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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Why is the City of Davis Recognizing PG&E?

Last fall Measure H & I, a measure that was unanimously supported by the Davis City Council, was placed on the ballot. In a rare showing of unity, the councilmembers came out in support of public power as a mean not only save money but to produce cleaner energy not subject to windfall profits.

In response, PG&E waged an expensive, dirty, and misleading campaign.

As Stephen Souza co-wrote a letter to the editor in November with County Supervisor Mariko Yamada:
"Davis voters sent an unmistakable Election Day message about public power — we want it! The twin SMUD annexation Measures H and I passed here by a nearly 62 percent margin despite PG&E's unprecedented $11 million disinformation campaign to defeat us. Unfortunately, their efforts to frighten and confuse Sacramento SMUD ratepayers and West Sacramento and Woodland residents were too great to overcome — this time."
Because of these deceptive efforts, PG&E decided it needed to do damage control. After all there was a good deal of bitterness in this community and PG&E recognized that it had to mend the fences--otherwise it would only be a matter of time before the next Measure H & I was proposed.

After an $11 million campaign to keep their stake in Yolo, the company basically threw down some chump change to contribute to the development of the Davis City Street Smart public education program at the platinum level. Hey if they were willing to spend in the tens of millions, what is $10,000 to them.

Now the city of Davis has a contract with them to honor them in exchange for this contribution to the Street Smarts program. This is not something that the City Council wants it is being dictated to them by non-elected staff decisions. Who runs this town again?

Meanwhile as we have seen in the last few days, PG&E in response to a resolution before the Woodland City Council sponsored by Art Pimentel has set up a full-blown answering service to direct calls in the Woodland City Hall opposing the rather innocuous resolution.

The resolution declares,
"The City Council of the City of Woodland supports the continued assessment of power alternatives that would lead to less expensive, more reliable and more earth-friendly electric power for the citizens, businesses and property owners of Woodland and throughout the Yolo County region."
So tonight at the Davis City Council, PG&E will be honored for their community contribution. At the same time, at the Woodland City Council they will be intimidating and browbeating the Woodland City Council in opposition to a resolution supporting the concept of public power.

If PG&E wants to donate to Davis Street Smarts that is fine, but we do not need a proclamation honoring them.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting