tv [untitled] September 10, 2013 7:00pm-7:31pm PDT
but over the years the costs crept up and up and up, and last year this board authorized the puc to set rates at 12.8 cents per kilowatt hour. we ran the risk of large scale opt outs, but the logic was that the environmental benefits were so strong that san francisco would vote with their wallets and absorb the increases. set aside for the moment that there would be dangerous opt out aspects of this program, i feared that such an expensive cca would run the risk of sticking mono lingual and elderly san franciscan with soaring energy bills without fair knowledge. i made those concerns known and staff recommended reducing the rate to 10.9 cents per kilowatt hour. this is still significantly above the original goals of cca to meet or beat existing energy rates. and in order to achieve these savings on the residential rates, staff had no choice but to make the program cheaper by
degrading the quality of greenness of the energy that the cca offered. so, instead of bundled energy and firmed and shaped energy, the commission was presented a contract to buy certificates from shell. they did the right thing then and they rejected this program and these proposed rates. your question, supervisor chiu, is about my objections. well, let me answer directly. the program as it evolved year over year moved too far from the good environmental policy and fair treatment of our city's diverse electricity rate payers. let me tell you, then, and what i think good environmental policy is. i know that this is supervisor breed's question as well, examine if you permit me, i'll begin now to explain. first, i'm very proud to welcome mr. roger kim to my staff. and with his extensive background and relationship with environmental movement in california, roger will help ensure that our environmental programs and efforts reach all of our residents, something
that is a priority of mine. our environmental policy agenda should be ambitious in achieving greenhouse, gas and energy goals. and it should also deliver local jobs, improve our health, and support our local economy for the benefit of all san francisco residents, especially those in our communities that need those opportunities the most. it needs to be real and tangible and not based on vague promises of a plan that will appear sometime in the future. i believe in the city's aggressive greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. we are on track to achieve 25% reduction by 2017. in partnership with the board, we just launched the bay area bike share program with 350 bicycles in 35 stations in san francisco, and we expect to get to 500 bicycleses and 50 stations in 2014. and as you know, san francisco's 80% landfill
diversion rate is the highest in any city in north america. the housing authority, working with the department of environment, to implement our recycling and composting programs saved $1.1 million on their trash bill since the end of just last year. this amount represents one-7th of the housing authority's annual shortfall. and there are even bigger savings to come as we work with the remaining housing authority buildings. that means more resources for important services and building maintenance that our public housing residents need and deserve. these are just a few examples of good environmental policy. real tangible results for our planning and for the people of our city. supervisor chiu, with your leadership and the leadership of your colleagues, i hope we can unite around policies like these and work together. thank you. >> thank you. our next question will be read by our district 5 colleague, supervisor breed. >> thank you. thank you for being here, mr. mayor. my question is, recognizing the constraints imposed by state law, particularly with respect
to opt out provisions, how would a clean power program need to be structured so that you will support it? are you willing to work with the board of supervisors and have your staff and commissioners work with the board of supervisors to revive clean power sf so that you can support it? can we come to the table and make clean power a reality without any further delay? >> thank you, supervisor breed. well, i've explained my environmental goals and i hope i have been clear about why the cca program and the commission rejected -- their rejection does not come close to meeting these goals. you propose, supervisor breed, to have a discussion about a new clean power program. in my eyes, a clean power program with cca is just one way that we can accomplish our twin goals of environmental benefit and job creation. the short answer to your question, supervisor breed, is yes. i am of, of keyertion, willing to discuss any program that can
reduce san francisco's collective greenhouse gas emissions ~. but i would also ask, then, supervisor, that you express a willingness to explore other alternative ways to create jobs for our citizens while simultaneously doing good for the environment. i am very open to exploring all avenues that might be available to expand this work. as one of my first actions as mayor, i formed the mayor's renewable energy task force composed of business leaders, energy experts, and community leaders. i continue to believe as renewable energy task force believed that increasing energy efficiency is a critical first step to reaching san francisco's renewable energy goal. by maximizing energy efficiency and encouraging conservation, we reduced the amount of electricity generation that is needed. saving energy through energy efficiency improvements is less costly than any new energy supply whether fossil fuel based or renewable.
