarea.org/350_san_francisco
Jed Holtzman:  415-828-3854

Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council:  http://www.hanc-sf.org
Bruce Wolfe:  415-658-5318

San Francisco Green Party:   http://www.sfgreenparty.org
Our City San Francisco:   http://www.ourcitysf.org
Eric Brooks:  415-756-8844

SF LAFCo hearing video:
http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=16&clip_id=18990