The Department of Water and Power launched the nattion’s largest solar energy initative back in 1999 under S. David Freeman but by 2002 it was exposed by City Controller Laura Chick as nothing but a fraud (solar-audit2002cover.pdf) that had wasted millions of dollars and generated virtually no electricity.
A year later, DWP started the nation’s largest solar energy program for the second time. Today, six years later, it has achieved only a tiny fraction of the electricity that it promised.
Now, DWP wants to take a third swing at solar energy under Measure B.
Controller Chick issued a five-year review of DWP’s operations and programs by the private firm PA Consulting (IEA-summary.doc) and said it convinced here to oppose the March 3 ballot meaasure. Here’s what she had to say:
DWP General Manager also issued a report last week, one he commissioned by the private firm Huron Consulting (solar-HuronReport.pdf). It was a statistical analysis based on various hypotheticals that said the costs of Measure B would be far lower than PA Consulting found. Here’s what Nahai told the L.A. Neighborhood Council Coalition on Saturday:
Today, the L.A. Times started a four-day Point/Counterpoint debate in its Dust-Up online feature between the Yes on B and No on B campaigns Political consultant Sarah Leonard who works for the Yes campaign and Jack Humphreville, a member of the DWP Committee, wrote the opposing views.
Today’s topic: City Controller Laura Chick says she’ll vote no on
Measure B because she thinks “the entire process of how it ended up on
the ballot stinks.” On the other hand, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and
other local leaders tout Measure B as a badly needed green economic
stimulus. Which side is correct?
Measure B: Solar Savior or Shady Politics?
The right time for L.A. to go solar
Point: Sarah Leonard
The iconic German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck once said, “Laws are like sausages — it is better not to see them being made.”
We have been given a front-row seat to see how the sausage is made with
the placement of Measure B on the March 3 Los Angeles city ballot.
Although L.A. City Controller Laura Chick is entitled to oppose Measure
B simply because she doesn’t like the looks of the lawmaking process, a
broad coalition representing more than 1 million environmentalists,
union members, health and community advocates — as well as Mayor
Antonio Villaraigosa, City Council President Eric Garcetti and state
Assembly Speaker Karen Bass — support Measure B, which would provide
our city with the economic stimulus it needs while ensuring that future
generations will not have to rely on expensive, dirty fossil fuels.
Counterpoint: Jack Humphreville
City Controller Laura Chick opposes Measure B because the process that
got it onto the March 3 ballot stinks. There’s something fishy about
asking voters to give a blank check for billions of dollars to the same
city officials and DWP who have failed to deliver on their solar energy
promises for a decade.
Back in 2002, Chick conducted an audit of DWP’s Green Power Program and
found the utility’s management had an “arrogant” and “cavalier”
attitude about spending hundreds of millions of dollars and “failed to
produce any new long-lasting sources of renewable power.” She called
for major changes in DWP’s management, saying, “The environmental goal
of generating renewable energy is too important to continue funding
mediocre and failed ‘experiments.’ The public deserves to know about
these programs and how their money is being spent.” The architect of
those failed experiments was former DWP General Manager S. David
Freeman, who is now being put forth by the Measure B campaign as the
fount of wisdom on running solar energy programs.
Nothing has changed in the years since Chick’s audit.