Let's face it - being 'green' is the new cool. But sometimes an ulterior, industry-driven motive lurks behind the 'green halo' that we trust in so-called environmental organizations. This blog is dedicated to keeping individuals and organizations who claim to be for clean, renewable energy accountable.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

NRDC - PG&E Love Fest

OK – this can no longer be called simple tit-for-tat. This is an out-and-out love fest between NRDC’s Ralph Cavanagh and Pacific Gas and Electric:

From a January, 2007 press release from PG&E:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Speaking today at the National Press Club, Peter A. Darbee, Chairman, CEO and President of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG) urged federal policy makers to take a series of actions aimed at accelerating the nation’s efforts to advance clean energy solutions and address global warming.

Darbee delivered his remarks during a ceremony at which Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) honored PG&E for the company’s long and ongoing track record of environmental leadership -- only the third such presentation that the NRDC has made in the group’s history. The honors were presented to Darbee by Ralph Cavanagh, senior NRDC attorney, and Devra Wang, Director of NRDC’s California Energy Program.

NRDC's Cavanagh explains in the release why he's in Washington, DC bestowing accolades on PG&E:

“PG&E sets the bar on environmental leadership for all utilities,” said Cavanagh. “The company’s industry-leading energy efficiency programs and its bold leadership on climate change at the state and federal level provide an example of how the actions of one company can make a significant contribution to protecting the environment.”

Wow, Ralph! That sounds great! Except when you go on to read what PG&E’s energy goals are (from the same press release):

Clean Conventional Generation:
· Drive new efficiencies in natural gas fired generation.
· Facilitate development of new supplies and infrastructure to get supplies to the market.
· Fund large-scale clean coal development and demonstration projects.
· Establish rules for carbon dioxide capture, transport and storage.
· Evaluate the future role of nuclear power in the U.S. energy supply.

Uh-oh. Looks like someone forgot to give NRDC the memo about how there is no such thing as clean coal. Or the memo about how nuclear has long term devastating consequences for our environment. Or that PG&E doesn’t exactly have the best reputation for putting the health and safety of the communities around its plants high on their priority list.

But then, we already knew that NRDC’s staff loses sleep at night worrying about how the natural gas utilities would keep turning a profit.

So, what we learn today is that NRDC is for coal fired power plants, natural gas, and nuclear power! And they are being so helpful to PG&E and the American Gas Association, pushing their agendas to get America’s energy policy makers on board.

Sounds to me like NRDC’s energy priorities are well-intentioned, but fatally flawed. Or is that being too kind?


Blogger Mary said...

Straight from the NRDC website……

“How to Reduce Pollution in Your Community”

“Ask your utility regulators to support the use of renewable energy sources and to adopt aggressive energy efficiency and conservation programs.”


September 18, 2008 at 5:11 PM

Blogger Solar Cali Girl said...

Yes, NRDC's motto could be "Do as I say, not as I do." They pat PG&E on the back for phony clean coal - giving them an award for it! - but then say something 100% different to their members. Which way do they want it?

Nationally, anti-coal advocates have been bitterly disappointed by NRDC's repeated decisions to cozy up with the worst offenders and strike "deals" that still allow coal fired power plants to be built. Check it out: http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/506/

But this blog isn't about NRDC. NRDC just happens to offer a more egregious example of how the Big Utilities have colored the 'environmental' movement in CA.

Remember, these guys don't have halos over their heads. You are welcome to think for yourself.

September 18, 2008 at 7:28 PM

Blogger Solar Cali Girl said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 18, 2008 at 7:28 PM

Blogger Solar Cali Girl said...

Just noticed the link to the article I referenced got cut off. Here it is:


September 18, 2008 at 8:12 PM


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