Sunday, June 7, 2009

Attention Obama Supporters and Other Concerned Citizens...THE CALIFORNIA POWER BROKERS ARE AT IT AGAIN-Green Earl

Photo by Greg Barnette
Record Searchlight
Redding, California


This article goes out to our
entire nation...please look at
your local power transmission
plans and schemes before it's too late...I
suggest we either see these backdoor deal,
power brokers fired and or
put out of business, or start stringing some of
them up from their power towers.(joking here of
course, smile)

Below, get a taste of whats been going on with our
local utility providers, The City of Redding, CA
(located north of the state capital of Sacramento,
about 150 miles)and PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric)
headquarter in San Francisco, The most evil and
power greedy utility in the world.

Read how these crooks, weave their webs without the
public knowledge or input, whenever possible,pushing
their plans down their rate payers throats while
expecting them at the same time to pay their tabs...
for the new transmission lines, really only they need.
_Green Earl

This article is running in Today's Record Searchlight
Newspaper, Sunday June 7th. Please click on the online
version located in the title of this blog thread...

Personal thanks goes out to Scott Mobley, the best reporter
in the North State of California.

TANC plans were hidden in plain sight

By Scott Mobley (Contact)
Sunday, June 7, 2009

Stan Sours looks back at his wife Judy as she pets Piney, one of the many farm animals they raise on their solar-powered small farm in Round Mountain. The Sours are one of many people who will be under a proposed power line project that will connect Lassen County to the San Francisco Bay area and central California. " For us we have worked so hard to achieve out energy independence and these animals our our babies," Stan Sours said. " I just don't see the need for more power impact in our area and I think there is a more economical way to achieve their energy needs."

Photo by Greg Barnette / Record Searchlight

Stan Sours looks back at his wife Judy as she pets Piney, one of the many farm animals they raise on their solar-powered small farm in Round Mountain. The Sours are one of many people who will be under a proposed power line project that will connect Lassen County to the San Francisco Bay area and central California. " For us we have worked so hard to achieve out energy independence and these animals our our babies," Stan Sours said. " I just don't see the need for more power impact in our area and I think there is a more economical way to achieve their energy needs."
Stan Sours feeds cattle at his solor-powered small farm in Round Mountain.

Photo by Greg Barnette / Record Searchlight

Stan Sours feeds cattle at his solor-powered small farm in Round Mountain.
Power lines drape the landscape off of Oak Run Road Road.

Photo by Greg Barnette / Record Searchlight

Power lines drape the landscape off of Oak Run Road Road.
The TANC Roster

Fifteen municipal utilities and rural irrigation districts formed the Northern California Transmission Agency (TANC) in 1984 to build a high-voltage power line to Oregon. Here is a list of the agencies involved:

City of Alameda.

City of Biggs.

City of Gridley.

City of Healdsburg.

City of Lodi.

City of Lompoc.

City of Palo Alto.

City of Redding.

City of Roseville.

City of Santa Clara.

City of Ukiah.

Modesto Irrigation District.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

Turlock Irrigation District.

Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative.
Participants' percentages

Five TANC members are planning the new transmission line from Lassen County to Silicon Valley. Here are the participants, with the percentage costs each is paying for the initial planning:

Sacramento Municipal Utility District: 34.2 percent.

City of Santa Clara: 28.4 percent.

Modesto Irrigation District: 22.7 percent.

Turlock Irrigation District: 13 percent.

City of Redding: 1.7 percent.
Cost comparisons

Clear Creek sewer treatment plant expansion: $75 million.

Cypress Avenue Bridge: $73 million.

Power plant generator No. 6: $64.5 million.

TANC line: $45 million (estimated).

New police station: $32 million.

Stillwater Business Park (first phase): $25 million.

City Hall: $24 million.

The Transmission Agency of Northern California, or TANC, went from an obscure organization to a household epithet in just a few short weeks this spring as it announced plans to build new power lines across the north state and down to the San Francisco Bay area.

While the plans were a surprise to much of the public, a few Redding Electric Utility officials have quietly been helping plan the line since fall 2005.

REU and other TANC members see themselves in a race to meet looming deadlines for state renewable energy supply mandates.

