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What’s Wrong with Measure B: The Facts


Editorials
in the last week in January in the L.A. Times and Daily News carried these
headlines: “
L.A.‘s Secret
Solar Plan” and “In the dark over Measure B.”

A month before the election
on the largest solar energy initiative in U.S. history, we don’t know what
Measure B does other than mandate that DWP and its IBEW union own, install and
maintain 400 megawatts of rooftop solar units on commercial, industrial and
public buildings and that the mayor and City Council will be given the power to directly
manage all aspects of the program.

 

THE FACTS:


* The Department of Water and
Power initiated with much fanfare the nation’s most aggressive solar energy
program in the
U.S. in 1999 under General Manager S. David Freeman. Millions of dollars
were spent on public relations and community outreach, resulting in massive waste identified in City Controller audits and very little green energy.


* The DWP promised 100 MW of solar power in the city but has produced just 12
MW. DWP gave discounts to the largest users effectively prohibiting solar installations.
DWP and IBEW blocked repeated efforts to plan and produce a rooftop solar
program and even at times sharply cut funding for home units. Three solar
manufacturers set up operations in
L.A. but left because of DWP resistance to solar and its
demands for a monopoly on all major solar installations.

.

* Three mayors and the City
Council have proven themselves incapable of forcing DWP to move forward on
solar energy. Measure B is a City Charter reform that removes the wall
protecting DWP from being politicized by giving the mayor and City Council
direct control over all aspects of this program, even contracting.

 

* No planning, no cost
analysis, no technology study have gone into Measure B. It’s simply a blank
check to the DWP and city officials. Most of the money will go to
China where the plates are made so DWP only promises a few
hundred new jobs in
L.A.

 

* City Hall revenue has
soared by more than one third in three years yet overspending has created massive
deficits of more than $400 million, 10 percent of the General Fund. It will get
worse with the $43 billion state budget shortfall. Federal stimulus money will
fund public works projects, not solve the city’s General Fund problem. City
officials have yet to seriously address the budget problem and now are asking
for billions for solar without any safeguards.

 

* Electricity rates have
risen sharply and are certain to go much higher even without this massive solar
energy initiative. DWP has allowed its power grid to deteriorate from a lack of
investment. It has the largest coal-burning power plant portfolio in the
U.S., which has allowed rates to be kept low. Measure B
will not close any of these plants. It will not even meet demand caused by
over-development and the 900 digital billboards already approved. DWP must
invest billions of dollars in its power infrastructure even without initiating
this costly solar program.

 

* Solar energy has nearly 100
percent public support but Measure B is not the answer. There’s a better way.
Real planning, real analysis, real public debate – that’s all opponents of
Measure B are saying. We can’t trust the people who have failed us with a blank
check and no plan.

This entry was posted in City Hall, Hot Topics, Los Angeles, Solar Energy. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to What’s Wrong with Measure B: The Facts

  1. Anonymous says:

    There is a real problem when you cannot interpret a ballot measure for the people because the official Pro’s and Con’s have not gone out to the people. Political and environmental groups are endorsing because they hear “Solar” and “Jobs”.
    The poor union people are being told that they will get jobs. Stand up and ask – who is getting those jobs. Demand that your Union leaders find out. Don’t just listen to someone on a blog that says on IBEW 18 – ask! If you don’t ask – if you believe the rumors, we can’t help you.
    Probably less than 15% of the registered voters will vote in this ellection. So the people involved in the Mayor’s race, the Controller’s race, and the City Council seats will be the ones voting. How many people even know who their City Council representatives are let alone realize that they are up for reelection? Who knows that the Mayor is up for reelection? Didn’t he just run as some kind of assistant to Hillary?
    How many actually vote in the LAUSD and LACCD elections unless they are teachers or have a stake in the school elections?
    Propostion B has been endorsed by uninformed bodies who have not heard all sides of the plan. They target the Solar 8 as activists because they take the time out to stand up for the people.
    The Huron Report will not tell the real details of Measure B.
    Demand that Measure B only be addressed by the LADWP in their public presentations – not their whole solar plan. Otherwise, you don’t know what you are voting on.
    Somewhere back a few articles, I saw Ron Kaye talking about the New President in awe. Transparency. Responsibility to the people.
    What concepts!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Warning: MEASURE B is a Los Angeles City Charter Amendment. Do not vote absentee until you receive the printed booklet on the Measures from the Registrar of Voters.

  3. sheila says:

    THE SOLUTION
    LA needs to divert money away from wilderness-killing remote power plants and lines like Green Path North (which will destroy the Joshua Tree area) and lousy, bloated monopolistic rooftop plans like Measure B and instead do what WE, the OWNERS of DWP all want:
    1. put the 6-10 BILLION DOLLARS into a seed fund for AB 811 loans so that ratepayers can install oversized rooftop PV that feeds clean, harmless energy into the grid. ratepayer-generators will pay for their own infrastructure which will save ratepayer non-generators billions of dollars in boondoggle infrastructure which would be owned by DWP and used to hijack them with pricing and supply manipulations. this will also greatly decongest the grid, since the bulk of power will be used right where it is generated, and the balance will be used very nearby.
    2. use the existing rate hikes to pay ratepayer-generators generous feed in tariffs for feeding excess clean energy into the grid. rates like Germany, Spain and Japan (roughly 65 cents/kWh) have created HUGE demand by ratepayer generators to get into the clean energy business, which means that Germany, with only 1.25 times the population of CA, routinely installs 20 TIMES the number of PV panels on ratepayer roofs! all this PR by Schwarzenegger and the lame journalists cutting and pasting from his press releases don’t change the facts – CA’s rooftop solar plan is a TOTAL FAILURE and needs to be revamped in the form that has proven wildly successful for the past 5 years. Generous feed in tariffs.
    Craig D. Rose just wrote an article in The Nation, proving, once again, that rooftop solar is FAR CHEAPER than remote solar plus lengthy transmission (running roughly $17 million/mile, plus the cost of forcing families from their homes with eminent domain). These powerlines also spew HUGE amounts of GHGs into the atmosphere!! So much for “Green Path!” only the Anarctic will be Green if we let Naihai get away with this total greenwash of toxic, deadly monopolistic behavior.
    Chinatown is not just a movie. It’s a way of life for these mercenaries. The solution for ratepayers and the planet is to increase ratepayer generation and stop monopolistic (local and remote) boondoggles.

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