Let Us Now Murder AB 2145 Before It Kills Community Choice Power

NO2145-Logo-JPGWhen we last wrote about AB 2145 it was after a trip to Sacramento to speak out against the bill at the Senate Energy Committee hearing on it.  We told the bill’s author, Assemblyman Stephen Bradford that we wanted to bring Community Choice Power to the South Bay, especially cities like Inglewood and Gardena, where lowering electricity bills will have a big impact on homeowners and business owners.  We went home that day happy that the bill’s opt in provision had been removed.

But as it turns out we shouldn’t have been so pleased because AB 2145 was still alive and in its revised form now had three different ways to kill the current Community Choice programs in Marin County and Sonoma County, and to make sure no new Community Choice Power programs, like our own embryonic South Bay Clean Power efforts, can possibly succeed.

How does it do that?  Pretty simply –

Continue reading

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Bradford: Twelve Years A Failure – His Reason To Kill CCAs

South Bay Gets More Done In 3 Months Than SCE’s Former Flack Got Done in a Dozen As A City Councilman in Gardena

What a unique concept.  First admit what a failure you were in your own personal efforts of launching a Community Choice power program where you live.  Then ignore or lie about the progress made by so many outside your community.  And finally, try to kill the Community Choice power program for anyone else with the skills and abilities to do what you are not capable of.

That’s been the strategy of SCE’s man-on-the inside of the California State Assembly, Steven Bradford, who says he “resents the implications” that he is carrying water for his former employers and current campaign contributors.  

Mock outrage by bamboozlers and scoundrels upon getting called out for their attempts at the old Okey-Doke is a classic loser technique.  Good old Foghorn Leghorn in the classic cartoons couldn’t have sounded any less convincing. Especially after being puppet mastered all hearing long by the dirty energy lobbyist who whispered in his ear to feed him talking points.

It was a sad display of how laws get made in Sacramento and a cynical confirmation of all your worst fears about corrupt, dishonest, egocentric politicians who mean us more harm than good.

Fortunately the people also had a chance to speak: Continue reading

Ted Lieu To The Rescue! Heroic Climate Champion Saves Community Choice Aggregation

IMG_1981 My politically connected friends (who prefer to remain nameless) advise me to accept State Senator Ted Lieu as he is and be happy for his strong environmental record.  

They tell me to stop wishing he was somebody else and that I’m dreaming if I think he’s ever going to change into the dynamo that I fantasize about.  

And I get that.  You go to climate battle with the Ted Lieu you have, not the Ted Lieu you wished you had. Joe St Rocke

Yet still… I couldn’t stop thinking about it Wednesday night at St. Rocke’s in Hermosa Beach where I had gone to get away from it all and rock out to Jimmy Vaughan and his band.  Luckily that totally did the trick as I downed one quadruple The Reverend after another, locking into the groove.  

That night I slept like Rip Van Winkle himself, dead to the world and dreaming the vivid-as-life dreams that The Reverend, and the music, and the moment made possible.  

And it all suddenly became clear to me. LieuWaxman__disclaimer_(1)Suddenly we were at The Crossroads as Ted Lieu runs for Henry Waxman’s seat in the United States Congress.   Waxman has been our heroic climate champion for many years now and is retiring.  New, fresh, young, energetic blood is needed from a new champion at this special spot on the climate timeline – and Ted Lieu has now seized his moment and become that champion.

Everything he’s done in life has led to this unique time and place. And I could see Ted, bigger than life, looking strong, and determined and unstoppable.  He was downright dynamic.

And the issue that Ted grabbed and commanded and was using to transform himself into a climate legend was Community Choice Aggregation.   It was a natural for Ted and he knew it.  

And right before my eyes Ted was making it his own and becoming positively evangelical about it.  Continue reading

Wayne Powell, Dudley Do Right For All The Right Reasons

Wayne

Your Friendly Neighborhood Greenius (white shirt) talks to Manhattan Beach Councilman Wayne Powell (center) and Councilman Mark Burton at the 2014 Manhattan Beach Earth Day Celebration.

A lot of my political friends are still suffering from election night hangovers this Throwback Thursday.  Their heads continue to pound, they’re still experiencing dry mouth and disorientation.

Think of today’s post as a hangover cure.

As we learned in my last Greenius “Al Muratsuchi Kills Community Choice Finds Out He Was Duped & Calls Me To Apologize” everyone makes mistakes.  Some are forgotten, some are cast in titanium, forged forever.

One of the biggest mistakes your friendly neighborhood Greenius made was back in the day when I first met Wayne Powell in 2009.  He was running for Manhattan Beach City Council and I wrote something snarky about Wayne.  It was flippant and critical, and like a lot of what I’ve written, completely forgettable the moment after you finished reading the sentence.  But not to Wayne.

Which is understandable, for who among us doesn’t remember the cutting comment far longer than any compliment?  As the wise man once said, “One F-you wipes out a thousand attaboys.”  True dat.