Utility officials also believe the new line will build flexibility into the delivery system and reduce the cost of power imports from the Pacific Northwest, keeping rates lower.

"It's not easy to have low rates," said REU Director Paul Hauser. "If it were, everybody would have them. To keep our rates low, we must have the conviction to build these power lines."

REU is one of five TANC members planning the 600-mile, $1.5 billion transmission project.

The line and its eight new substations would stretch from Lassen County to Silicon Valley. The project is largely intended to tap potential renewable energy sources in far Northern California and beyond.

Power line opponents note that no one is rushing to develop renewable energy in the Northern California/Nevada border region targeted by TANC planners at REU and other utilities. Any public benefit from energy available there would hardly match the environmental cost of routing new transmission lines over the mountains into California cities, they say.

Power suppliers will build enough new renewable energy plants in far northeastern California to meet demand once they know they can hook up to the grid, TANC officials have said.

Planning to go greener

California utilities must get 20 percent of their power from wind, solar, biomass, tidal sources and other non-fossil fuels by the end of next year under current legislation. But public and investor-owned utilities are anticipating legislation requiring they draw 33 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2020 and more than half before mid-century.

Redding lists 15.2 percent of its energy sources as renewable in its 2008 power content label, compared to a state average of 11.8 percent. About two-thirds of REU's renewable energy comes from its 24-megawatt share of a wind power farm near the Columbia River Gorge delivered over lines TANC built to Oregon in the early 1990s.

REU is counting on the new TANC line to supply nearly all the renewable power it would need to meet the toughest mandates. Redding would draw up to 76.8 megawatts of renewable power from the proposed project, Hauser said. A single megawatt can power about 800 households.

The city is a minor financial player in the new power line, carrying a 1.7 percent share of its planning cost under an agreement signed early last year. The utility has budgeted $600,000 for its share of the planning effort and may wind up spending more.

Redding would own 3 percent of the transmission capacity on the northern and central parts of the line, should the City Council vote to participate once planning is complete.

REU's portion of the TANC line would start with the proposed new substation at Ravendale in Lassen County, cross the Cascades along two corridors converging at a new substation in Round Mountain, then march on a single route across Oak Run, Millville, Cottonwood and west of Red Bluff, ending at a new substation near Tracy in the northern San Joaquin Valley.

The utility would not invest in those parts of the line stretching east from Tracy into the Tuolumne County foothills or west over Altamont Pass into Silicon Valley.

Utility officials in early 2008 estimated the city's share of costs to help build the line at $44.5 million. There were no ongoing ownership cost estimates.

Hidden in plain sight

As Redding and other TANC members girded for the challenge of importing more renewable energy, the agency's planning process has been hidden in plain sight for those who knew or cared to look.

TANC is a public entity as open to scrutiny as any other. Its meetings are subject to the Ralph M. Brown Act.

Anyone owning property in or near the proposed power corridors could have attended one of those meetings and learned about the transmission line at its earliest planning stages. But that would have meant driving several hours to and from TANC headquarters in Rancho Cordova, east of Sacramento.

New power lines aren't proposed as frequently as other major building projects that can radically change landscapes. Few outside the utility industry would have reason to know about TANC, which last went before the public to plan for a power line nearly a quarter-century ago.

Redding Vice Mayor Patrick Jones sat on the council in February 2008 when it voted to join the partnership planning the new transmission line. That vote had been relegated to the council's consent calendar, reserved for non-controversial matters passed on a single vote without discussion. No one on the council or the public asked to move the matter to the regular calendar for open discussion.

Jones recently attended a community meeting in Cottonwood to learn more about the project. Nearly 350 people had shown up to organize against it.

Shasta County Supervisor Les Baugh and Tehama County Supervisor Charles Willard told property owners at the same meeting last month they had just learned of the TANC line and planned to oppose it.

Costly energy

TANC opponents in Shasta and Tehama counties and elsewhere have set out to prove the transmission project is an ecosystem-destroying, property-devaluing uneconomic "line to nowhere" tapping a region whose renewable energy potential is poor at best.

Opponents draw their arguments from the same Renewable Energy Transmission Institute (RETI) study TANC uses to show enough possible wind, biomass, geothermal and solar power exists in far Northern California and northwestern Nevada to justify building new power lines to transport it.

