PG&E’s Lie of the Week

Pub date August 12, 2008

The mailer that arrived last week shows a bullet hole blown through a pile of money and urges voters to beware the Board of Supervisors’ $4 billion takeover of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. It was paid for by the "Committee to Stop the Blank Check, a coalition of concerned consumers, small businesses, labor, community organizations and Pacific Gas and Electric Company." PG&E, needless to say, is picking up the check for the campaign.

Nowhere does the mailer specify the legislation it’s attacking. Why not? Because the charter amendment is called the Clean Energy Act, a proposition mandating that the city pursue a comprehensive plan for 100 percent renewable energy. That plan may include buying or constructing an electricity distribution system — which is what PG&E is really fretting about.

"The only thing green about it is cost," the flyer says. "The fact is, this proposal is backed by many of the same supervisors who are trying to build fossil fuel power plants in San Francisco."

Actually, the Clean Energy Act was authored by Sup. Ross Mirkarimi, who consistently opposes burning more fossil fuel for energy and is against the city power plants.

PG&E, on the other hand, gets 41 percent of its electricity from burning fossil fuels and the company is not on track to meet the state’s meager mandate of 20 percent renewables by 2010. In fact, the company’s record is only getting worse: four new PG&E-owned fossil fuel plants are under construction — the Tesla plant in Alameda County, Gateway in Antioch, and two other facilities in Colusa and Humboldt.