And no surprise to anyone who knows Wayne Powell, I was completely wrong about him.  I’ve had it proven to me time after time after time over the last five years as Councilman Powell stood up strong on bicycle issues, on health issues, on climate issues, on water issues, on fossil fuel issues, on safety issues.  On Tuesday he did it again on helping to pass Manhattan Beach’s new ban on smoking citywide. Continue reading

Al Muratsuchi Votes To Kill Community Choice Then Finds Out He Was Duped & Calls Me To Apologize

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This political primary season just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

Al Muratsuchi

Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, representing the 66th District in California explains as State Controller, John Chiang listens at the Lunquist Mansion on the Palos Verdes Peninsula during a recent fundraiser (photo by Joe Galliani)

Imagine my surprise on Friday afternoon when my cell phone rang and it was Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi on the line calling to tell me he had made a big mistake and that he was sorry.  

He wanted me to know that he really regretted his YES vote two days earlier for AB 2145, the CAA Killer bill, which – Surprise! – was written by the big utilities to try and kill Community Choice Aggregation.  

Al said he had been lied to about what the bill really says and does and that he didn’t really know anything about CCAs until a few weeks ago.  He again said he was sorry, that he had dropped the ball on this one and that he was now going to lobby State Senator Ted Lieu to make sure the State Senate didn’t make the same mistake.  What could I say? Al sounded sincere and remorseful… Continue reading

Wendy Greuel Our Best Bet To Get To 100% Renewable Energy In Time

hero joe

Joe Galliani in Keep Hermosa Hermosa hat receiving his 2014 Environmental Hero Award from the City of Manhattan Beach and V.O.I.C.E. with Sona Kalapura Coffee, Manhattan Beach Mayor Amy Howorth, State Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, Kaye Gagnon of V.O.I.C.E and Councilman Wayne Powell.

To those of you who know me best and have been reading Creative Greenius since we started publishing in October 2007 it seems pretty silly that any candidate for elected office would seek my endorsement or think that it would do more good than harm.

And you would think that would be especially true for anyone running to become our United States representative from this 33rd Congressional District – the person who will be following the great Henry Waxman in that position.

But in fact, both Wendy Greuel and Marianne Williamson have each reached out to me and I have taken their asks seriously and with more thoughtfulness than usual given the crossroads we find ourselves at climate wise. Without Henry Waxman as our Representative we lose a giant.

I’ve spent time talking with Marianne Williamson’s policy advisor over the last couple of weeks and just this Wednesday I had the pleasure of meeting with Marianne one-on-one for about 90 minutes at my own spiritual sanctuary, our beloved South Coast Botanic Garden on a spectacular summer-like morning.        Continue reading

Hey Ted, Here’s My Card

My California State Senator, Ted Lieu, doesn’t know who I am because I have never made a strong enough impression on him during the many times we have talked over the 21 years I’ve lived in Torrance.  Because of that Ted cannot remember my name and always asks for my card when I shake his hand and say hello.  It pains a sensitive soul like myself to know I have made myself so forgettable and non-noteworthy, but all of us must live in the shadows of those who loom so much larger than ourselves.

I understand that it’s hard for Ted because he has met so many thousands and thousands of far more vivid people than me in the thousands and thousands of campaign events and fundraisers Ted has spent his time at during his decades running for and holding different offices as he moves his way up the rungs of political office.  It no doubt makes it harder still because I have never given Ted any money even though he has mailed me two decades worth of requests for campaign donations.  And it was my fault for not having a card with me earlier this week when I was part of State Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi’s press conference in Hermosa Beach.  

So to help Ted out, I just received this big oversized card with my name on it that might help him remember me the next time we run into each other – but because I still won’t be sending Ted any money or voting for him in his run for the great Henry Waxman’s seat, I’m not counting on this either.    Continue reading

Al’s Bright Idea for Hermosa, Ted’s Tough Stance Against Oil & Why I’m Worried About It Mattering

Photo by Jose Bacallao (lifted from Facebook)

Sarah Sikich, Heal the Bay’s Science and Policy Director, Coastal Resources at the podium, California State Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi and State Senator Ted Lieu behind her – Photo by Jose Bacallao (lifted from Facebook)

I was very  happy  to be asked by the Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi’s staff to stand with my environmental brothers and sisters from Surfrider Foundation, Heal the Bay, Los Angeles Waterkeeper and Earthworks in support of Al’s new bill, AB2711 which would oh so cleverly and ironically allow the City of Hermosa Beach to Hermosa Beach to borrow money from the state tideland oil revenues fund to payoff E&B after the city votes to maintain their ban on oil drilling.  (It’s a long story why they’d have to pay in order to maintain a current ban against drilling, but it involves less than mensa major level negotiators from the City Council – Bobko and DiVirgilio – being played like patsies at the poker table when they cut a panicky settlement deal over a law suit they thought they would lose.) 

And what we especially dig about Al’s proposal is that the loan repayments Hermosa Beach would make would be deposited into the State Coastal Conservancy Trust Fund to be used for its Climate Ready Program.  Payoff money to an oil company that actually pays for some of the damage the oil’s company’s products caused every time they are burned.  You’ve got to love it.