RETI is a years-long planning effort to expand the state's transmission network to remote renewable energy sources. The initiative was launched last year by the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission and the California Independent System Operator.

TANC is not listed among RETI's nearly three-dozen participants. These include Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and the state's two other major investor-owned utilities, large municipal utilities in Los Angeles and Sacramento and the Northern California Power Association, an organization that counts Redding as a member.

A RETI study released early this year pokes a hole in one of the TANC power line opposition's central arguments - that utilities should stop building high-voltage lines to distant places. REU and other utilities should instead invest in energy efficiency and rooftop solar arrays that would not require costly, unsightly and destructive lines, they say.

The study identifies at least 16,480 megawatts of potential power throughout Northern California from small-scale photovoltaic solar systems. That's three times what the area could glean from wind and large-scale solar arrays, according to the study.

"But even optimistic assumptions about implementation of these technologies (photovoltaic solar and energy efficiency) do not materially reduce the need for large scale renewable generation," the study states. "Abandoning transmission planning for renewables in favor of much heavier reliance on energy efficiency and distributed generation greatly increases the risk of not being able to meet state policy goals by 2020."

The RETI study seems to support the other main anti-TANC power line argument about Northern California producing too little renewable energy to justify the new transmission towers.

The study splits the state into 29 zones capable of providing renewable energy and ranks each according to the value of that energy and the cost of transmitting it to customers - including the environmental cost.

Northern California ranks at the bottom in the RETI study overall for renewable energy yield versus cost. The overwhelming majority of California's most economical and least environmentally destructive wind, biomass, geothermal and large solar sits in the Mojave Desert and its surrounding mountains, the study shows.

All told, the Northern California area that the new TANC line would tap could yield nearly 5,600 megawatts of electricity from renewable sources, almost all large-scale solar and wind, according to the RETI study.

The "Lassen South" area of eastern Plumas County is nearly the worst of the worst in the study. Development there would mean huge potential damage to the environment and high economic cost relative to its potential energy yield, the study shows.

The "Lassen North" area of Lassen County scores lower on the study's environmental concern scale, but is still a high cost compared to the value of the energy available there for consumers, according to the study.

The Round Mountain area - near the site of the proposed Hatchet Ridge wind project in Burney - ranks well for economic cost but raises serious environmental concerns, the study shows.

The TANC line would not tap Hatchet Ridge, since PG&E has locked up all that potential power, Hauser has said.

Only the windy Solano area near the Carquinez Strait in the San Francisco Bay area ranks well in the RETI study for relatively low environmental impact and high energy yield compared to cost. The new TANC line would transmit some of that wind power, officials have said.

Hauser said TANC does not dispute Northern California's poor showing in the RETI report. But he believes politics may have caused the report to overestimate Southern California potential by failing to factor in all transmission costs.

And even if the Mojave Desert is rich with renewables, TANC could not justify the expense of building power lines there, 800 miles away and deep inside investor-owned utility territory, he said.

Meanwhile, the proposed TANC substation at Ravendale in Lassen County could potentially tie in with lines bringing in energy from Nevada, the Pacific Northwest, the northern Rockies and western Canada, he said.

"We have to get what we can get," Hauser said.

Reporter Scott Mobley can be reached at 225-8220 or at

Posted by RussellHuntForThePeople on June 6, 2009 at 8:40 p.m.

* Reply to this post
* (Suggest removal)

Now tell the real truth. TANC is transmitting coal generated electricity from three plants in Nevada (under construction). Two at Ely and one at Gerlich. Do you think SMUD would ever get away with these lines running through Donner Pass ?

Posted by pk5000 on June 6, 2009 at 9:19 p.m.

There will be a public forum with the TANC board at the Cascade Theatre on July 8th. Everyone should plan on attending.

Posted by Patrecia_Barrett on June 6, 2009 at 9:21 p.m.

It was not hidden "in plain sight" when it only appeared once almost a year and a half ago on the City Council's in-house consent calendar (reserved for items of little importance to be passed with NO discussion), right between "Plant a Tree Day" and the designs for decorative street lights.

