Posts Tagged ‘CPUC’

A Small Protest Against Nuclear Power at the CPUC: PG&E’s Diablo Canyon and Earthquakes, Lundberg vs. Lomborg

Friday, April 15th, 2011

This was the scene yesterday AM at the CPUC building near McAllister and Van Ness.

Now, Jan Lundberg thinks we should shut down our nuclear panner plants, especially the ones near fault lines.

Bjørn Lomborg disagrees.

And there you have it:

Click to expand

Oh, Thank Goodness PG&E and the CPUC Will Let Me Pay to Opt Out of Getting a SmartMeter – Hurray!

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Now, one of these electricity meters four stories down is mine,* so of course I was extremely worried about the coming SmartMeter invasion.*

But now that I know that I can opt out of SmartMeters, I’m planning on spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to keep my old meter* (or get a new non-wireless meter, whatever.)

Can you imagine? I’ll certainly sleep better at night* knowing that I’ve played a role in reducing the non-ionizing radiation coming from the garage downstairs by about 2% during the few minutes a day that SmartMeters emit anything at all!

That means I’ll have more time to fret about all the other radiation sources what are killing me.

Hurray!*

*Not really

Decommissioning of Our Shut-Down Potrero Power Plant Starts Tomorrow, March 1, 2011 – Whither the Iconic Tower?

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Today, the old girl is sitting around waiting for the order to fire up to make you some electricity, should the need arise.

But tomorrow? Not so much. All the deets.

As I’ll remember her, chugging away heating up Warm Water Cove. Circa aught-seven:

And as she looks today, in front of the historic Sugar House (which is now a cleaned-up DHL warehouse). No more steam:

Good-bye, PPP.

The Cooling of Warm Water Cove – Lawyers Have Decided, So Our Potrero Power Plant Will Go Dark March 1, 2011

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Well, that’s it, after midnight on February 28th, 2011, Mirant (aka GenOn*) will no longer be contrackually obligated to have our iconic Potrero Power Station (aka Potrero Generating Station) standing by ready to power your hair dryer and charge up your sex toys and whatnot.

How Soon Is Now? Pretty soon.

Click to expand

Has Warm Water Cove cooled down yet? Most likely, since Mirant’s not heating it up anymore. From back in the day:

All the deets:

Potrero reliability must-run agreement (ER11-2218)

On November 30, 2010, Mirant, now known as GenOn, filed revisions to its reliability must run agreement for the Potrero power plant for the 2011 contract year. The agreement includes a new provision that allows the ISO to provide notice of termination during the contract year. All of the terms and conditions were negotiated and agreed to among the affected entities, which include Pacific Gas and Electric Company and the CPUC in addition to GenOn and the ISO. By letter dated December 21, 2010, the ISO provided GenOn with notice of termination effective January 1, 2011. Pursuant to the amendments, the termination of the agreement will be effective as of midnight of February 28, 2011. On January 19, 2011, FERC issued an order accepting the reliability must-run amendments. On January 25, 2011, GenOn filed notice of cancellation of its reliability must-run rate schedule effective February 28, 2011. Responsible attorney: Sidney Davies

*As fine a Michael Crichton made-up evil corporation name that you could hope for…

Nice Little Protest at the California Public Utilities Commission Foundation Last Night Marred By the SmartMeter People

Friday, January 28th, 2011

I don’t know, seems as if PG&E’s cozy relationship with the CA PUC would be the focus of any protest out in front of Clint Reilly’s building at 465 California Street last night, but the anti-SmartMeter people seemed to dominate.

Oh well.

Anyway, take it away, ABC7 KGO-TV’s Heather Ishimaru:

Pipeline safety is a top priority for two new public utilities commissioners and on Thursday afternoon, they promised change, but in the evening they sat down at a swanky dinner party with the very utilities they’re supposed to be regulating”.

The cops and the passersby and the SM people on California last night:

San Bruno Patch has all the deets.