and, so, we must continue to be aggressive in this area. the good thing about energy efficiency is that it gives the city the biggest bang for the buck. the energy cost savings exceed the price of implementing energy efficiency measures which makes good economic sense. and i know you really appreciate this, supervisor breed, because it creates good jobs for san francisco. it is good for the environment and good for our economy. with san francisco's trail blazing green building codes, lead gold certification is required for all-new commercial buildings. as a result, some of the most energy efficient new buildings in the nation are here in san francisco. to tackle energy use in existing buildings, we have been implementing our groundbreaking commercial building energy performance ordinance. through building energy audits, we can reduce energy use in commercial buildings, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and
help property owners develop plans to improve energy efficiency. our ordinance is already [affectedeffected]} almost 800 private sector buildings, totaling 124 million square feet and 350 municipal buildings in less than two years. with information about this building's energy use in hand, we encourage our property owners to partner in utilizing green finance sf to implement energy efficiency projects that will save them money and move us another step forward towards our greenhouse gas and renewable energy goals. i want the city to continue to be aggressive on energy efficiency and there is much more we can do. of course, we still need to increase our incity renewable city generation and create jobs at the same time. go solar sf ~ is one part of that strategy. since 2008, go solar sf s helped install over 2000 solar
installations, created 6.2 megawatts of clean renewable energy, and 107 jobs. through this program, we are dispeling the notion that solar renewable energy is just for the rich. the promise of green economy and clean renewable energy needs to be accessible to all communities. in fact, go solar sf, our low-income homeowners and workers in disadvantaged neighborhoods lead the way to a clean energy future in san francisco. as you know, i added back $2,000,000 to the go solar program making a total of $4 million available for incentives this year. we're making [speaker not understood] and creating jobs and i'm very open to exploring all other avenues that might be available to achieve this goal. thank you, supervisor. >> thank you. >> supervisor campos will ask the next question. >> thank you, mr. president. thank you, mr. mayor. hope you had a good summer. i don't know about my colleagues, but i certainly appreciated being able to delve
into one subject in-depth. i think that's a good thing. i think we can do that about other subjects. my question along the lines whatv my colleagues have asked, as you know the board of supervisors has been very supportive of clean power sf and i think that for some of us it's not -- some of the actions of the commission at times strike the commission going against the policy that the board of supervisors set when it approved clean power sf. just wondering your thoughts on that. >> well, thank you, supervisor. you know, beyond being appropriate, i think that the san francisco public utilities commission did was the best interest of the city ~ and a full fillment of their charter responsibilities to the taxpayer and the rate payers. supervisor, you asked for a program that was 85% firmed and shaped, 10% bundled and only a paltry 5% recs. you wanted to create 31 megawatts of city-owned solar,
72 megawatts of local distributed generation, and 150 megawatt wind farm. you also wanted local jobs. the program lost those aspects in the 12 months since you voted for it in an effort to set rates. the public utilities commission took a look at the program last month and said, no, and i believe they said no because cca no longer included any firmed and shaped electricity and instead increased its dependence on paper certificates by 1500%. they looked at no investment in immediate local jobs. they looked at the program and saw zero direct investment, creating city-owned renewable assets like wind farms and solar panels. only vague promises yet to be made rather than specific, measurable, guaranteed outcomes for local jobs and local renewable development. they looked at all these factors and the commission said no.
as i said at the very beginning of this question time. the san francisco public utilities commission's primary responsibility is to protect the rate payers and in rejecting these rates with shell energy north america, they are not going against the board of supervisors. i think they were fulfilling what they believed are their sworn duties and responsibilities under the city charter. really, the critical issue here is that recs have a questionable environmental benefit. just don't take my word for it. the former general manager of the san francisco public utilities commission said last year that doing a program that is mostly recs is kind of putting lip stick on a pig in some sense. your underlined power is still down power. you're buying renewable credits for somebody doing green power. i don't know how i can say it more clearly than that, supervisor campos. i also recall a lafco meeting.
six months ago when you, supervisor, made sure to point out that a major differentiating benefit of our cca program was that it did not include recs. look, i understand that sometimes circumstances change and that the programs need to be flexible and respond to changing circumstances. but when the final product is so vastly different from the original intent, decision-makers like the public utilities commission need to exercise their oversight role. that's exactly what the commission did in this case and i'm glad they did. another part of the program that the board approved is the state law requirement that any community choice aggregation program be opt out, which supervisor breed mentioned in her question. i believe that any public power program would need to be opt in, allowing residents to make an informed choice about their power bills.