How can Redding officials possibly justify sliding a $44 million project by the public in this manner which will deprive everyone in its path of their homes and property and threaten the health of people in its proximity?

I recently spent five years living out in the country about 200 feet from major power lines. Every time I walked out the door the humming was quite audible, it played havoc with my electronics, and after several years I developed cancer.

This is anything BUT a trivial matter, and the public has every right to be concerned.

Judging by all I've read and heard, the people of Northern California will receive little benefit from this project, but I'm looking forward to reading comments from people who are more knowledgeable than I am on this subject.

Posted by 420 on June 6, 2009 at 10:07 p.m.

It's a real disappointment that our employees feel they can sneak around behind our backs and pull this crap on us. I guess we're lucky to have them. Thank You Paul,how did we ever get along without you?

Posted by coachlisacmt on June 6, 2009 at 10:34 p.m.

in response to Patrecia_Barrett

This project was not a transparent project.
1) The consent calendar issue Patricia brought up. However, Paul Hauser was not there then but we can thank Mr. Starman the City Manager.

2) The first scoping period for comments was set to end on April 30th. Most of the property owners were not even notified. It was the grassroots organizations that fought with TANC to give us a second mailing that was "certified" and an extension of the scoping period to May 31st.

3) Funny how after the second mailing TONS of property owners found out for the first time that they would have power lines going over their homes. Due to new outraged property owners TANC and WAPA had to again extend the scoping period to July 31st.

4)The RETI report wasn't manipulated for political reasons. TANC is just mad that the "uneducated hillbillies" of Round Mountain actually turned out to biologists, researchers, and educated people who dug up the information and sent it out to the public.

5)This will not help the grid overload. The grid is only overloaded during very limited times during the summer. These could easily be taken care of by solar panels on roofs. How about using the already proposed plan of putting up solar panels on the old dump Mr. Hauser. The rest of the time the grid is under used. In fact ask REU about the substation they have that I think they are leasing out or slowed down since they don't need it right now?

6) SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) has put a nose ring through the other TANC members - including REU because they want this project. The other members, being lack of innovators have followed along. True innovators would be willing to stick their necks out there to try to do things better with newer technolgy.

7) This project will be archaic before it is even done and the citizens will be out 45 million dollars that they will pay for. This project has no guarantees for Redding.
8)There will be no renewables only dirty coal fired plants so "no" this will not meet the renewable mandate.

9) The 33% added renewable law will probably not even get through the legislature (ask one of your assemblymen) so can't use that one anymore Mr. Hauser.

10) Every time we call you on your lies and manipulation you make another move in the chess game. However, there are 6800 property owners who are not going away. We can't refinace our property because of you and your project since banks are already devaluing our property. We can't sell because we have to already disclose. You won't buy our property just take 1000'foot easements and put your lines within 30-50 feet of our homes.

Tell the truth!!!!!!!!!

Posted by citizenactivist on June 7, 2009 at 2:47 a.m.

Does anyone realize the amount of renewable energy that local rate payers (REU) could put on their homes and businesses with the money that our utility company will be spending on these transmission lines? (Soon and in the future?)

Why all the secrets? Answer... You can't have monopolies without them.

The fact is...we don't need the powerlines..They do. And those of us taking renewable measures on our own homes and business are the competition. As you already know. REU, now, like PG&E does not like competition.

Anyone wondering how the future of renewable energy will look if these old, tired
games continue, only needs to look back in California Utility and power grabs 10
this) my own renewable energy blog, where I can write more than 3,000 characters
and finally say ASSHOLES when I want.) I want to apologize to the Record Search-
light in advance, for running Scott's and their article here, but I did link it
above, back to their website and as someone who once worked for this paper as a
top producing ad salesman, who quit when my associates and I all got screwed out
of a Christmas Bonus, we had all earned..I figure they kinda owe it to me and I'll
drop that subject, and our general manager at that time, drinking problem, as long
as they don't get too uptight about this..._Green Earl

But there are somethings about our local utility, REU and PG&E and our city managers
some past and present, I want to get off my chest here, once and for all... is the kinda of stuff you can look forward to...if we as a state do not
stop these power brokers once and for all...PG&E, to the north of the state and So Cal Gas & Electric to the south, like Reagan were about the worst thing to happen to renewable energy here in California and the nation.