But there was at least one guy out there who didn’t give a flying foxtrot about non-ionizing radiation:

“CPUC DOES NOT NEED CHARITY IT NEEDS TO DO ITS JOB”

Indeed.

This is ought to be fish in a barrel time…

PG&E Announces “Pipeline 2020,” A Five-Part Plan to Increase Safety of Natural Gas Transmission System

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

I don’t know, PG&E, this whole “Pipeline 2020″ initiative sounds like a job description for any entity that specializes in “ultra-hazardous activities,” you know, stuff like moving natural gas around.

But I guess you are saying that this will be a ten-year process. That’s my only take-away from your press release today. (Am I missing something? Were you going “well beyond regulatory requirements” back  before San Bruno as well? I mean, you and the CPUC are 100% responsible collectively – maybe there should be changes with how the CPUC deals with you as well? And you talk about “best practices?” What was your policy before? “Good enough practices,” perhaps? And who is going to pay for PL2020? The ratepayers, primarily?)

Anyway, let’s get started on this process then. Sounds like it’ll be a long road.  

A shot from the San Bruno aftermath from photographer David Yu:

PG&E Announces Pipeline 2020 Program for Enhancing Natural Gas Pipeline Safety and Reliability

PG&E Aims to Advance Industry Best Practices

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 12 — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced Pipeline 2020, a program with five areas of focus to strengthen the utility’s natural gas transmission system through a combination of targeted investments, research and development, improved processes and procedures, and tighter coordination with public agencies. Going well beyond regulatory requirements, Pipeline 2020 will augment a series of safety and reliability initiatives that PG&E began or expanded in the wake of last month’s San Bruno tragedy.

“Pipeline 2020 will guide PG&E in fulfilling our pledge to customers and the public to ensure the safety and integrity of our gas transmission system,” said Chris Johns, President, Pacific Gas and Electric Company. “PG&E will collaborate with state and federal regulators, industry and scientific experts, and local agencies to enhance our ongoing efforts to adopt industry best practices, invest in system upgrades and, where possible, advance the state of the art of gas pipeline inspection procedures and technology. Pipeline 2020 represents a substantial and long-term commitment of people and resources to restore confidence and trust in PG&E’s gas transmission system.”

The “five major areas” of PL2020, after the jump

(more…)

PG&E and Salvation Army Announce TEAF Hardship Program to Pay Your Utility Bill – Act Before September 21

Friday, August 20th, 2010

If you qualify for PG&E’s Temporary Energy Assistance for Families program and you apply in time, you can get your gas and electric bill paid courtesy of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - that’s the news of the day.

I’ll note that this joint will get pro-rated if you have non U.S. Citizens in your household only applies to households made up of 100% American citizens. So, if anybody in your crew is a resident alien or is document-challenged, then no TEAF for you. The skivvy:

“Multinational households may still be eligible for program benefits at a pro-rated amount. Customers who have at least one U.S. citizen residing in the home are encouraged to complete the application.”

All the deets:

“PG&E Sponsors New Energy Assistance Program for Customers in Need

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 20 — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced a new energy assistance program designed to help families in need.

The initiative, known as Temporary Energy Assistance for Families (TEAF), is a one-time payment program sponsored by PG&E and administered by The Salvation Army. This program, authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), along with PG&E customers, will provide up to $1,500 to income-qualified families who are unable to pay for their energy needs due to an unplanned hardship.

“We know that in today’s difficult economic times, some of our customers may need extra help with their bills,” said Albert F. Torres, vice president of customer operations at PG&E. “We believe this new program provides the perfect opportunity to give our customers additional support during their time of need.”

Customers interested in the program are encouraged to contact The Salvation Army for program details and eligibility guidelines, or they can apply at 1-800-933-9677. They can also visit www.pge.com/TEAF. Applications for assistance will be accepted until September 21, 2010.

In addition to the TEAF program, PG&E offers a host of other programs to assist customers. PG&E’s Breathe Easy Solutions(TM) help customers manage their energy costs when life brings financial challenges or unexpected changes. Additional details, as well as eligibility requirements and enrollment instructions, can be found at: http://www.pge.com/myhome/customerservice/financialassistance/.

