By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt
Ruling not only saves the city hundreds of millions, but could pave the way for a real , green, public-power system.
A federal appeals court has sided with San Francisco in a longstanding battle over the use of the city’s public power that could have major implications for clean energy and an end to the corrupt company’s private monopoly.
At issue is PG&E’s refusal to connect municipal facilities and customers of the city’s power system to its grid without charging exorbitant fees. A Trump-era Federal Energy Regulatory Commission sided with the company, sticking San Francisco with a bill for as much as $600 million.
The background: San Francisco runs its own electric utility. A lot of folks don’t realize that, because the major news media never talk about it, but the city has a massive hydropower dam at Hetch Hetchy the generates enough power to run everything from the lights at City Hall to Muni—and more.
But thanks to a scandal more than 100 years old, (you can read all the history, which I wrote for the Bay Guardian, here) the city never built its own local power lines.
So the city has to pay PG&E to distribute its own clean, carbon-free power over the ancient private utility lines…(more)