i'm committed to pursuing state legislation to allow cca to be opt in and i hope you, supervisor campos, and all the other members of the board, will partner with us to go to sacramento and demand that our residents be allowed to control their own choices. i would be eager to work with you to make this happen at the state legislature as soon as possible. but to answer your question again directly, i strongly believe that the commission did the right thing when it took a look at the program before it which hardly resembles the program authorized by this board just 12 months ago and rejected it. this is the charter mandated duty and i believe they upheld the standards set for them for protecting the rate payers. thank you, supervisor. >> thank you. our final question will be asked by supervisor john avalos. >> thank you. welcome, mr. mayor. i'll just abbreviate my question. why does your office continue to oppose providing city rate payers with an alternative to
pg&e's monopoly by implementing clean power sf? >> thank you. you know, supervisor, i think that it would be good for me to go back to when i was -- became mayor in 2011. you'll recall one of my top five priorities was implementing the landmark local hire that you championed and that i have been very proud to partner with you and work with you as a signature piece of legislation which has made a difference for our city and helped us put many of our local residents back to work. you also recently proposed and passed at the board of supervisors a strongly worded resolution urging the city and county of san francisco to divest its resources and sever ties with fossil fuel companies. so, i do want to suggest to you that a steadfast support for a sole source contract with a large multinational fossil fuel
corporation that would compel city residents to buy green certificates, not necessarily green power, including no local jobs and resulting in no guaranteed direct new local renewable energy resources is the wrong way to go. now, i know that there has been criticism for me for acknowledging a local company that employs thousands of our residents is headquartered in our city and contributes millions every year to community and neighborhood programs and organizations. but on the other hand, a willingness to enter into a long-term multi-million dollar contract with a fossil fuel company based in texas which, as far as i am aware, employs no local residents and has no history of supporting our local community and neighborhoods is the wrong direction. i know and i respect your long-time advocacy, supervisor, for public power. and i know for many community choice aggregations less about environmental and economic benefits for our city and more
about public power. and though i may disagree with you, i respect your position. i believe we should also respect the majority of the city public utilities commission when they rejected the proposed rate package last month. i think that they were fulfilling what they believe are the charter responsibilities to protect city rate payers. i know you will agree with me that these three commissioners, the great senator art torres, [speaker not understood] local 261, and commissioner ann miller cain, are each accomplished, independent, and widely respected san franciscans who have together given years and years of service to our city and our state. i continue to be grateful for their services to our city on the public utilities commission along with commissioners moran and deter. i have been very clear in publicly stating my concerns with the community choice aggregation program for many
months, including the compulsory participation, the higher electric rates, the lack of a real plan for local jobs and local renewable energy. but it's not just me. our friends and labor movement have also been vocal in their concerns. they voted back in may to formally oppose the cca program. and if you read their resolution as i did, you'll notice that their rationale for posing the latest version of the community choice aggregation is exactly the same as mine. first and foremost, they want to see a program that actually creates jobs in san francisco by creating city-owned sustainable energy sources. this could include building wind farms, installing solar panels on municipal buildings, doing energy retrofits to existing residential or commercial buildings. supervisor, the voters are the ultimate policy makers of the city and county of san francisco and through their elected officials and
legislative and executive branches of government and, of course, through the ballot measures, they express their will. nearly a dozen times san francisco voters have repeatedly rejected creating public power programs on the ballot. most recently in 2008 when proposition h was defeated by a margin of 60% of the vote, so, supervisor, you've given me a lot of credit for saying that my office is somehow single handedly blocking community choice aggregation. with those representing a lot of work being people in the labor movement as well as the voters time and time again rejected that idea as well. i know we disagree with that, but since there have been five questions all of the exact same subject, i felt compel to explain fully to you and the people of san francisco what i think of this proposal and why i think the puc commission actively did what they did. i hope i have been able to answer thoroughly and i thank you for giving me the time to
discuss this nuance points with all of you. thank you very much. >> thank you for being with us, mr. mayor. colleagues, at this time there are no items with the consent agenda. what i would like to propose is that we go to our 2:30 special commendations. we have two commendations. the first will be offered by supervisor breed. >> they're in my office. i don't think they knew that we were going to end this quickly. >> okay. if that's the case, why not go to supervisor campos. >> thank you very much, mr. president. and it is my honor to call upon ambassador carlos [speaker not understood] to come up.