Temporary Energy Assistance for Families (TEAF)

TEAF

We can help with your energy bill. You may be eligible for a one-time bill payment up to $1,500.

At PG&E, we are dedicated to assisting customers through numerous programs and community outreach projects. We’ll help you manage your energy costs, which can be helpful when there are financial challenges or unexpected changes in your situation. Together, we can find solutions.

Temporary Energy Assistance for Families (TEAF) is a one-time payment program sponsored by PG&E and administered by The Salvation Army. This program, authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and made possible with partial funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), helps income-qualified families who are unable to pay for their energy needs due to an unplanned hardship. Federal rules apply in determining eligibility in this financial assistance. Applications will be handled on a first-come, first-serve basis until program funds are depleted or until September 21, 2010.

NOTE: If you have received a 48-hour shut off notice, please call The Salvation Army at 1-800-933-9677

Program Guidelines

  1. The PG&E bill must be in your name.
  2. You must be a parent, guardian, or non-custodial parent of a child under 18 years old.
  3. You must provide copies of the following documents:
    • Your current PG&E bill with a past due amount.
    • Your current photo identification card.
    • Documents* verifying U.S. legal citizenship for each member in your household.
    • Documents** verifying that your total household income meets the income guidelines below.

*Examples of U.S. citizenship documentation: U.S. birth certificate, U.S. Certificate of Naturalization, or U.S. passport (first two inside pages).

**Examples of income documentation: Paycheck stubs; an unemployment insurance benefit award letter or check stub; proof of public assistance (i.e. CalWORKs); Supplemental Security Income (SSI) award letter or check stub; State Disability Insurance (SDI) award letter or check stub; current bank statement showing income deposits; or copy of your 2009 federal income tax return.

Income Eligibility Chart 

Number of persons in Household Annual Income
1 $21,660
2 $29,140
3 $36,620
4 $44,100
5 $51,580
6 $59,060
For each additional person, add: $7,480

Application

The federal government has established program guidelines and PG&E customers who meet these guidelines may be eligible. If you meet the requirements, download an application and mail it to the address below.

TEAF application (PDF, 1.1 MB) (English and Spanish)

All applications are being reviewed by The Salvation Army. Once your application has been processed, The Salvation Army will notify you with a confirmation letter. Mail your application with all documentation to:

The Salvation Army
TEAF Program
P.O. Box 193465
San Francisco, CA 94119-3465
Tel. 1-800-933-9677

We encourage you to share this information with relatives, friends, or neighbors who may also qualify. Together, we can find solutions.

California NUMMI Commission Offers Toyota No Carrots and No Sticks

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Here’s the thing about that NUMMI plant in Fremont that’s closing down at the end of the month – Toyota thought about making Prius hybrid electric cars there after the departure of General Motors, but then rejected that idea. So, Corolla production will  be taken care of by an existing plant in Ontario, Canada and pickup trucks, too, will be made somewhere else if necessary. This all got worked out last summer.  

(Here’s Toyota’s current take on the situation from NUMMI spinmeister Lance Tomasu for the record. Enjoy.)

Anyway right now, California’s Toyota NUMMI Commission is coming back from Japan after trying to nag Toyota brass into keeping the Fremont factory going. Take a look at their report. The Question of the Day is why Toyota should remain the only car manufacturer in the entire western United States.

So you’d think that California would offer some carrots and/or wave some sticks around at Toyota but the Commission’s not really equipped to do that all that much.

It’s not like they can’t find some carrots or sticks in their quiver, it’s that their quiver is pretty much empty.

According to the commission, the chance for Toyota to build hybrid electric Corollas in Fremont is somehow some big benefit to Toyota that Toyota is oblivious to. That’s not really a carrot, actually, and you’d think that Toyota would have their own ideas about making cars. Would consumers want to buy a “California Corolla” just because it’s made in Fremont? I don’t think so. Very possibly, Toyota having a big pickem-up factory in Texas helps sell big V8 pickem-ups, but the average Californian would prefer a Made In Japan label, it would seem.   

