February 28, 2018,
Ventura City Council voted to join the Clean Power Alliance after listening to 23 speakers including former State Senator Frav Pavley in favor and none against. Gary Gero, LA County Sustainability Officer was able to alleviate the concern about franchise fees. CCE Consultant Don Dame also suggested the financial impact would be negligible.
Supervisor Parks shared the vast impact that the city joining will have on Ventura County’s emissions reduction goals since a large majority of county facilities are in the city of Ventura. This decision by the city helps Ventura County “hit our greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals out of the ballpark”. The goal is 20% reductions from 2005 levels by 2020 and now we can achieve 50% reductions by 2020.
Supervisor Parks compared the installation of the solar array at the county government center versus having the opportunity the city could provide to join Clean Power Alliance. She said the county cut 532 metric tons of CO2 by an investment of $4,800,000 in the solar array. Compare that to cutting almost 21,000 metric tons of CO2 by being able to purchase 100% renewable energy from Clean Power Alliance at a cost of only $719,000 more on the county’s electricity bills. That gives us an idea of how powerful this decision is for Climate Action by giving agencies, businesses and people the option for inexpensive 100% clean energy.
Council Member Cheryl Heitman took the step of calling the city’s liaison with SoCal Edison. She said she achieved no further clarity about what joining the Clean Power Alliance would do to the city’s franchise fee agreement. It took courageous leadership by Councillors LaVere, Heitmann, Weir and Naserenko to vote to join knowing that SoCal Edison repeatedly refused to affirm Gero and Dame’s expert analysis. As Councillor Heitmann said, the city will be waiting for a statement from SoCal Edison that was unlikely to be forthcoming. That was not a sound reason to delay joining that would have resulted in a late entry fee and no service until 2020.
Thanks to Ventura’s climate leaders for giving energy choice to Ventura County government and thousands more businesses and households in the county.
That completes the Climate Hub campaign for helping Ventura County’s cities join Clean Power Alliance. Port Hueneme and Fillmore postponed decisions and Santa Paula is exploring joining with City of Lancaster, but all the rest of the County is now on board for an exciting adventure taking control over energy sourcing.
Many volunteer advocates from all over the county lobbied local government to make this happen. It proves that working together, people can make a positive difference—this time for renewable energy and preservation of our planet.