Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pictures of Prop H Turbine Installation at PG&E HQ

Dear Supervisors & Mayor ---

We had 50 people attend today's Prop H wind turbine installation at PG&E's HQ and a half dozen media outlets.  The energy was high... and the people of San Francisco are so excited to see this level of renewable energy.  We thank those of you who are supporting Prop H... and are still deeply disappointed by those of you opposing.  If PG&E's $9.9 million misinformation campaign confuses the public from voting in their interest for a renewable and secure energy future -- we hope you will prioritize immediate next steps to build the SF renewable energy future we all need -- such as re-prioritizing all the work already underway for Community Choice.  We look forward to hearing from you about your next steps are. 

Aliza & Green Guerrillas Against Greenwash

For Immediate Release                                                                           Contact:  Aliza Wasserman 510-717-6599
PRESS RELEASE                                                                                    Wednesday October 29, 2008 

PG&E's record-breaking $9.9 million opposition to Prop H obstructing San Francisco's chance for renewable and cheaper energy

SAN FRANCISCO --  In front of PG&E's downtown headquarters at 77 Beale St. at Market, three twelve-foot wind turbines were constructed by citizens eager to see Prop H pass and begin a green jobs and affordable green energy future.   On Wednesday, October 29 from 12:00 to 12:30pm about 50 citizens wearing green hard hats and worker overalls descended on PG&E's headquarters and constructed the wind turbine art installations. PG&E provides the City with only 2% wind energy, and 1% solar, and has a total renewable portfolio of 14%, while Prop H would move the minimum renewable and clean energy mandate to 51% in a decade, 75% by 2030 and will maximize all available and affordable renewable energy possible by 2040. The City has already conducted a feasibiity study with Navigant Consulting, finding that the City can achieve 51% of its energy from efficiency and renewables in a decade - via Community Choice Aggregation - at rates that meet or beat PG&Es. That finding was used by the Supervisors to write Prop H renewable energy targets that are robust, pragmatic and affordable.

The polls must be tight.  No on H campaign finance records show that PG&E has spent $9.9 million to oppose H – which is the largest amount of money ever spent on a San Francisco ballot measure and more than any candidate campaign, according to SF Dept of Elections campaign records. PG&E had already spent $5.5 million on the No on H campaign by early October.  PG&E then paid for a poll of the City and within 9 days paid $4 million more to the No on H (made in two installments on 10/07 and 10/16). The Yes on H campaign has used only $61,059 and has relied on the extensive list of endorsing organizations and citizens to get out the word.  Over the last week, the Yes on H campaign has intensified its outreach – including a rally of hundreds of college students at SF State on Saturday and a No on 8/Yes on H rally with Assemblyman Mark Leno on Sunday.  

Prop H is the most robust renewable energy policy ever seriously considered in the country, and yet is more modest than Al Gore's recent call to America to achieve 100% renewable energy in a decade.  Prop H authorizes the City to achieve the renewable energy targets in the most cost-effective and pragmatic means necessary – including Community Choice Aggregation and public power – the latter of which generates wind and solar energy at rates that are 10% and 49% cheaper than private utilities' rates – according to the California Energy Commission ("Comparative Costs of California Central Station Electricity Generation Technologies," CEC 12/07).

VISUALS:   Workers in green hard hats and overalls constructed three wind generators and began to erect them – evoking the image of the WW II victory photo,  Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, illustrating the historic opportunity Prop H offers our country for secure energy.  The $9.9 million that PG&E has spent to oppose Prop H were visually depicted by ten large burlap sacks of money.   

WHO: Around 50 citizens from across the City volunteered their time for Prop H.  Many are members of the 35 community organizations endorsing Prop H, including Green4All, Greenpeace, SEIU Joint Council, Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, SF Tenants Union, SF Women's Political Committee, Global Exchange, Sierra Club, Green Guerrillas Against Greenwash, Urban Alliance for Sustainability, and Senior Action Network. 


About Prop H: 
Prop H directs the SFPUC to analyze the best way of achieving these renewable energy mandates.  If PG&E agrees to achieve these mandates at competitive rates they can remain the energy provider for the City.  If PG&E does not achieve these mandates, Prop H includes accountability mechanism by authorizing the Mayor and Board of Supervisors to work with the SFPUC to analyze the best mechanism for achieving these goals, including Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) and public power.  

About the Cost & Opportunity for Green Job Development From Prop H
Energy policy consulting firm Navigant Consulting researched CCA and confirmed that the City could attain 51% of its electricity from renewables and efficiency at rates that meet or beat PG&E's. Yet the City has not acted on this opportnity yet.  In California, wind power is 10% cheaper, and solar PV is 49% cheaper when generated through public power compared to privately generated power such as PG&E, according to the California Energy Commission's "Levalized Cost Report" released December 2007.  "Publicly owned plants are the least expensive because of lower financing costs," confirms the CEC. The data demonstrates this consistency for renewables as well as conventional combine energy that is 8% cheaper than PG&E's private rates.  

Over 4.2 million U.S. jobs could be created by 2038 if the U.S. electricity grid transitioned to 40% renewable energy, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors' New Green Jobs Report released on 10/2/08. Prop H is a major policy opportunity to start this national green job development (and explicitly directs the PUC to develop a comprehensive job development plan) which is seen as a huge economic opportunity during this economic crisis.  Nationally-renown green job proponents – including Van Jones of Green for All- are endorsing Prop H as a model policy for the country to follow.  Other green job endorsers include: Literacy for Environmental Justice, Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.

Prop H is endorsed by the SF Democratic Party, the SF Green Party and over 35 major organizations including the Sierra Club, SEIU Joint Council, Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, SF Tenants Union, SF Women's Political Committee, SF League of Conservation Voters, ACORN, League of Young Voters, Senior Action Network, and Global Exchange.  There are dozens of political leaders endorsing Prop H including Assemblymembers Mark Leno and Fiona Ma, Former Mayor Art Agnos, eight members of the Board of Supervisors, and five Board of Education Commissioners. Endorsing energy policy experts include Former SFPUC General Manager Susan Leal and nationally acclaimed professor Bill McKibben.  

More information about Prop H is at:

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