Another carrot the commission could dangle would be the synergy from making cars in the same state as tiny, troubled Tesla Motors. That’s not really a carrot either, huh?

Well, how about some sticks instead? What will happen to Toyota if it shuts down its money-losing plant in Fremont? Nothing, it would seem. One might suppose that quiet diplomacy would have been used on Toyota last year, to no avail.

Back in the day, down in Fremont:

   

via CanadaGood

Now, let’s read up on the news of the past weekend. Has Toyota really “lost its way?” No. Let’s see here, did Toyota make a mistake with how it handled the floor mat / plastic gas pedal parts / ?????? / issues? Yes, but that’s just a hiccup in the sands of time.

Is Toyota’s decision to discontinue production in California without GM as a partner “suicidal?” No. 

And is the success of the Prius model due to “enthusiastic Californians” or is it due to Toyota spending billions to develop the technology and then selling them at a loss for years and years? You Make The Call.  

And are the people of Mississippi looking forward to making hybrid vehicles for Toyota in a brand-new factory that’s going unused right now? Yes. Toyota decided last year to make Priuseses in Blue Springs, Mississippi instead of California. That’s California’s loss, no argument about that.

All right, here’s entire conclusion of the Blue Ribbon Commission’s report, in bold.

“The collaborative efforts of Californians, which have bolstered NUMMI’s success, are ongoing.”

Was NUMMI a success, really? Didn’t it lose money every year for the past quarter century? Yes.

“A ‘Red Team’ of state, local government, private sector and other officials have proposed significant tax and business incentives to retain the plant.”

Presumably, Toyota knows about this, but is not interested.

 “Closing NUMMI now is a decision of choice, not necessity.”

This is true. If Toyota were really afraid of the consequences of closing down NUMMI then maybe they’d run it at a loss, if necessary, forever.

“Closure abandons a loyal, highly-skilled workforce and places a heavy burden on communities and the state when they can least afford it. The decision is inconsistent with the values that have led Toyota to unparalleled economic success. It elevates narrow, short-term corporate interests above the interests of workers, the public and the long-term interests of Toyota itself.

Don’t really get this. Why should Toyota have a plant in California instead of some other state or nearby country?  

 “Looking at the pending NUMMI plant shutdown, and then you look at larger problems that Toyota is having in America” Richard Holober, from the Consumer Federation of California, told the NUMMI Blue Ribbon Commission.

Well, Toyota’s “having problems in America” primarily due to a decision to save a few pennies by using a plastic-on-plastic device to make holding your foot on the gas pedal a bit easier AND not reacting quickly enough to incident reports. This issue will get solved.

“I can’t help but conclude that this is not an isolated plant closure decision, but a symptom of a much, much deeper problem with what has happened to Toyota as a corporation.”

What has “happened to Toyota as a corporation” is that it’s become the best car company in the world. This was true last year, it’s true this year, it’ll be true next year.

“Akio Toyoda, the Toyota president whose grandfather founded the automaker in 1937, admitted at a February 24 Congressional hearing, “recently we haven’t lived up to the standards you’ve come to expect from us or that we expect from ourselves.” He also stated that one of the automaker’s great strengths was facing its mistakes and addressing them. The decision to close NUMMI reflects the period when the automaker pursued a hyper-expansion and abandoned its values in the interest of narrow, short-term financial goals.

“Hyper-expansion” = Making Popular Cars. “Narrow, short-term financial goals” = GM. Now, Toyota changed a bit after getting listed on the stock exchange in New Yawk, and Toyota has more hide-bound corporate culture than it probably needs but it’s doing all right overall.

“Toyota, however, has risen to outstanding heights by building its success precisely on strong core values. These included: 1) building only the highest quality vehicles; 2) customer safety first; 3) lifetime job security for its workers; 4) caring partnerships with communities; 5) concern for the environment. A very visible first step toward returning to this successful corporate ethic would be to keep NUMMI open, and show California and the world that the company has reached into its heritage to define its future.

