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Community Choice Aggregation Critics Want San Diego To Slow Down

A sign on SDG&E's headquarters appears in this undated photo.

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

Above: A sign on SDG&E's headquarters appears in this undated photo.

Community Choice Aggregation Critics Want San Diego To Slow Down

GUESTS:

Ruben Barrales, president, Latino Leadership & Policy Forum

Lani Lutar, president, Responsible Solutions

Transcript

Critics of San Diego's move toward community choice aggregation have formed a coalition questioning a potential plan to let the city buy power separately from San Diego Gas & Electric.

The Clear the Air Coalition includes Ruben Barrales, president of the Latino Leadership & Policy Forum, Frank Urtasun, vice president of the lobbying arm of SDG&E’s parent company Sempra Energy, former Mayor Jerry Sanders, currently head of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and Lani Lutar, former President and CEO of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association who now heads the public relations firm, Responsible Solutions.

San Diego released the results of a feasibility study in July, which found it is possible for the city to reach its ambitious climate action goals by switching to a community choice energy plan.

RELATED: Local Businesses, Civic Leaders Form Group In Opposition Of Community Choice Energy

But the Clean the Air Coalition argues that because getting 100 percent renewable energy through community choice would be more expensive than SDG&E's plan, there would be “mass flight” from the CCA plan. Committee members are concerned the city will create a plan that ends up costing taxpayers more than the current system. They are asking the city council not to advance the next stage of the proposal in January: developing a business plan.

“Most customers aren’t going to pay more for energy they can get for less, so nothing modeled achieves the city’s Climate Action Plan goal of 100% renewable energy,” Coalition spokesman Tony Manolatos said.

Nicole Capretz, executive director of the Climate Action Campaign and supporter of CCA, said the coalition is merely trying to delay the city’s decision.

"Why would the city stop studying an opportunity to lower rates and increase clean energy and local jobs for San Diego families when the initial findings are so popular?," Capretz wrote in an email to KPBS.

Barralles and fellow coalition member Lutar join KPBS Midday with more on their skepticism about community choice aggregation.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article said the coalition opposes CCA, they do not.

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