Monday, October 25, 2021

Support Community Energy at Esco City Council on Oct 27, 5 PM

 The largest and most important action to reduce GHG in Escondido will be decided this Wednesday.  The Council will be deciding if it will participate in the Clean Energy Alliance.  Please see this action alert from our allies at Sierra Club North County Group.

A series of very important decisions will be made in the next few weeks about the North County’s energy future.  Even if you have been sitting on the sidelines till now, please get involved.  Sierra Club and our allies are advocating for the North County cities to join the Clean Energy Alliance, a community choice energy program that already includes Carlsbad, Del Mar, and Solana Beach.

The time for a clean energy future is here.  Please support this action.  Comment here and/or attend the meeting on October 27, at 5 PM when Escondido will decide its energy future.  Please communicate your support to the Mayor and City Council

Sierra Club comment letter is here.

October 20, 2021

Honorable Mayor McNamara and City Councilmembers, City of Escondido

RE:     Sierra Club NCG SUPPORT Escondido participation in Clean Energy Alliance

Dear Mayor and City Council:

Sierra Club North County Group (NCG) is in strong support of the city’s participation in the Clean Energy Alliance which we understand will be heard at the October 27, 2021 meeting.  This action will enable Escondido to begin to enjoy all the benefits of a CCA in 2023.

The Clean Energy Alliance (CEA) serves the residents of Carlsbad, Del Mar and Solana Beach and is the North County CCA. The feasibility study says that joining an existing CCA will save Escondido time, money, and valuable staff resources. A partnership with other North County cities will increase the economies of scale and benefit all of the cities.

There are several compelling reasons to move forward with this decision.

  • Residents and businesses of Escondido would get more renewable energy, at less cost than SDGE, through a CCA.
  • SDGE announced in 2019 that it is moving out of the power buying and selling that sector of its business.
  • A CCA is the most cost-effective way for Escondido to reach its major CAP goal for renewable, clean energy and GHG reductions.

Some of the other benefits of a CCA are:

  • Local Control– Unlike SDGE’s decisions, the CCA’s decisions are made in public meetings by local elected representatives that we can hold accountable.
  • Local Reinvestment – CCAs reinvest customer revenue into local clean, renewable energy projects. CEA, like many CCAs, offers rooftop solar customers better terms. This leads to more solar jobs, fewer greenhouse gases, and customer savings—all at the local level.
  • Local Jobs – More rooftop solar and large renewableprojects in our backyard lead to more good paying, local jobs for installation and construction.
  • Real Choice –A CCA is the only way to give rate-payers a real choice. If someone doesn’t like the CCA they can stick with SDGE.

The City of Escondido should move forward on a CCA now. The benefits are significant, local control, local jobs, local investment and more renewables. And, it will save Escondido residents and businesses money at the same time. It’s time for a real choice for where our electricity is coming from instead of the current monopoly.

We are in the midst of a climate crisis and we need to do everything we can to reduce GHGs. We can’t afford to keep putting off action. We should pursue more renewable energy now at less cost.

Sierra Club NCG urges the Escondido City Council to join the Clean Energy Alliance on October 27, 2021.

 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Earth Day Actions at the County- Support Sustainability and Native Plants on May 5th

Escondido Neighbors United is happy to support the following actions by our new Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer,

Check out these MAJOR POSITIVE actions that are being proposed for the County. 

In honor of Earth Day, we are doing more than celebrating our planet, in partnership with Supervisor Fletcher and Supervisor Vargas respectively, I'm bringing forward three policies that will bring major changes to how the county operates:  

  • ALL County departments will create and implement Sustainability Plans, to advance  sustainability in all aspects of how we work
  • Explore how to restructure the County from top to bottom to center sustainability in all our operations 
  • Launch a Native Plants Landscaping Policy, the first of its kind in the country, to safeguard our precious local biodiversity 

These would be major shifts in how the County operates so we need a big grassroots push to try to rally the votes to get these policies passed. We need your help to get these policies across the finish line.

 For the ENU Felicita Park gardening team, item 7 is a match made in heaven.  This will put us on an even stronger track to increase supply and use of native plants in our beloved park.

Please submit an e-comment today or speak in support of these policies at the virtual meeting on Wednesday, May 5th.

These actions to increase sustainability, equity, environmental justice, habitat protection and native plant landscaping will be heard by the Supervisors on May 5th where the Board will consider moving forward with these actions.

PLEASE help us make this a reality.  Please be sure you read these the staff reports and file a Board comment of support for the May 5th meeting.

Staff reports start on Page 19

Agenda item 6, 7, and 8 – Here is where to make your comments.

 

 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Growing Coalition Opposes Sprawl Development Harvest Hills

Over 40 local community, climate, labor, environmental justice, and conservation organizations sent a letter today to the Escondido City Council recommending milestones to be achieved prior to the city moving forward with any consideration of Harvest Hills.

The letter outlines significant policy conflicts between the proposed project, San Diego County, and Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCO) policies, fire disaster prevention, and formalized and proposed habitat plans. 

The best overview can be seen on this 2-minute video https://fb.watch/3Fnt49v6uX/ and a petition to sign to join the opposition.

Harvest Hills proposes to radically expand the wildland/urban interface and, if constructed, would threaten local and on-site residents and the world-famous Safari Park in the event of fire.

In the three years since the DEIR comment period was closed, several important actions have not been taken and new policies and more visible realities have worsened the prospects of this project. 

Locating sprawl development in a Very High Fire Severity Zone is increasingly being opposed by our organizations, local residents, and the California Attorney General. 

The organizations urge the City to require the following actions prior to advancing the CEQA review and rendering a decision on the project at the City:

1.      The Annexation Agreement needed to proceed with LAFCO Sphere of Influence and annexation decisions is fully executed;

2.      A favorable position for the project has been adopted by the County of San Diego demonstrating that incompatibilities are resolved;

3.      A full and detailed economic impact analysis is completed which makes transparent to existing residents and taxpayers the unfunded costs of this project, including an analysis of fiscal impact of a partially completed project; and,

4. The new City Manager is installed at the City.