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Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Phase One of the CleanPowerSF Community Choice Aggregation Program for renewable power procurement within San Francisco has NO clean and clear - objective and less is convoluted.

At the recent so called Workshop #1 - it clouded the objective at hand - and further confounded those - that were expecting - some clear direction with less confusion.

Some of us have been trying our best to address Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) since 1999 - and did our best in 2002 to gather and decide what is best for San Francisco. City ballot measure in 2007 and trying our best - with all the hurdles brought in our way - to make some sense of the issue at hand - Community Choice Aggregation. The main word - "COMMUNITY".

In subsequent years we tried our best only for the lead agencies to let us down - too much talk and very little action.

Perhaps the only shinning star on the horizon at one time in the early 2002 was Edward Smeloff.

The then Assistant General Manager for Power Policy - who had a very clear idea - about Community Choice Aggregation and how best to implement it within San Francisco. 

As usually happen dirty politics with General Manager Susan Leal at the fore - forced Edward Smeloff out and brought in Barbara Hale - who is major is Philosophy - worked as a paper pusher at the California Public Utilities Commission - and has fostered confusion for the longest time ever.

It surprised us all that Barbara Hale and Susan Leal thought nothing of placing three Combustion Turbines in the Southeast Sector - closer to the then Martin Power Plant - further polluting the air - with fossil fuel - in 2004.

Barbara Hale and Susan Leal forced Karen Kubick to join them - to further this devious plan.

The community at large - sans the many who today want to foster Community Choice Aggregation within San Francisco - were not there to support the community - when help was much needed.

Karen Kubick is now playing a lead role - better suited to her talents - managing the Sewer System Improvement Project - she works for the SF Public Utilities Commission.

As I said that suits her well - and she does not have to lie, cheat, and try to bluff the community at large.Karen is a decent person and I have stated that to her and to those that need to hear that statement.

With the ouster of Edward Smeloff - by Susan Leal - who is now a consultant fro AECOM - who has a vested interest with the Sewer System Improvement Project  - a large void was created - minus a Manager for Power Policy.

At that time; our only saving grace  at  SF Public Utilities Commission meeting - understanding the concerns of the public at large - was Richard Skylar - who fully understood the situation at hand.

With the demise of former Commissioner Richard Skylar - San Francisco lost a decent, stellar man - who was educated on issues. A ambassador to Bosnia - sent there to help the Bosnians by President Bill Clinton. Commissioner Richard Skylar - was a former General Manager of the Water Department - and had a good understanding - of what come before the SF Public Utilities Commission - much as does - Commissioner Anson Moran and Commissioner Ann Moller Caen - with the history and issue that have come before the SF Public Utilities Commission.

Today Barbara Hale and a few other charlatans - aided by Juliet Ellis and her newly hire minions - are trying to push a model that they have NO clue about.

Less comprehend - and are confused what already had been discussed before - constantly changing the variables, moving the target - and trying to hoodwink the public at large.

At the last meeting they had no sense about the Resolution discussed - thought the workshop would move along smoothly - and did not even have copies of the Resolution - when they were requested for one. Ill prepared - with each one blaming the other.

Today, we have no person who truly understands Power Policy -  within the SF Public Utilities Commission. A person of the caliber of Edward Smeloff.

More one who can implement a Power Policy with a sound understanding of how to deal with the public at large - as did Edward Smeloff.

We witness one person - address some concerns - linked to Clean Power and Community Choice Aggregation - before the San Francisco Budget Committee.

This person purporting to represent some plan - but who dares not  say a word before - the SF Public Utilities Commissioners.

At the TransBay Joint Committee meeting - we had Robert Beck - the Project Manager of the Transbay Project - explain to the TransBay Board - the use of Hetch Hetchy Power and how that could be procured by the TransBay entity.

It does not matter that  - "we the people" did not hear a word about this at the SF Public Utilities Commission. Not until I revealed the fact - at the meeting held January 22, 2013 in Room 400 at City Hall.

While Robert Beck was selling the plan - he did mention the name Barbara Hale - but Barbara Hale did not step up to the podium to say a word.

Of course when Robert Beck speaks - be it that he knows little about Community Choice Aggregation - less its history - the TransBay Joint Board will listen. He is their premier Project Manager - the man at the helm of affairs. He once worked for SF Department of Public Works.

At the recent San Francisco Public Utilities Commission - we heard a presentation by Paul Finn - who attended our common meetings - to fathom and lay out a plan for San Francisco - once Sacramento had passed the law - empowering local agencies - to create Community Choice Aggregation Programs - incorporate Clean Power from Solar, Wind, Wave and address the pressing needs linked to - Climate Change.

