Marin Energy Authority approves draft contract

Full story: Marin Independent Journal

Following a key vote Thursday night, the county of Marin and eight Marin municipalities have 90 days to decide whether to go forward with a plan to compete with Pacific Gas & Electric as a retailer of electricity in order to reduce Marin's greenhouse emissions.
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1 - 17 of 17 Comments Last updated Feb 6, 2010
Think Ahead

San Francisco, CA

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#1
Nov 6, 2009
 
This is an outstanding milestone and all the citizen advocates, staff, and board members of MEA should be commended for bringing the effort this far. What could be a better result for the community than: 1) greater freedom of choice in our energy supplies, 2) cleaner, lower-carbon energy supplies, 3) an option to go 100% renewable, and 4) the promise of local (and thus more secure and reliable) renewable energy development in the future. MEA is also a critical piece in Marin's effort to fight global warming and reduce greenhouse gases. This is the kind of effort we need to see all over the state and the nation.... BRAVO!
BayGal

United States

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#2
Nov 6, 2009
 
Charles- er, Think Ahead- you have Shell blood on your hands.
MarinHeart

United States

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#3
Nov 6, 2009
 
Oh what a scam. If all the money that's going to be spent were used to solar-panel & add small storage capacity for cloudy days, all the rooftops, with incentives to all the owners of homes & businesses, we would have point of energy for free. Just when we've realized there is a mega energy source in the sky, only this deal is what they come up with.
David Z Ross Valley

Ross, CA

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#4
Nov 6, 2009
 
This should definitely be put to a vote.$350 million? For what, a 10% difference in the total green sources of energy? This sounds like a fishy wasteful attempt at forcing the issue on Marin residents. I like the idea that this might pave the way for a more competitive energy market in Marin. But at what point would tax payers recoup the initial costs involved? I doubt very much that any new emerging competitor to PG&E will charge much of a discounted rate. It will either match the current rates or be higher(with the difference being subsidized with tax moneys) Also I have concerns about grid reliability in storm situations. Will PG&E still be responsible for maintaining and restoring power during outages? Also there are accountability issues...what a mess.
Power Guy

Gilroy, CA

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#5
Nov 6, 2009
 
Marin Energy Authority has used subjective criteria to select Shell for contract negotiation. MEA comment strongly suggest that Shell was not the low bidder for this contract. Unfortunately, the citizens of Marin are not allowed access to the bids and therefore can not evaluate MEA's judgments. That is an unfortunate situation. Much too little of the process is visible at public meetings.

A public debate is needed to clarify many things. Who is correct about the effect of MEA on AB32 compliance? Is moving from 51% clean energy (PG&E) to 25% renewable energy (or even the 26.5% renewable that MEA seems to be contracting for) a step in the right direction? Does "renewable" trump "clean" (that is, produced from non-CO2-generating sources - nuclear and large hydro included). If PG&E is correct, then MEA is a disaster. If MEA is correct, then it provides great benefit.

How will the Power Purchase Agreement contractor actually be selected? MEA says that the non-Shell bidders are not out of the running. Does that mean that all three of the most qualified bidders will be given a final opportunity to bid competitively and that award will go to the low bidder? Or will subjective criteria rule the day? The people do not know. And what will the effect of phasing of power purchases be? The initial contract will be only for about 20% of the expected load and that is all that the bidders would be bidding upon. The other 80% will be contracted for under Phase 2. The successful Phase 1 contractor will get another bite at the pricing cherry at that time. Will the contractor be tempted to employ a "buy in sick, get well" strategy when bidding for Phase 1?

The entire MEA formation process needs more daylight than it is getting.

Since: Sep 08

Novato, CA

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#6
Nov 6, 2009
 
Think Ahead wrote:
This is an outstanding milestone and all the citizen advocates, staff, and board members of MEA should be commended for bringing the effort this far. What could be a better result for the community than: 1) greater freedom of choice in our energy supplies, 2) cleaner, lower-carbon energy supplies, 3) an option to go 100% renewable, and 4) the promise of local (and thus more secure and reliable) renewable energy development in the future. MEA is also a critical piece in Marin's effort to fight global warming and reduce greenhouse gases. This is the kind of effort we need to see all over the state and the nation.... BRAVO!
Give me a break !! Your 'talking points' are pure rubbish and propaganda. MCE is a scam led by that Fraud McGlashin....this will cost tax players a great deal before it is abandoned....its 'green' exploitation of the tax payers with little benefit for the planet.
Chronicle Reader

San Ramon, CA

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#7
Nov 6, 2009
 
Thank You MEA, keep pushing hard. Finally a chance for change. Way to Go.
Jobs Now

AOL

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#8
Nov 6, 2009
 
Increasing access to oil and natural gas resources could generate nearly 160,000 new, well-paying jobs,$1.7 trillion in revenues to federal, state and local governments and greater energy security. And according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study, the U.S. oil and natural gas industry already supports 9.2 million American jobs and contributes more than $1 trillion to the national economy, or 7.5 percent GDP.

