VOSD Podcast: The Big Power Shift
A big decision looms: Will the city of San Diego start its own agency to buy and sell energy, or will San Diego Gas & Electric continue to control the energy market?
The city says it can go gas-free and get to its legally mandated Climate Action Plan target of 100 percent renewable energy quicker than SDG&E, a utility that has the word “gas” in its name. SDG&E disagrees, and has a plan to hit the goal by 2035.
VOSD’s Ry Rivard joins hosts Sara Libby, Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts to break down what he’s learned about the possible impending power shift.
Two of the state’s only government-run power agencies, called community choice aggregators, are Marin Clean Energy and Sonoma Clean Power. Rivard explains how the two CCAs may not have made much difference in the fight against climate change because of “resource shuffling,” or buying cleaner energy for themselves while the agencies selling off that green energy then replace it with dirtier power for their own customers.
Meanwhile, SDG&E says it has a solid plan to get to renewables by the 2035 deadline. But a city-funded review by an outside consultant said SDG&E’s plan isn’t as solid as the company claims. Also, thanks to strings attached to a past deal, SDG&E might soon have to buy a $280 million gas plant in Otay Mesa.
Also on the podcast, Lewis, Libby and Keatts talk about how taboos surrounding cannabis are starting to lift. Candidates at a recent county supervisor debate openly talked about their own experiences with cannabis.
In the second half of the show, Councilman Chris Cate talks about his controversial SoccerCity memo leak, his exasperation over the City Council’s inability to regulate the home-sharing industry, the housing crunch, shareable bikes and more.
Cate said his office’s priorities are public safety, infrastructure, economic development and civic engagement. He said he’s running to continue to represent Kearny Mesa, Mira Mesa, Miramar and the rest of District 6 so he can continue those efforts.
About that leak of a confidential memo from the city attorney’s office about SoccerCity, one of two proposals to redevelop the Mission Valley stadium site, Cate said he paid a fine to the city’s ethics commission and he considers the issue resolved.
“I felt that I was acting within the law to gather information on a very important decision that was coming to the council,” he said. “If I had to do it over again, I probably would do it in a different way.”
Earlier this year, when the City Council failed to pass short-term rental regulations, Cate said “inaction has proved that as a City Council we cannot govern.” He’s still frustrated about that, and said the city should set up a permitting system that can help generate fees to pay for enforcement efforts.
And about all those bright, shareable bikes piling up around town that some folks love and others loathe: Cate said he digs them.
“It’s a disruptive technology,” he said. “There’s going to be kind of those speed bumps in the road at the beginning, but It’ll work itself out and I think it’s great to have them.”
Hero of the Week
Roger Showley is the hero this week. The Union-Tribune reporter retired this month after 44 years. Most recently, he covered development, growth and land use. His goodbye column is worth a read.
Goat of the Week
The goat goes to San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore who, in an interview with the Union-Tribune this week, admitted that he’s thought a lot about firing sheriff commander Dave Myers, who’s running against Gore to be the county’s top law enforcement officer. He’s aware of the bad optics of that move, though, so he’s not firing Myers yet. Good move, but even talking about firing your opponent is awkward.