Community Choice Energy, Nick Stone Debates Fred Pierce and More From Around Town: San Diego Summarized | 10-29-18
This week’s summary starts with a look at the BFD that Mayor Kevin Faulconer pulled off this past Thursday when the city announced it was splitting with SDG&E to create a community choice aggregator power service.
Voice of San Diego’s Ry Rivard explained in detail why this move may ensconce San Diego’s mayor in the pantheon of renewable energy champions.
San Diego plans to form its own electric utility to provide green power across the city, a major step that makes the city a leader in the fight against climate change, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Thursday.
The city believes it can provide cleaner and cheaper electricity than the region’s long-time energy monopoly, San Diego Gas & Electric.
Just a few years ago, it was unthinkable for most American cities to abandon electricity that came largely from burning natural gas or coal. Now, the city expects almost all of its energy to come from the sun and wind within the next two decades.
City officials also hope that other San Diego cities, including Chula Vista, La Mesa and Carlsbad, will join with it, meaning the vast majority of people living here may soon have clean power. Solana Beach already decided to form a similar government-run power-buying agency.
“I want San Diego to lead this region into a cleaner future,” the mayor said in a statement announcing his decision. “This gives consumers a real choice, lowers energy costs for all San Diegans, and keeps our city on the cutting edge of environmental protection.”
By 2035, the city would sell what it considers to be 100 percent renewable energy. The city still plans to rely on natural gas as a backup power source when the sun isn’t shining and wind isn’t blowing.
A group of international scientists recently warned that if governments do not adopt policies to dramatically reduce fossil fuel consumption now, global warming will begin to spiral out of control, contributing to more fires, flooding, destruction and human migration than it already has.
I recently caught up with Sophie Wolfram, the director of programs at the Climate Action Campaign and discussed Community Choice Aggregation, as well as the report that Rivard referenced about the impending implications of our current trajectory.
San Diego’s move toward CCA is an important one. It paves the way for America’s Finest City to exceed the expectations set by California. By 2045, the state wants all power to come from renewable sources, whereas San Diego’s Climate Action Plan aims to hit that target by 2035.
Generating power from renewable sources is one vitally important component to the CAP, and while this move should be celebrated, there are other areas of opportunity to advance San Diego towards being a more climate friendly city. Transit oriented developments such as the proposed SoccerCity and SDSU West projects in Mission Valley offer a different, but no less important avenue towards cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Speaking of SoccerCity and SDSU West, the proponents of the two different plans met this past week and the California Western School of Law for a spirited debate. Nick Stone, SoccerCity’s project manager, and Fred Pierce who represented SDSU West took turns introducing their plans before the moderator Joe Tutino asked questions of the two and took questions from the audience.
In a room full of lawyers, the moderator did something I’ve never seen before. At the start of the evening’s program, he asked for a show of hands from the audience in an attempt to identify who had already decided what to vote for. Only a small handful of people raised their hands, indicating that the majority was undecided.
At the end of the evening, the same question was posed, and there was a significant shift in opinion. Listen to the audio above or watch the video below. No points for guessing who came away from this encounter better off.
Over the last few weeks, Sean Elo and I have spoken regularly to get the perspective of a first-time candidate in the last few weeks of his race. You can find the four episodes here.
There’s also this excerpt from the ever-excellent Voice of San Diego Politics Report:
During a contentious debate over the competing initiatives to redevelop the former Chargers stadium property, SoccerCity (Measure E) proponent Sean Duffy threw a crowd-pleasing zinger at Measure G.
The SDSU West plan on the ballot as Measure G, and opposition to Measure E, he pointed out, were being financially supported by developers Tom Sudberry and H.G. Fenton.
“And those are the people responsible for stopping two campaigns that are very important for you and I,” he said, before pausing and dramatically looking toward Jones-Wright and Montgomery, to make clear to which campaigns he was referring.
Sudberry and his family members have donated nearly $3,000 to Cole’s re-election bid. And Sudberry and Fenton are two of the top contributors to the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee, which sponsored a committee that spent over $200,000 to defeat Jones-Wright in the spring.
Ry Rivard also put together a great FAQ on CCA
And I talked to Jordan Beane about San Diego’s political landscape, particularly as it pertains to the District 2 City Council race.