Lease will not stop Wolff from moving
Before Oakland city officials start waiving their flags and patting themselves on the back for their efforts in extending the Athletics' lease for 10 more years, take note:
Don't for a minute think or believe A's owner Lew Wolff hasn't out-negotiated or out-strategized the city in these negotiations. Wolff is 79 years old. Simple math will have him at 89 years old if he were to honor the full 10-year lease extension. No way the Athletics will be here 10 more years if the next better opportunity presents itself to Wolff. He will be out of Oakland before you can blink. And leaving Oakland (once again) holding the bag.
A new ballpark is on the top of Wolff's bucket list. No lease nor city obligation will be getting in his way.
Bill will give PG&E even more power
On June 3, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors took the first step to create a community choice energy program. The county and those cities that join would deliver power chosen by the community at competitive rates.
It would create local jobs by providing energy-efficiency upgrades and installing local renewable energy.
Community choice aggregates proposals are springing up across California, spurred by our need for competitive choice and its benefits. The power would be cleaner than PG&E's.
However, AB2145 (Steven Bradford, D-Gardena), if approved, would require people to sign up one by one. Too few people would take the trouble.
No new community choice aggregates would have the critical mass to start. This bill is an attempt to eliminate your choice and entrench PG&E's monopoly.
Please urge your state Senator to vote no on AB2145.
Must kill stealth bill on energy choice
Kudos to Matt O'Brien on his excellent coverage of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors' decision to fund a feasibility study to take advantage of the most powerful tool available for local governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
That tool is a program called community choice, enabled by California legislation that allows communities to work together to contract for renewable energy to be transmitted through the usual grid.
Particularly valuable was the information about the threat to the program, which is supported by PG&E. AB2145 is a piece of stealth legislation with a poison pill that would effectively prevent new community choice programs from forming.
These programs provide local jobs and take advantage of the renewable energy right in our neighborhoods.
The systems of government at the national and, to a lesser extent, the state levels are broken. AB2145, the offending bill, needs to be defeated in order for local government to fill the leadership vacuum.
Contact your local state Senator and urge a no vote on AB2145.
Energy choice must be cottage industry
Matt O'Brien's article on Community Choice Aggregation was unclear on a least one important consideration.
Would the proposed power agency actually pay cash for power provided by private solar collectors?
O'Brien states in the article that "those who plug their solar panels into the grid get more money back than they do from PG&E's program."
In fact, PG&E refuses to pay citizens any cash for their solar power. PG&E only repays them with power in kind.
If we want to make the optimum difference with rooftop solar collectors, as well as parking lots and other wasted sunny spots in our built environment, we need to turn solar collection into a cottage industry.
People need to be able to make money they can spend on other things than just energy from their solar panels.
People who don't use a lot of energy should be encouraged to install solar collectors for profit.
If the proposed Alameda County power authority would allow citizens to install solar collectors and sell power for profit, the proposal will be well worth the effort.
Alameda County needs more cottage industries, especially those that promote renewable resources.