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.

Monday, September 8, 2008

PG&E vows to yank funding to enviros who support clean energy measures

I’ve spent a great deal of time on this blog trying to illuminate the connection between Big Utilities and the actors opposing Proposition 7, including the state’s democratic and republican parties and a few big environmental groups. While I think the evidence I’ve unearthed so far is overwhelmingly suggestive of a tit-for-tat relationship, in which the enviros speak for the needs of the Big Utilities as if it were their own in exchange for financial sustenance, I re-read an old Beyond Chron article today and nearly fell off my seat when I read this:

“PG&E and its fellow electric utilities systematically subvert all legislation that would increase clean energy generation. Then they throw their hands in the air and say there is no clean energy to be had in the market, so they can’t meet their goals. Their executives even go so far as to threaten donations to the community should these initiatives pass. In June before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, PG&E’s manager of government relations, Brandon Hernandez threatened financial blowback for the community should the Clean Energy Act pass, “We no longer will be contributing to San Francisco’s non-profits and service organizations.”

If PG&E is threatening to yank funding to community (including environmental) groups over a city-wide initiative to mandate a higher threshold for electricity that comes from clean energy sources, I can only imagine the conversations PG&E, Edison, and Sempra had with the enviros and democratic party that got them to oppose Proposition 7 before it was even assigned a number. I think the $27.5 million they poured into the opposition coffers gives us an idea.

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Blogger Greg said...

You're confusing two measures. Measure H, as written is using the cloak of "clean energy" to allow the board of supervisors to issue billions in revenue bonds without a vote of the people to take over a private utility.

"Clean energy" as written in Measure H is defined simply as "non-nuclear" power - creating a loophole for diesel, natural gas, or other fossil fuels to be used, despite what the title of the measure says.

Also, PG and E donates a significant amount of money as a private company to various charities. If it is taken over by the City, then it would not be able to make the same level of donations to groups, or pay taxes, since the City would take over its operations and PG and E in SF would no longer exist.

Clean energy is a great goal - but Measure H as written is not as much about "clean energy" as it is about a poorly written take over of the power system by the Board of Supervisors.

September 8, 2008 at 9:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry, "Solar Cali Girl" has only one interest, attacking environmental orgs. Truthiness.

September 9, 2008 at 11:49 AM

Blogger Solar Cali Girl said...

The original intent of this blog was to find out what's up with the opposition to Prop. 7. The fact that the research I've uncovered - all of which is grounded on readily accessible articles and websites (i.e. the Secretary of State) keeps unveiling deep personal and financial ties between environmental groups and the Big Utilities no doubt has some of those environmental groups feeling a little defensive.

September 9, 2008 at 4:37 PM

Anonymous bernardo said...

Supporters of the statewide Prop 7 and San Francisco Measure H seem to be different, but both efforts are being challenged by PG&E. In the case of Prop 7, the enviros being criticized on this blog are outrightly opposed; whereas on Measure H they seem to be remaining silent. (Note that San Francisco LCV seems to be supporting Measure H but doubtful that statwide LCV will weigh in, especially in light of conflicts exposed on this blog). Sadly, there are far worse conflicts of interest between the utilities and the elite enviros than what Solar Cali Girl has shown so far.

September 10, 2008 at 5:33 PM


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