by David R Baker, Bloomberg
What happens when a famously left-leaning city dives into the buttoned-down business of electric utilities? San Francisco may soon find out.
City officials are studying the possibility of creating their own utility out of the wreckage of PG&E Corp., the energy giant that filed for bankruptcy in January. The city would buy the company’s local wires—or possibly seize them through eminent domain—to create a utility that would be, well, very San Francisco.
If all goes according to plan, PG&E’s system would serve as the backbone of a full-service municipal utility that San Francisco’s politicians could use to make an all-out push for 100 percent renewable power.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity, because the crisis of climate change is a crisis,” San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen said during a hearing. “We really need to take it to the next level, and that next level is a complete build out so that we are providing 100 percent renewable energy to all of our customers.”