There is no doubt that San Francisco has attracted many advocates, so called experts, other that have come to sell their snake oil - there has been a lot of talk and more at the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) - meetings.

Lots of hot air has spewed at the LAFCO meetings - and those hired have made hay while the sun shines.

I remember the old days when Supervisor Matt Gonzalez was the Chair of LAFCO.

Some of us for years - faithfully attended the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) meetings - but nothing much happened.

In recent year there was some movement when Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi was Chair - then suddenly - most everything - was in doldrums. 

We now have Supervisor David Campos who remote control wants something to happen. Supervisor David Campos means well - but that is the extent of his understanding of the situation at hand.

Right now the SF Public Utilities Commission has a Blue Print that permits the Shell Company to procure Clean Energy - at a rate that is somewhat high - but allows the SF Public Utilities Commission - to address the salient processes - with some stability and continuity.

Pacific Gas and Electricity is ready to sue any entity that delves into its profits selling energy or transmitting power.

Pacific Gas and Electricity backed by the California Public Utilities Commission  - continues to increase the price of our utility bills. PGE keeps selling us electricity - while at the same time - incorporating its model of Clean Energy - fostering what PG&E purports to believe - is healthy competition - confusing the public at large.

SF Public Utilities Commission with Juliet Ellis who knows very little about Community Choice Aggregation - worked on some drab survey that is a slap on the face - condescending - to those that live in District 9, 10, and 11 in San Francisco.

A survey which SFPUC dare revealed at  a Joint Meeting with LAFCO and the SF Public Utilities Commission - only for the Art Torres the Chair of the SF Public Utilities to ask those who produced this drab survey - to revisit the process - and produce a more detail, house to house interviews - amicable - survey.

It does not help that minions are hired - who have no clue about our history in San Francisco - pertaining to the Power Plants that we have shut down - "we the people".

The long history of over 60 years - when Pacific Gas and Electricity (PG&E) and subsequently Mirant - who bought and operated the Mirant Plant closer to 18th Street and 3rd Street - the Dog Patch District - polluted and bombarded the Southeast Sector - with dangerous particulates, lead, mercury - and more.

While folks like Michael Boyd, Lynne Brown, Maurice Campbell, Espanola Jackson, Francisco Da Costa, others fought hard and helped closed the Hunters Point Power Plant - corrupt folks like Sophie Maxwell, Linda Richardson, and others - took credit.

We did not hear Sophie Maxwell, Linda Richardson, Dennis Herrera the City Attorney who lives in Dog Patch openly oppose the placement of the Three Turbines - which we the people Espanola Jackson, Francisco Da Costa, Michael Boyd, Lynne Brown, Marie Harrison - forced the City and County to stay away from. Made no sense using added fossil fuel - to pollute the area that was already - very polluted.

Today, mostly those that pander to the City - are participating in some nonchalant manner - one particular individual pretending to represent several entities - he has nothing in writing from the many organizations he purports to represent - as he spews diatribe - at the many drab Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) - meetings.

His refrain that he represent other entities - falls on deaf ears - he says some but means nothing - and any sensible - adjudication.

At some opportune moment the Sierra Club and others will come and state some views - but these views are devoid of history, lacks participation when we the community needy their help; with the closure of very polluting power plants in the Southeast Sector.

Less a plan that has the blessing of the affected - community at large - remember it is Community Choice Aggregation. There is nothing dictatorial about this process - and again and again some one wants to shove stuff down our throat - just because they think  - they can.

There is only so much of the buffoonery that we the people can tolerate.

Bottom line - we the people - want to pay reasonable rates - in these dire economic times.

We want a provider that can operate the system, deliver a reliable product - and maintain and provide quick service - when there is a blackout - or stoppage - fast turn a around and resumption of service.

We the people are bewildered, confounded, confused - by charlatans pretending to know something - trying to sell us a product - and has not been described in detail - after all it affects - our daily - Quality of Life.

Can anyone worth the salt step up - adding - fuel to fire - we do not have a Manager of Power Policy.

One will be hired soon - but this will take time - and no one really cares  someone has dared put the cart before the horse of these many years - since the departure of Ed Smeloff. 

These buffoons want to control our lives - throwing arrows in the air - hoping against hope that these arrows - will hit some target.

In the interim - so one wants to include the community at large in the deliberations - thinking that we the people will pay - when some demands are made. If the majority decided to "Opt Out" - how will any program benefit this City and County of San Francisco.

We the people - need something in writing that is simple - to the point - creates a viable plan to address climate change and give our children a better - future.