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PaloAltoGreen to flicker out, shift focus on gas

Original post made on Sep 10, 2013

PaloAltoGreen is dead, long live PaloAltoGreen! So the City Council declared Monday night as it pulled the plug on the nation's most successful green-energy program and vowed to bring it back under a different guise.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, September 9, 2013, 11:30 PM

Comments

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Posted by Debra Katz
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 10, 2013 at 9:31 am

Visit the City website at www.cityofpaloalto.org/pagreen for more details! Interested people who are not current members of PaloAltoGreen can click on a link there to be added to an email update list...then we'll keep you posted as things develop. (Or you can send a request to be on that list directly to paloaltogreen@cityofpaloalto.org)

Debra Katz
Utilities Communications Manager
City of Palo Alto
debra.katz@cityofpaloalto.org


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Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 10, 2013 at 9:49 am

"development of a PaloAltoGreen Gas program would provide participants an option to eliminate the greenhouse-gas emissions associated with their use of natural gas."

Which laws of physics are they going to rewrite to accomplish this? Burning natural gas produces one CO2 molecule for each gas molecule burned regardless of what the city council or UAC decree.


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Posted by Judith
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 10, 2013 at 11:07 am

Does this mean we won't be charged our PAGreen surcharge any more, or is it going into another fund?


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Posted by E.S.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 10, 2013 at 11:13 am

I hope that supporting natural gas will exclude any gas that comes from fracking.


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Posted by Debra Katz
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 10, 2013 at 11:16 am

I imagine "curmudgeon" has not bothered to read the report to the Council before making his/her comments. But for those who might be legitimately wondering...

Although staff has just begun the process of researching program design, the likely PaloAltoGreen gas program would involve participants supporting the purchase of some kind of "carbon emmission offsets" in an amount equivalent to the emmissions associated with their natural gas use.

For details, read the full report linked from our website (www.cityofpaloalto.org/pagreen) and/or ask to be on the update email list so you hear right away about program developments.


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Posted by Debra Katz
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 10, 2013 at 11:21 am

To Judith, and other with a similar question:

Correct, residents will not be charged your PAGreen "surcharge" or premium effective today.

As a current PAGreen member you do not need to take any special action at this time. You will receive in the mail (probably by the end of next week) a packet of information with more details and our website has more info as well: www.cityofpaloalto.org/pagreen

You also can direct questions to program staff at paloaltogreen@cityofpaloalto.org

And of course, I'm always happy to correspond directly with people on Utilities issues.

Debra Katz
Utilities Communications Manager
debra.katz@cityofpaloalto.org


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Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 10, 2013 at 12:05 pm

"But for those who might be legitimately wondering... "

Carbon emitted is carbon emitted. Buying indulgences may salve the consciences of the gullible, but the carbon stays in the atmosphere.

"You can fool some of the people all of the time..., but..."


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Posted by Becky Sanders
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 10, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Debra Katz knows her stuff and having worked with her on some projects, I have seen Deb's dedication and passion about the need to balance environmental concerns with the existing infrastructure while looking for new pathways to clean energy. And Deb invites youth input as seen by here work with the Media Center's Youth Video Corps. The Carbon Offset debate is a good one with both sides having legitimate positions. The trick is to get the polluters to pay more and have these funds be used directly to cover the costs of research and innovation. It doesn't always work out that way, but that's the concept. I wish we could shut off smoke stacks overnight, but realistically it ain't gonna happen. We need to keep challenging ourselves to overcome these obstacles to consensus and work together to solve these terrible problems we and our foreparents have set us up for.


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Posted by Becky Sanders
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 10, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Oh and here's a short video, the Media Center produced with the Utilities about this very topic!

Web Link


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Posted by Becky Sanders
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 10, 2013 at 12:44 pm

And another thing... when are you great people over at the Weekly going to make it impossible to post anonymous remarks? This is not the secret ballot, but a public forum and it's kind of yucky when folks can say whatever they want without fear of being unmasked. Armchair powerhouses! And you could give yourself a break from removing objectionable content, and let the words stand and the person who says them, stand by them. My 1.3 cents worth! Thanks for reading! Love ya!


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Posted by Garden Gnome
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 10, 2013 at 1:30 pm

The real concern:

Will PaloAltoGreen customers still be permitted to keep their lawn signs proudly signifying participation?


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Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 10, 2013 at 1:31 pm

"The trick is to get the polluters to pay more and have these funds be used directly to cover the costs of research and innovation. It doesn't always work out that way, but that's the concept."

" ...allowing customers to pay extra to get more of their gas supply from clean sources."

Polluters pay more to pollute, and wannabe non-polluters pay more to be "clean." The mind boggles, and the money goes round and round. Maybe that money is the real point of all this.

Meanwhile, the CO2 PPM goes up and up.

You're on, "Becky Sanders." Prove your identity. For my part, I can easily prove that I'm a curmudgeon.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 10, 2013 at 4:07 pm

We don't need to prove our identities even to vote in City elections, do we?


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Posted by Debra Katz
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 10, 2013 at 4:09 pm

RE: YARD SIGNS

Of course you may keep displaying them...these signs weren't a loan but a gift from your grateful community-owned electric utility!


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Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Sep 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I never understood the rationale for charging people more to do the right thing.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 10, 2013 at 6:38 pm

>Instead, the new PaloAltoGreen will focus on natural gas. According to the report, the "development of a PaloAltoGreen Gas program would provide participants an option to eliminate the greenhouse-gas emissions associated with their use of natural gas." The program would be "substantially similar" to the electric program, allowing customers to pay extra to get more of their gas supply from clean sources.

Huh?! A major source of carbon-free power is nuclear. Major hydro destroys wild streams, and is not recognized as a renewable source of power by the state of California. Is Debra Katz saying that she supports nuclear power?


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Posted by Silly
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 11, 2013 at 11:00 am

I'd like to see the Utilities Dept. break out their marketing costs for their surveys, contests, gifts, apps. separate mailings, statement stuffers, etc. etc.

When you've got a captive audience, it seems ridiculous to spend this much on marketing to us when we have NO place else to go.

I'd dearly love to see the Utilities Dept. concentrate on providing cost-effective services, not the never-ending marketing barrage.

How much do these mailings and surveys cost?

I'd like to see them offer vacation stoppage rebates for trash pickups.


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Posted by Theft
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 11, 2013 at 11:30 am

Someone keeps stealing our "gifts" from our front yard ( we do not have a lawn, we have a drought-resistant front yard).


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Posted by Doug
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 11, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Thanks for the article Gennady.

Debra Katz, thanks very much for reading and responding to the comments.

The PA Green program was a great success. From some of the above comments, more education is needed to clarify what it means for a resident to use greener kwh's and therms.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 11, 2013 at 3:16 pm

>more education is needed to clarify what it means for a resident to use greener kwh's and therms.

What does that mean?


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Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 11, 2013 at 4:40 pm

"What does that mean?"

Succinctly: scam. CPAU appears to be pushing vanilla natural gas-generated power, like that Moss Landing has been producing for many years, as premium green energy for a premium price.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 11, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Just in case someone thinks wind energy is the answer, please check out the slaughter of eagles:

Web Link