GP lawmaker works to power SF by solar & wind

Green Party lawmaker leads fight to provide half of power to San Francisco from solar, wind

SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. (April 20, 2007) – San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi – the Green Party lawmaker who last month pushed through a bill to make San Francisco the first city in the nation to ban plastic bags – co-introduced historic legislation here this week to require at least 50 percent of all the energy to the city be provided by solar or wind electricity.

If approved by the full Board of Supervisors next month, the ordinance for San Francisco’s Community Choice will be the first effort to implement a state law passed in 2002 which allows communities to withdraw from purchasing power from private providers (PG&E, in San Francisco’s case) and become a buying co-op known as a “Community Choice Aggregator.” 

The legislation calls for constructing wind, solar and efficiency projects with the goal of meeting over 50 percent of the city’s overall electricity demands through renewables by 2020.

“As long as this nation is disproportionately reliant on oil and fossil fuel technology, we stand vulnerable. San Francisco needs to mount a smart, energetic counterattack designed to protect our environment and safeguard against energy market fiascoes,” Mirkarimi has said.

The state’s Community Choice bill passed with help from Paul Fenn of Local Power. Fenn was also the main co-author and negotiator for the new San Francisco ordinance, introduced by SF Sups Mirkarimi and Tom Ammiano. The implementation plan was strenuously debated and re-written to reach its current form.

“The newest science on global warming shows that all industrial countries like the U.S. will need to cut our CO2 emissions by up to 90 percent in the next 20-25 years in order to avoid a global catastrophic climate collapse.  It is absolutely vital that the Board of Supervisors pass the Community Choice renewable energy project immediately,” said Eric Brooks, Co-Chair of the San Francisco Green Party Sustainability Working Group.

“We should hurry with implementing a way to get more renewable energy to San Franciscans and avoid siting polluting Natural Gas Turbines in southeast San Francisco, as is being considered, and making other mistakes we might need to live with for a long time,” said Don Eichelberger of SF Green Party Sustainability Working Group.

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