Flak, propaganda, public relations, political campaign messaging -- there are a hundred names for what millions of dollars of broadcasted lies can do to public memory. We are going to get another dose of it this spring in the Proposition 16 campaign, the purpose of which is to make it practically impossible for any local government to establish a public power utility.
If, however, the public can manage to hold onto enough sanity to remember that distant time nine years ago, known as the Energy Crisis of 2001, people might recall noticing that the localities served by municipal power utilities did not experience nearly as much disruption of electricity services as did the areas served by Pacific Gas & Electric Co.,Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric. To keep energy flowing that year, the state spent down its $12 billion surplus to a multi-billion deficit buying long-term energy contracts and has been in debt ever since. Now the creators of the deregulation of utilities in California want the icing on the cake -- no possibility of any future competition from municipal power.
Prop. 16 stinks.
Badlands Journal editorial board
Northern California Power Agency
NCPA Commission Opposes Proposition 16
Cites Risk of Increased Costs and Decreased Power Reliability for Consumers...Alex Leupp
(Roseville, Calif.) – The Northern California Power Agency (NCPA) Commission announced today its formal opposition to Proposition 16, the proposed “New Two-Thirds Requirement for Local Public Electricity Providers” that has qualified for the June 2010 California Primary Election ballot. The measure would require multiple two-thirds votes for any public power utility to expand electric service outside of its existing territory, or, potentially even to build new generation and transmission facilities outside of its territory to serve existing customers. The Commission joins five NCPA member City Councils – Lodi, Lompoc, Palo Alto, Redding and Roseville – that have passed their own resolutions opposing Proposition 16.
“The big losers under this measure are California consumers – especially, from our perspective, public power customers throughout the state,” said Larry Hansen, Chairman of the NCPA Commission and Lodi City Councilman. “This measure is about protecting PG&E’s monopoly to the detriment of customers and ratepayers. Passage of Proposition 16 would negatively impact NCPA member utilities’ ability to provide Californians with reliable and affordable electricity, and would severely restrict economic development at a crucial time for our State’s economy.”
Under Proposition 16, utilities that failed to reach the two-thirds voter threshold to acquire conventional sources of generation could be left with little choice but to purchase electricity only from renewable sources – typically at higher cost with less reliability. In addition, Proposition 16 would prevent publicly owned utilities from expanding to serve newly annexed areas unless a two thirds vote was obtained from both the current residents and those living in the newly annexed area. This would make it more likely that cities would be served partly by municipally owned utilities, and partly by investor owned utilities at higher rates. As a result of these impacts on NCPA customers, communities and member utilities, the NCPA Commission voted to oppose the measure.
About Northern California Power Agency (NCPA)
NCPA, located in Roseville, California, is a joint powers agency providing clean renewable energy to its 17 member communities and districts in Northern and Central California. Founded in 1968, NCPA owns and operates several power plants that together comprise a 96% emission-free generation portfolio.
Members of NCPA
Alameda Municipal Power
Bay Area Rapid Transit District
City of Biggs
City of Gridley
City of Healdsburg
City of Lompoc
City of Palo Alto
City of Ukiah
Lodi Electric Utility
Port of Oakland
Redding Electric Utility
Silicon Valley Power
Truckee Donner PUD
Turlock Irrigation District
San Francisco Chronicle
UTILITIES...David R. Baker
PG&E Corp. plans to spend $25 million to $35 million on a California ballot initiative that would limit the ability of cities and counties to go into the public power business, the company reported Friday.
PG&E Corp. is the parent company of the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. utility, which is fighting efforts by Marin County and San Francisco to start their own power agencies. Proposition 16, on the June 8 ballot, would force any local governments that want to establish electrical service to win the approval of two-thirds of their voters first.
MID opposing Proposition 16
The Merced Irrigation District board of directors passed a resolution Feb. 16 to oppose Proposition 16, which would severely restrict the district's ability to sell electricity to new customers, MID said a statement.
The proposition would create a constitutional amendment forcing public utility companies, such as MID, to receive a two-thirds vote from the electorate every time it wanted to expand its customer base, according to MID.
"This is not just about preventing public agencies from getting in the electric service business; instead it is about limiting individual options and customer choice," said Wil Hunter, MID's board president. "The public has a right to know, and the board resolution is one step in this direction."