Current’s Guests at the Debate Table

By Published On: December 20, 2013

At the grownup’s table, Current toasts this year’s guest columnists. We always love a good discussion from disparate points of view. Stocking stuffers were provided by the following contributors: Jody London, Oakland School District member, Feb. 1 opined about the importance of using part of the Proposition 39 funds to establish energy management capability within the K-12 education system. She said part of the annual $550 million should be used to fill in the current school energy management void. Rochelle Becker & John Geesman, Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility, called out Pacific Gas & Electric Feb. 8 for trying to lower the seismic requirements of its Diablo Nuclear plant in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. Carl Zichella, Natural Resources Defense Council director, Western Energy Transmission Program, emphasized the need for more grid flexibility with its greening, In a March 8 opinion piece, he added the state also must improve coordination between the entities that control parts of the grid. Stephen Gaertner, former Bechtel Corp. resident engineer at Palo Verde, May 24 assessed the risk of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. He noted how it pales in comparison to the vast danger posed by the 10,000 nuclear warheads. Ken Alex & Mikhail Haramati, Goldman School of Public Policy, U.C. Berkeley, discussed the advantages of well thought-out energy data transparency. In a May 31 editorial, they promoted protecting customer privacy while using utility energy data to improve services, reduce cost, clean up supplies and improve grid reliability. Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez responded to the closure of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station June 28. He penned that renewable energy projects, energy efficiency, demand response, and limited and flexible back-up power should fill the gap left by San Onofre’s shut down. Bill Powers, San Diego Energy District Foundation, touted community choice in San Diego July 12. He insisted that launching a community choice aggregation program is the surest way to achieve cleaner and more cost-effective energy at a fast pace. Jamie Tucker, spokesperson, Marin Energy Authority, Aug. 30, bragged about the clean energy available to residents of Marin and Richmond three years after MEA’s nearly breeched birth. David G. Victor, co-director, University of California, San Diego, international law & regulation, gave his thoughts on San Onofre financing Oct. 25. Not handing the bill to ratepayers will hurt California’s ability to attract capital and technology, he posited. Bernadette Del Chairo, California Solar Energy Industries Association director basked in AB 327’s net-metering warmth Nov. 8. But she warned about vitamin D deficiency of the state solar hot water heater program, permitting and interconnection processes. Steven Kelly, Independent Energy Producers Association policy director, pointed out the ramifications of imported power’s carbon auction advantage Dec. 2 under the California Air Resource Board’s current rules. Failing to tighten them could lead to discriminating against cleaner in-state resources.

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