Thurs 7/12 – Saying goodbye to “King Coal” – 4 fast actions.

First, if you haven’t made an FCC comment yet…

Today is the deadline. Go here and do it. This will take you less than 5 minutes, there’s lots of examples to crib from, and it is a foundational action for our democracy.

As a “thank-you” here’s a  short “truth-in-humor” break before we hit the actions…

Action #1 – State action – “NO” on AB-813 – Not a good deal for CA, may be a very good deal for the coal industry.

“This is the same bag of goods that was sold to Californians in the late 1990s, when Enron swooped in and took advantage of this speculative market,” said Jaimie Court of Consumer Watchdog, a Los Angeles-based advocacy group.

AB-813, Grid Regionalization passed the Assembly and  is heading back for it’s 2nd vote in the CA Senate. Cooler, rational heads to to stop this before the finish line.

Lot’s of contention and good environmental groups on both sides. However, in the spirit of being careful of what we wish for, we are swayed by the arguments sent from the Sierra Club Director to our local leader Jim Hines (read full text here)(read official letter here) , this analysis by Indivisible SF and this from FoodandWaterWatch.org.

It seems CA has a lot more to lose than to gain, including the loss of over a 100,000 good jobs. Giving over control to a Federal Agency invites Trump into overseeing our energy production and spinning the energy mix to help coal. He’s already imposed harmful tariffs on solar panels. More “help” from him, we don’t need.

The bill:

  • would cost Californians more for our energy
  • would prohibit progress of our community choice (CCA), which are providing local renewable energy
  • would hurt victims of the recent fires in California by releasing liability of Investor Owned Utilities like PG&E.
  • would cause us to import dirty energy like coal power from neighboring states.
  • would cede local control of CAISO (California Independent System Operator) to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  This puts us at the mercy of Trump, who would be in charge of appointing the majority of FERC commissioners. He is not a fan of CA and he IS a big fan of coal. Not clear if we could leave once we get in.
  • would result in the loss of 110,000 jobs in the energy sector in California.
  • could result in “resource shuffling” between coal-heavy or natural gas power companies to extend the life of their plants at the expense of our renewable energy.
  • could help keep these old plants alive longer,causing more localized air pollution with human health and planet-wide impacts.

“We can do better than this…”

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and am also a member of Indivisible __. I am calling to urge the Senator [___] to vote against AB-813. (If your senator is Hannah-Beth Jackson, thank her for voting “NO” on this in the Senate Judiciary committee.)

Contact:
State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson: (SD-19): SAC (916) 651-4019, SB (805) 965-0862, OX (805)988-1940
Not your state senator?:findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov.

Action #2 – “Yes” on H.R. 3671 – Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act

children

Tulsi Gabbard’s H.R. 3671 – Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act requires America to transition away from fossil fuel sources of energy to 100 percent clean energy by 2035. As we’re writing this during the hottest summer on record, it seems ridiculous we actually have to legislate this, but we do.

Check here if your representative has cosponsored this. (Carbajal has, Brownley hasn’t yet.)

Minimal Script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep. [___] to cosponsor H.R. 3671 – Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act.

Contact:
Rep. Julia Brownley: (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
or Rep. Salud Carbajal: Thank him at his email.
Other Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com

Action #3 – “No” to forced purchases of coal and nuclear based power.

2 to 2.5 jobs

The administration is using the “Defense Production Act”, a rule for wartime, to force utilities to buy some of their power from inefficient, outdated and environmentally dangerous coal and nuclear power plants in order to keep these industries solvent. This follows a failed previous attempt to create a rule to subsidize plants stockpiling 90 days of fuel.

This order contradicts the Department of Energy’s own staff report that grid reliability is improving and that both nuclear and coal plants were forced to shut down in extreme weather last year. (Take an “irony moment” here.) This regulation would not only impede conversion to green energy, but would also be more expensive for us, the consumers, and perpetuate the savage health issues of those who work in the coal industry. The American Petroleum Institute called the administration’s plan “unprecedented and misguided“.

Minimal Script: Hi, I’m calling from [zip code].  I’m hear that Trump is trying to force energy system operators to buy electricity from dying coal plants.  I’m tired of this administration forcing localities to support energy practices that are outdated and bad for us. Climate change is real, and we need to be putting all of our money and policy energy into clean, sustainable energy. Not coal. Thanks.”

Contact:
U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry: email or Phone: 202-586-5000 or Twitter: @ENERGY, Mailing address: U.S. Department of Energy 1000 Independence Ave., SW Washington, DC 20585

Action #4 – Industry actions!

Verizon

Call 212-395-1000 and leave a message for the board of directors using the following script: “Hello, My name is               (and I’m a Verizon customer). I am very concerned about Verizon’s contribution to climate change. I want you to commit to using 100% clean energy by 2025. T-Mobile has already committed to using 100% clean energy and AT&T recently committed to purchasing 30% of its energy from renewables. Verizon is lagging behind its peers and needs to stand up for the planet and commit to purchasing 100% of its energy from clean, renewable sources like wind and solar. Thank you and have a great day.”

AT&T 

Call 210-821-4105, press 7 for Executive Offices, then 2 for a consumer complaint. You will be put on hold. Once an operator is available, you can use the following script: “Hello, My name is _______ (and I am a AT&T customer) and I am very concerned about AT&T’s contribution to climate change. I am very glad that AT&T has recently committed to purchasing 820 megawatts of wind energy, however, this does not go far enough. AT&T needs to make a commitment to purchasing 100% of its energy from clean, renewable sources like wind and solar by 2025 to curb its climate impacts. Thank you and have a great day.”

Background/Resources:

  • How big is coal mining compared to other occupations? (Politifact)
  • Coal Jobs Have Gone Up Under Trump, But Not Because Of His Policies (npr)
  • Donald Trump has only delivered 1,200 coal-mining jobs, despite claiming to have created 45,000 (newsweek)
  • Analysis of AB 813 by Indivisible SF
  • California’s dream of a regional power market faces the risks of a Trump FERC: Can a proposed regional plan’s protections for state policy be trumped by federal authority? (wapo)
  • California Should Not Risk Its Clean Energy Future on Extreme Strategies (Sandiegofreepress)
  • San Diego 350 Climate Change Action Group (sandiego350.org)
  • Sierra Club position paper. (sierra club)

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