Newsom Reiterates Opposition
to Renewable Energy Measure

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in Politics

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Published on July 23, 2008 with 12 Comments

By Luke Thomas

July 22, 2008

Mayor Gavin Newsom today confirmed his opposition to a November ballot measure that would, if approved by voters, advance San Francisco to a 100 percent clean renewable energy portfolio by 2040.

“I don’t support the public power initiative,” Newsom responded to Fog City Journal inquiry.

Defying expectations that he understands the severity of global climate change, Newsom said he has spoken “to real people on the streets” to arrive at his position. “I haven’t met one person who says ‘my gosh, boy, you really need to take over the power system in San Francisco’.”

Newsom, who maintains close ties with PG&E and is exploring a run for Governor said, “this is the wrong time” for “a public power initiative to take over PG&E” despite climate change warnings echoed by former Vice President Al Gore and PG&E’s fossil-fuel-heavy energy portfolio.

“I think it’s rather cynical way of branding it, ‘The Clean Energy Act’,” Newsom said.

Citing a recent speech by Gore, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who authored the ballot measure, warned Friday PG&E would spend “millions” to defeat any perceived threat to its monopoly.

“Al Gore just delivered a helluva speech two days ago,” Mirkarimi said, “which everyone is talking about, that this country is able to convert to renewables – a hundred percent renewable in the next ten years.”

“As long as PG&E’S there, that’ll never happen,” Mirkarimi added. “At this rate, PG&E will only abide by the bare minimums, the federal minimums, as stipulated by the Bush administration, and that is 20 percent renewable by 2017, and that is just god-awful.”

The legislation has the support of environmental and social justice organizations including the Sierra Club, San Francisco Tomorrow, ACORN, the San Francisco Green Party, the League of Young Voters, Green Action for Health and Environmental Justice, State Assemblymember Mark Leno, Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi, Aaron Peskin, Tom Ammiano, Gerardo Sandoval, Bevan Dufty, Sophie Maxwell, Chris Daly, former San Francisco Public Utilities Executive Director Susan Leal, San Francisco School Board President Mark Sanchez and other civic leaders.

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7x7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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