I don’t know, Toyota participated in NUMMI during a time when there was a threat of massive tariffs being applied to cars imported from Japan. The 1981-1994 Voluntary Export Restraint plan of that era was a disaster for American consumers (and, speaking of “narrow, short-term financial goals,” the long-term health of the American automobile industry.) Something like the threat of massive tariffs on Toyota products would be a nice stick for the NUMMI Commission to wave about, but, for whatever reason, Toyota doesn’t seemed to be all that worried about that issue. 

“This is the moment for political leaders in Washington and Sacramento to address the closure. Millions of Californians are hurting in the worst job market in seven decades and are deeply apprehensive about the future. The most immediate, direct, and cost effective jobs program available is to keep NUMMI running.

There’s no question that keeping NUMMI running would benefit California. The question is why Toyota should lose money to finance an American stimulus plan?

“This stimulus plan delivers 25,000 jobs and could save $2.3 billion. The automaker and California would reap a triple bottom-line benefit: Toyota would restore its image and retain a world-class plant; workers and their families would make it through a dark economic winter; and California would get further down the road to economic growth and a green future.

O.K., the Blue Ribbon Commission is traveling home from Nagoya, Japan now.

Perhaps the their trip to Toyota City will prove useful even if the NUMMI factory shuts down on sked this month.

We’ll just have to wait and see what the Commission got.

A Well-Attended Meeting in Support of Community Choice Aggregation at Harvey Milk Club

Friday, March 5th, 2010

This was the scene the other day at the LGBT Center at a Harvey Milk Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Democratic Club meeting in support of Community Choice Aggregation.

Here’s a report from KPIX Channel 5 (if you can handle a commercial beforehand.) 

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, Supervisor David Campos, Carole Migden, Paul Fenn, John Rizzo, Chris Jackson, and Eric Brooks, among others, were all there:

The fight over Proposition 16 is hotting up, certainly.

Milk Club Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Town Hall Tonight at LGBT Center

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

San Francisco’s Harvey Milk Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Democratic Club is hosting a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Town Hall tonight at the LGBT Center on the corner of Market and Octavia. CCA is:

“a system adopted into law in the states of Massachusetts, Ohio, California, New Jersey and Rhode Island which allows cities and counties to aggregate the buying power of individual customerswithin a defined jurisdiction in order to secure alternative energy supply contracts. Currently, nearly 1 million Americans receive service from CCAs.”

The special guests will be Assembly Bill 117 (2002) author Carole Migden, District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, District 9 Supervisor David Campos and San Francisco Bay Guardian Executive Editor Tim Redmond.

The whole shebang starts at 6:45 PM: 

STOP the PG$E Power GRAB!

PG&E is spending MILLIONS of YOUR dollars in this June’s election to prevent Local Control and Community Choice regarding electricity rates & renewable energy!

Confused about Community Choice Aggregation & SF Clean Energy Program?

That’s okay! Former State Senator Carole Migden, author of the Community Choice Aggregation legislation, and many others will be at this special Milk Club PAC Forum to help explain these issues and show you how to educate our communities and take DIRECT POLITICAL ACTION!

This event is OPEN to the PUBLIC!

Please invite EVERYONE YOU KNOW to attend this SPECIAL FORUM and STOP PG&E!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010 @ 6:45 p.m.
LGBT Community Center
1800 Market Street @ Octavia
4th Floor Ceremonial Room

Special Guests Include:
Former State Senator Carole Migden, San Francisco
Supervisors David Campos & Ross Mirkarimi, San Francisco

Featured Presenters:
Paul Fenn, John Rizzo, Chris Jackson and Eric Brooks

Moderators:
MILK Club Political VP Linette Peralta Haynes
SF BAY GUARDIAN Editor-in-Chief Tim Redmond

Convener:
Tom Taylor, Milk Club Environmental Caucus Chair

HISTORY + ACTION = PROGRESS
Harvey Milk Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Democratic Club
Celebrating 35 Years of Progressive Political Action and Fighting for our Communities