But it’s not just domestic oil and gas that will provide the jobs and energy our nation needs. Canada, our friendly neighbor to the north and top supplier of oil, will continue to play a vital role as we seek greater energy and economic security.

According to a recent CERI study, the economic impact oil Canadian oil sands development is expected to lead to 342,000 U.S. jobs between 2011 and 2015, and an estimated $34 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP)in 2015 and $42.2 billion in 2025.

Take action and let your voice be heard. Tell the administration and Congress to act now and put energy to work for Americans.

Send a letter to show your legislators you're concerned about the issues that impact America's energy future. You can also sign-up for the Partnership for America’s Energy Security by clicking on "Get Involved."

Contact the Administration and Congress
It is critical that the administration and members of Congress hear from you in support of expanding access to oil and natural gas resources—including energy supplies from Canadian oil sands.

America needs a comprehensive energy policy that includes energy from all sources. It’s clear that oil and natural gas are the lifeblood of the nation’s economy and are vital to our energy security---and this will be the case for decades to come.

Use the interactive tools below to send an e-mail to the administration and Congress and encourage them to move forward with oil and natural gas exploration and development.
Kevin

Lakeport, CA

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#9
Nov 6, 2009
 
Jobs now, are you an idiot? Energy from the sun will last a lot longer than a mere "decades to come" for the limited oil and gas we have left. What about the gerations of Americans and others around the world in say 100 years. Lets not forget we are just caretakers of our planet while we are alive and as such should approach consumption in a sustainable manner.
Green Consumer

San Rafael, CA

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#10
Nov 6, 2009
 
Jaysus - who the hooch is this Jobs Now guy? Must be a cousin of H. Ross Perot. Oil sand projects in Canada will be complete environmental disasters - the amount of energy and water (and greenhouse gas emissions) that it takes to refine that muck is unacceptable.

Marin Energy Authority is on the right track. Any amount of renewable power that they provide is an improvement over PG&E, because the reduction in power demand in PG&E's portfolio will come out of their natural gas-supplied power, not their hydro or nuclear (which provide base load). And with 100% renewable power available from MEA at a price differential of 7%(i.e., about $50 per year for the typical Marin customer) it should be easy to get customers to go all the way green.

And Power Guy - ask your questions at the MEA meetings. They're open to the public. Unlike the backroom deals that PG&E does with the PUC.

Since: Jun 09

San Anselmo, CA

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#11
Nov 6, 2009
 
This is a big milestone," said Marin County Supervisor Charles McGlashan. No Charley, the word is MILLSTONE! This is shaping up to be a BIG economic MILLSTONE around the neck of Marin's taxpayers! "McGlashan has estimated the savings in government penalties for the county and Marin municipalities could amount to $262 million." Sorry, Charley - that is a ridiculous assertion. What "greenhouse gas" spewing power plants located in Marin are we going to fined for?
"Weisz said the dozen companies that submitted bids in July all provided "indicative prices," but that those prices change quickly, like mortgage rates." And so, we now learn that MEA is getting in bed with the world's largest foreign PetroChemical conglomerate - because they won't promise, but provide "indicative" sales pitches that they MAY be able to be competitive with PG&E. Any Marin politician who has their fingerprints on this MILLSTONE around the taxpayer's necks - will ultimately destroy their political careers in this County - because there is NO question about IF this will work - only how BIG of a financial CATASTROPHE it will become before being ended.
Dystopia

Novato, CA

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#12
Nov 6, 2009
 
Get ready to open your wallets and close your eyes.
Rip Off

AOL

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#13
Nov 7, 2009
 
Just a giant rip-off of rate-payers and tax-payers utilizing the latest "feel good" go-green scam.
Martina2

Sebastopol, CA

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#14
Nov 7, 2009
 
I agree with a previous post that suggested an election on this issue. Who really believes that the energy we would get (and broker) through the grid with this MERA driven change, would be any more or less green that the energy we receive from PG&E today?
Disgusted

Pleasanton, CA

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#15
Nov 7, 2009
 
Shame Shame Shame
Signing a deal with Shell!
whatascam

AOL

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#16
Nov 7, 2009
 
The scam artists are at it again.
open4energy

Roseville, CA

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#17
Feb 6, 2010
 
Not only is this a diabolical scam by a Marin politician, and a potential financial nightmare to Marin residents, taking from PG&E and giving to a foreign oil company damages the jobs and clean tech innovation of the bay area.

PG&E may not be perfect, and I would like to hold their feet to the fire when it comes to producing clean energy, but this is no way to partner with them.

PG&e will be spending millions on technology, providing the jobs that Marin and Silicon valley need so much. This will take from our work, and potentially stifle the uptake of so many real clean technologies - and saving global energies.

Google "open4energy marin" and read our opinion, and details of the smart grid interview with Andy Tang of PG&E.

I call on every resident to opt out, and to encourage anyone who has any interest in green technology or reducing the global carbon footprint to do the same.

Shell, we have nothing against you as a company, but please do not come here and cherry pick our community.

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