On Deadline: No more "dithering" — Palo Alto pushes 'carbon free' electricity to fight climate change | May 25, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - May 25, 2012

On Deadline: No more "dithering" — Palo Alto pushes 'carbon free' electricity to fight climate change

by Jay Thorwaldson

Palo Alto must "quit dithering" and expedite its carbon-reduction efforts significantly, starting with its electrical utility, City Council members unanimously and enthusiastically agreed this week (Monday, May 21).

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Former Weekly Editor Jay Thorwaldson can be e-mailed at [email protected] with a copy to [email protected] See his blogs at www.PaloAltoOnline.com (below Town Square).


Posted by Lorraine Anderson
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2012 at 9:24 pm

There are lots of people everywhere in the US who are tired of the dithering, and we are watching Palo Alto. Thank you, Bruce Hodge, for stepping up to the largest challenge of our time. Thank you, Palo Alto City Council members, for standing behind Hodge's initiative. You are teaching other municipalities what's possible. Don't lose your focus.

Lorraine Anderson
Corvallis, Oregon

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 26, 2012 at 8:21 am

Are you trying to tell us that my neighbor who gets power from the same power lines that I get my power from has "greener" power. Sounds like the biggest con the greenies have invented to me.

Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on May 26, 2012 at 9:39 am

>"To me this is the great moral issue of our time," Klein later added

Klein is a true believer, and he will force all of us to spend more money for electricity. Most of the 'clean' energy will come from wind, according to Bruce Hodge's own website. Wind is not baseload, it is inconsistent and it cannot be stored. Wind also kills thousands of birds each year. It turns our remaining wild ridges into industrial factories. And Klein thinks this is green?

Beam me up, Scotty!

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 26, 2012 at 11:57 am

How about instituting "Net-Metering" as the PUC decided for the state utilities to encourage solar electric power? The current plan is for "net-metering" ONLY for electric vehicle owners.

Posted by Craig Lewis
a resident of Barron Park
on May 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I am extremely proud of the entire Palo Alto community and its leaders, including the Mayor, Council, City Manager, and Utility Executives (and staff). Having an office in Palo Alto, I consider myself a part-time resident of Palo Alto; even though my home is in neighboring Menlo Park.

Palo Alto's leadership will help all communities see viable pathways to a smart energy future, and I am grateful for the courageous leadership being demonstrated. Bruce Hodge deserves particular praise for initiating the tremendous aspirational goal that is proving to be viable given the admirable response from Palo Alto's elected and appointed leaders. I wish I had been at the Council meeting to voice support directly, but I have been in New York working on related objectives.

Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on May 26, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Craig Lewis,

That is a real cheerleader performance on your part, however you fail to address the real issues, which I addressed in my previous post. Are you willing to do your homework? I think Palo Alto citizens are in the mood to accept reality.

Posted by Bruce Hodge
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm

@John, a resident of Midtown

The CarbonFreePaloAlto.org website does not state that "most of the 'clean' energy will come from wind. In fact it cites a mix of potential sources as well as demand side measures.

Neither wind nor solar can supply baseload power when considered in isolation, but when geographically dispersed energy sources are combined with careful management, the result can be baseload power. See Web Link That's the future. But for now, Palo Alto will not have to solve this problem in isolation in order to become carbon neutral.

While it's true that wind turbines kill birds, that must be put into perspective. A recent report by the National Academy of Science (Web Link states "Clearly, bird deaths caused by wind turbines are a minute fraction of the total anthropogenic bird deaths—less than 0.003% in 2003 based on the estimates of Erickson et al. (2005)".

Furthermore, more attention is now being focused on siting wind turbines with adequate attention paid to impacts on wildlife. For example: Web Link

Lastly, the increased cost of clean energy in Palo Alto is slight. One estimate is that the average residential bill will increase by perhaps $2 to $4 per month. Furthermore, revenues from the state cap & trade program will likely offset any increased cost during the first few years of implementation.

Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on May 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm

"20% of Palo Alto residents are participants in the city-owned utilities "Green" program, whereby all their electrical energy is generated from renewable sources (mostly wind)."

Bruce Hodge, are those your own words?

If so, how and where will Palo Alto expand into 'clean' energy? Even more wind (and dead birds, and industrialized wild areas and access roads?). Covering up our deserts with PV farms? Nuclear? More dams on wild rivers? Of the various carbon-free choices, only nuclear is consistent baseload. I will assume that you support nuclear, right?

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on May 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

What will be the effect on global temperature in 100 years if all of Palo Alto goes green with this latest scam as opposed to continuing as we were? Negligible. We will pour millions of dollars into the subsidized pockets of boutique power generators for no real benefit.

Posted by Perspective
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Oct 14, 2012 at 9:14 am

Web Link

Please, dither on...stop wasting time and money on a non-issue. Global "warming" hasn't happened for 16 years. We are in a pause.."coincidentally" the same kind of "pause" we are always in before we swing the other way (global cooling on the way, folks. Prepare for yet another cycle of pictures of Lady Liberty up to her keester in ice on Time covers)

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