Come to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Rate Design Forum and tell them our tax dollars should not subsidize natural gas, but support clean energy generation and storage.
This forum, one of eight held throughout the state, is intended to explain CPUC’s new structure of electricity rates. The agency says the new rates will more closely reflect costs and promote cleaner electricity. Some of the changes modify the Self-Generation Incentive Program, which is intended to provide subsidies for “distributed” (decentralized) electricity generation and storage projects that help reduce greenhouse gases. Electricity industry analysts at GTM Research report that the changes will be positive in “democratizing” the development of clean energy storage.
But there’s a catch. So far most of the subsidies have gone to a company that produces fuel cells by burning natural gas – a fossil fuel that emits greenhouse gases and harmful pollutants. And natural gas itself is mostly methane – a greenhouse gas 84 times as powerful as carbon dioxide.
The rate changes will help other companies share in the program, but will still subsidize the use of fossil fuel. The CPUC staff recommended ending subsidies for fuel cells produced with natural gas and biogas, so the subsidies could go to truly green energy production and storage. But policy makers ignored this recommendation.
Come tell regulators to stop subsidizing pollution and climate catastrophe!