if you could stand at the podium, right there. i have to say that this is a bitter sweet moment for me. it is my honor and pleasure to recognize carlos felix, that it is a really sad day that we acknowledge that he will be leaving us in his role as the consul general of mexico. i am honored to present this commendation to ambassador carlos felix who today stands with you in these chambers as the consul general of mexico, a post that he has held since 2007. he, in fact, has been the senior member of the consulate core here in the city and county of san francisco and he has been a leader not only in
serving the mexican community in the city and county of san francisco, but in serving the entire latino community and quite frankly the community at large. we are extremely sad that carlos has been assigned to another post in the mexican foreign service and it's really hard to imagine the consulate core. it's really hard to imagine the latino community and the international community in san francisco functioning without ambassador felix. as consul general of mexico in san francisco, ambassador carlos felix held jurisdiction over 13 counties in northern california as well as the states of oregon, washington, alaska, and hawaii. during his time here, he has strengthened the bond between the u.s. and mexico with regards to trade, culture and tourism. he has actively promoted the merit kalt dialogue with major
players in all levels of government here in san francisco, and has helped to effectively strengthen the understanding and cooperation between mexico and all of the west coast states in the united states. he has engaged with the mexican-american community as well as other latino communities in the entire city and in the entire region. because of that cooperation, we have been able with the assistance of the mexican government to implement programs that have helped people in areas such as education, health. we have also, i think, because of his efforts, helped to empower people in terms of their involvement in local government and social affairs. he has also promoted programs of cultural and academic cooperation among the various major institutions in san francisco, whether it's through museums and our institutions such as sf noma, the de young
museum, the mexican museum, the sf art institute and the san francisco symphony. he also helped publish the first survey study of mexicans in hawaii in april of 2013. ambassador felix has done a stellar job as consul general for mexico. we wish him the very best. and let me say this on a very personal note. what has been incredible about carlos is the fact that he understands that his role is not only to represent the country of mexico and to enhance the relationship between mexico and the united states, but his role in many respects has been to make city government more effective by helping to make city government work for the mexican citizens that live in san francisco and quite frankly the entirety of the latino community. there have been many times when we have had a number of city
initiatives targeting specific members of the mexican community of the latino community and we have gone to carlos felix to help us implement these programs because we know that if anyone in san francisco has the trust of the mexican-american community, has the trust of the latino community, it's basse door carlos felix. i know that my job as supervisor will be a lot harder, a lot more difficult ~ because of his absence. and i know that i speak for many that the impact will go beyond the mexican community, the mexican-american community. car ~ carlos has taken it upon himself to organize with countries from all over the hemisphere, whether central america, south america, north america, as well as europe, to work together. and you have your monthly meetings where you discuss issues of concern. that is the kind of leadership
that he has demonstrated. we know that we're not going to see you for a little while, but we also hope that you come back to san francisco because by virtue of all you have done, all you have contributed, i think that you are an honorary san franciscan and i can tell you that you will be in our hearts forever and we are grateful and very appreciative and just want to say that it's been an honor for me to work with you. before you say anything, i wanted to also -- i know that supervisor avalos wanted to say a few words. >> supervisor avalos. >> thank you. i want to say [in spanish]. thank you very much for all your work here in san francisco. i had the pleasure of developing a good relationship with you. that is really important for my district and also just for us together, and really came to
really value your work, working with the other consulates in latin america and making sure that we had set in place real strong supports for immigrant community that came from latin america. and that is really important to have especially when we have so much in common. and i just want to say thank you for inviting me to come to many of the events that your consulate had put on, cultural events, [speaker not understood], press conferences as well that were really making sure that we can give constituents and people from all parts of the world living here, the information they need to be safe and secure in this country. i just think it's what your work has been and i wish you all the best in years to come. >> mr. consul general. oh, actually there is one other person that wishes to speak, supervisor cohen. >> thank you. thank you. i just also wanted to take an opportunity to acknowledge the
consul general fantastic contribution. it expands far beyond the latino community. also you've done work with me in my office within the boundaries of district 10. i just wanted you to know you and your wife are a very lovely couple and i have enjoyed yourcompany and your thoughtful guidance. thank you. >> i just wanted to read, carlos, the certificate that says to ambassador carlos felix for your exceptional work as a public servant who champions values that transcend borders, for helping to forge a strong bond between the united states and mexico by promoting education, culture, and human rights, for your unwaivering commitment to nurturing the human spirit beyond san francisco and throughout the americas, by helping people find common ground, solace, and understanding. for this, the city and county of san francisco honors you for a stellar career spanning over three decades, [spanish]. (applause)
>> president chiu, thank you very much. thank you very much. i really feel very honored to be here in this very public chamber. it's an honor also to work with all of you, with the board of supervisors. i had a chance to have different situations with many of you. i want to thank for your trust. i want to thank for all your support that you have done for the consulate, for our people. as you know, mexican california, we were born together 200 years ago. we have craft a very important relationship. and i think that the most important value of this inter dependent relationship is our people.
it's the people that are looking in california. it's the families, family that are born in mexico and california. and i want to thank all the work that you have done as the board of supervisors to promote the contributions of immigrants. i think that san francisco -- i'm could be vinced and i feel more honor as i serve here in san francisco because san francisco has been always the leader in how this country recognize the contribution of many immigrants. we felt part of this great community. we were a part of you, as part of all the community. in spite we are mexicans, we feel we are part of this very important multi-cultural environment.
all of you are part precisely of these great assets of san francisco. so, i feel really very honored and i want to thank all of you for the contribution of your board and i'm sure that the future of san francisco will continue to be as the most important city in this great country. thank you very much. (applause)