The San Diego City Council is expected to decide early next year whether the city should part ways with San Diego Gas & Electric. If so, the Council would create a new government agency to buy energy for its 1.4 million residents.
There’s lots of technical stuff to sort through, like deeply nuanced projections about the energy market. But the decision is also a gut check for San Diegans about which entity they trust more – or at least which they hate less: the government or the power company.
Do people trust city government to keep the lights on and rates down? The city nearly bankrupted itself not that long ago, couldn’t quickly answer 911 calls and once stupidly agreed to buy up tickets for professional football games that people didn’t want to attend.
Or, do people want a break from SDG&E? The company’s prices skyrocketed as part of the statewide energy crisis, still has some of the highest rates in the country and helped burn down part of the county a decade ago only to expect its customers to foot the bill.
In other words, expect a massive airing of civic grievances.
San Diego is among dozens of local governments across California that want more control over energy sold within their borders, largely in hopes of fighting climate change.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
So we are supposed to trust a city government that still can't pay its pension debt, and has in the past agreed to foolish deals both for a stadium and for its own budget? For everyone who lives in the real world, past performance is a strong indicator of what to expect in the future. To my knowledge neither the city council or mayor's office has experts on buying and selling power, how are they supposed to know enough to make this decision? Other cities and even states, California being one of them, have tried this and gotten burned badly. The city's performance on a wide range of issues does not fill me with confidence that they can manage such a complex venture.
@Bruce Higgins Mr.Higgins, Wait until you see what happens if the state supreme court rules in favor of San Diego city employee unions suing over the changes made to the pension plan for new hires. There are some 3000 hired since that went into effect still on the payroll. Will the court rule against the city? My guess is they will; they wouldn't have agreed to hear the case if the felt everything was on the up and up.
If this happens, chaos will reign. You can bet the city has done ZERO contingency planning on the matter and doesn't have a clue as to how to proceed to reconstruct 3000 individual cases, much less have any idea where the money would come from. Easier to whistle past the graveyard than to engage in planning that might not be needed, don't you know?
I'm no fan of SDGE but claiming that SDGE "helped burn down part of the county," is clickbait. Sure, SDG&E displayed incompetence and lack of transparency and ownership of the event. But no need to imply that the burning was intentional. Which would be arson.
Interesting article. Trusting neither the city or SDGE, I chose the third option: 100% solar. Being grid tied, either the city or SDGE only acts as a large battery for my household's output. And improving services? The city gets a hearty LOL. My road is still fragmented and probably will be in the future.