And you’ve got to love Ted Lieu’s strong and no holds barred statements in support of Al’s bill and against oil drilling in Hermosa Beach and he made a point of saying, 

“I can’t think of anything more stupid than to do oil drilling in Hermosa Beach.”   

Ted said he has always opposed oil drilling anywhere on our coast and especially in Hermosa Beach.  He spoke about legislation he previously had introduced to try to help Hermosa when McPherson Oil’s lawsuit was still threatening the city.  I applauded him. Continue reading

Wendy Greuel Gains Green Ground in South Bay L.A. – Stands Up & Speaks Out To Keep Hermosa Hermosa

beach wendyYour friendly neighborhood Greenius has been waiting for awhile now to see which of the candidates for Henry Waxman’s 33rd District seat was going to step up environmentally.  Today that person turned out to be Wendy Greuel.

My good friend, Dency Nelson, tells me Ted Lieu was already that guy and that Ted’s strong record speaks for itself.  And it’s true that Ted has come out against fracking and is signing on to Holly Mitchell’s strong anti-fracking bill and reportedly has called “climate change” his number one priority.  And yet…

IMG_2204I’m just not feeling Ted Lieu.  I never have in the 21 years I’ve lived in Torrance, which is where Ted is from and started on his road to higher and higher office.  I’ve never personally witnessed any passion out of Ted or felt that he had the fire in his belly on the environment or was any kind of climate action hero.  

Maybe I’m wrong about Ted, like I was several years ago about then Manhattan Beach City Council Candidate, Wayne Powell, who I didn’t think was much of an environmentalist the first time I met him, but who has turned out to be the most reliable and thoughtful issue guy on the Manhattan Beach City Council. Continue reading

What Does Henry Waxman Know About Climate That Made Him Quit?

Congressman Henry Waxman receiving environmntal award at 2013 Earth Day Celebration, Manhattan Beach (c) Joe Galliani

Congressman Henry Waxman receiving environmental award at 2013 Earth Day Celebration, Manhattan Beach (c) Joe Galliani

When the one guy in all of Congress who understands the latest science on climate change best, the guy who has the most experience and knowledge of the environment and how to get life-changing legislation passed like the clean air act, the clean water act, the laws that forced our government to acknowledge AIDS, not to mention having kicked the tobacco industry’s ass – when that guy announces he’s sticking a fork in it and he’s done – then you have to ask yourself this question –

What does Henry Waxman know about what’s coming next and what our government intends to do about it that made him throw in the towel and quit?

If he thought he had passed the carbon tax or climate bill torch to someone else he was confident would bring it across the finish line he would have said so.

If he thought we were already in great shape and had the plans in place to prevent or respond to the worst of what’s coming he would have mentioned that too.

I don’t think it’s any coincidence at all that Waxman’s announcement came during the same week as the President’s decidedly weak on climate SOTU or the same week the State Department’s report on the XL pipeline’s impact on climate was released.  There are no coincidences when a 20 term Congressmen picks his adios announcement day.

Congressman Waxman in a Tesla, contemplating how fast he could drive away from DC in one of these EVs. (c) Joe Galliani

Congressman Waxman with 66 District Assemblyman Al Muratuschi, in a Tesla Roadster, contemplating how fast he could drive away from DC in one of these EVs. (c) Joe Galliani

I think Henry called “No mas!” because he knows the politics has terminally trumped the science and that there will be no adequate response on climate from our United States government – either from the Congress or from the White House which gave lip service to Waxman but not the kind of support he needed – the kind Obama is happy to approve if it means killing Osama Bin Laden, but not if it means killing his relationship with the fossil fuel industry.

Waxman knows that the Canadian tar sands are game over for the climate. He knows that fracking California just helps put the unneeded nail in the coffin and that our current national orgy of oil production is the climate’s Sodom and Gomorrah.

Waxman knows that the White House isn’t listening to Michael Mann or James Hanson – let alone Al Gore or Bill McKibben. The same way they wouldn’t listen to Steven Chu after they picked him to be their energy expert.

How many times do they have to piss on your leg while telling you it’s raining before you get it?

I think Henry got it and now he won’t be taking it any more.

If I’m wrong then you’ll see Waxman take the lead in the climate hawk community and come out swinging on climate the day his term ends.  If that happens I’ll welcome it and work side by side with him.  350.org would be a good place for him to land.  Plenty of heavy lifting left to do, Henry.

But personally I think at age 74 Henry’s had it.  He doesn’t see any signs that we’re going to go Fossil Free and 100% Renewable Energy in time to prevent a 2+ degree rise in global temperatures and the destiny that brings with it.  And that absence of hope comes from a career in DC and being able to smell the crazy juice being guzzled down by the corporate right and their shameless suckups and sycophants.  

Fair enough, Henry.  Go in peace.  But your friendly neighborhood Greenuis still has plenty of juju and mojo to keep me going for whatever comes next.  I’m in it till I see how it all ends.  

And I’m ALL in.