Marin County tries to bypass PG&E

February 6, 2010

Marin County is poised to become California’s first to set up its own public power agency–unless Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) can block them in the courts, or on the ballot. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Last Thursday, the upstart Marin Energy Authority set its rates and picked a company to buy electricity wholesale for many of the county’s residents. If all goes as scheduled, the new group could start selling power to customers by May.

Marin County, just north of San Francisco, is the first to adopt a new form of public power called “community choice aggregration.” Spawned from a law written during Califoria’s energy crisis, cities and counties can buy electricity for their residents, while utilities continue to own and operate the power grid.

San Francisco has already developed a community choice plan, and other cities and counties are likely to follow, all sparked by the appeal of local control.

However, PG&E will not go away easily. The utility has a history of successfully blocking efforts by cities opting for the public power option. PG&E is also pushing a measure on the June ballot designed to make community aggregation harder to achieve.

Already, the San Francisco-based utility has threatened not to deliver electricity to the new Marin County agency on PG&E power lines. PG&E is also warning of a possible lawsuit, demanding that an Environmental Impact Report on the project be filed first.



  1. trebor86 says:

    PGE is an evil corp but the contractors are just poor little guys forced to do wrong to make a living? – i don’t buy that, contractor’s are just as guilty when they choose to endanger everyone else just to make a buck. it’s called lying, cheating.

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. Lukenelson says:

    If I was PG&E I’d take the poles down.Screw these radical left wing peter pumpers.

    (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
  3. calvertworthington says:

    PGE is not an individual or your friend. PGE is a corporation obligated by its organization to make a profit at any cost. Uninformed potential voters are easy prey for the corporate funded disinformation firms. As well, our elected reps have a ‘difficult’ choice between doing what’s right, and what’s going to fund their next campaign.

    The PGE ballot initiative should be illuminated for demonstrating the ‘new’ concentrated power of corps in politics, dripping from the slimy SCOTUS decision.

    (3) 9 Total Votes - 6 up - 3 down
  4. standup says:

    Big bad PGE is getting its toes stepped on. Wa, Wa. I have contracted for them and I will tell you they are only in the business with you if you bend over and take it. They push free competition to the hilt among its contractors. They will go with the lowest price even if safety is an issue. Some contractors will use outdated equipment instead of buying new, safe equipment just to get the job. It’s not the contractor’s fault, they are just trying to make a living too. They don’t care if one of their contractors is breaking every labor law in the book. I have seen it happen first hand. Numerous complaints went with little to no response. They do not practice what they preach by any means. Fair competition for power delivery is the law. I do wonder if the tier rates would go away for the Marin people. I think those rates were set by some dumb guy named Gray Davis in the effort to bailout PGE with our tax dollars. It is kind of funny that we, the people, bailed that company out but here they are pushing us around. They are a bunch of crooks ran by a bunch of yes men. Go to hell PGE.

    (6) 16 Total Votes - 11 up - 5 down
    • pasowino says:

      Wow, that’s a lot of hatred. From the looks of it, you are misinformed on somethings. You might consider laying off the hateful comments before researching what you’re talking about.

      (-1) 9 Total Votes - 4 up - 5 down

Comments are closed.