What happened in California in the early 2000's when the PUC mandated that power be deregulated in California? The utility monopolies, of the state, who have always been in bed together, here in elsewhere throughout the nation, got together and
came up with what I can only call an evil plan to retain the power in the state
to such an extent, I'm not sure today, the actual cost to their rate payers, their children and their children's children. When these monopolies started playing with the power, that hot summer, Gov Gray Davis at the time, was forced to his knees
and unknownly was forced to give the state away to these signing long-
term contracts payable by the states rate payers for decades to come. Also deals
to build more polluting gas-fired power plants were put into action across the state.
You can thank PG&E and others for your child's ashma attacks and allergies given
to them, while they're employees where teaching them about solar cells in their class rooms.

It was PG&E who told many of our potential solar customers here in Shasta County that a solar hot water heater, was not an effective purchase...imagine, an area
where you get over 300 solar days a year, not cost effective. It was PG&E on Meadowview in Redding, that put a piece of shit, fiberglass absorbtion active
solar collector on it's roof (turned yellow from the heat) and left it there
for years as a testimony to how crappy solar good really look. It was in spite
of PG&E, not because of them, that my own company and several others I owned or
worked for put in thousands of projects across the state, still operation trouble
free, now 30 years in January.

And REU..has followed close in PG&E's foot-step, making power deals with the devil,
and selling the residents of Redding, Ca and Shasta County down the fucking river
while doing it...Example, only until recently Redding residents have been told
it would take 16 years for them to get a return on their investment...Why in a city
with over 300 days a year of good solar? Because, instead of giving (incenitives
for conservation, solar dhw, and solar PV) of any real benefit to the ratepayer,
instead they've lied to them, giving them instead, light bulbs while they have
built up a huge stock pile of cash for them to oversee and funnel into other city
projects..(While on this subject...The city and REU must have their own profit and loss more mixing services and monies..seems like everytime you ass holes at the city and now at REU save us money...we get screwed...Why do you think that is?

So what happened 10 years ago when PG&E and the other Monopolies where forced
unwillingly into Deregulation...First of all..and this is the crime...they took
the money the state gave them for their cooperation and the loss of customers they
surly would suffer, when the 200 new, mostly renewable green and hydro, wind and
solar providers, started signing up their customers...and folks, there was no
shortage of customers...people hate monopolies, ten of thousands of California
utility customers signed on with the new providers, many willing to pay 20% or even more, for renewable energy instead of old, tired and polluting methods of power
generation that had been used up till then.

What did PG&E do with the tens of millions? They put it into a special account and company called Pacific Energy, they BK'ed Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) they gave their execs golden parachuttes and many scrambed off to the beaches of the world
like the scum and rats they were. They screwed the remaining stock holders, many
retired, widows, depending on their stock values to subsidize their monthly incomes..
and when it came time to turn over the utility customers who had signed on with
the new companies,,,they refused. They continued not to work in good faith with the 200 providers, as they promised when they took the $$$$$$ and either took forever turning rates and usage figures over to the new renewable energy providers or never did, until every last one was out of business..

Instead PG&E screwed their stock holders, many retired who depended on the regular stock incomes to subsidizes their retirements. Their execs all retired to the beaches of the world.

A few well placed brown outs during that summer in the high rises in LA and Grey Davis was forced to give the state away...Your grand children will still be paying on that one. Plus the power company got the state to approve a dozen, really who knows how many, new polluting gas-fired turbines..

We maybe cannot do too much about the people at PG&E who continue their evil ways and plans and expect us to pay the tab, but we sure in hell can do something about REU officials and/or other city management that conspire against their rate payers, and neighbors and the good hardworking honest people of Redding.

This is not change we can believe in. We must organize and take our city back. Enough secret meetings and non-public agreements. You people are out of control.

REU looks like it needs to appoint a board of directors made up of Redding Citizens who care about the rate payers and are willing to make full disclosures...These folks are way to big for their britches. -Green Earl,

Founder, American Energy Conservation Group
Producing Negawatts..............Since 1981

You'll remember me..I sat out in the rain and snow a few years ago, (for nearly 2 weeks) at McGees Corner in Anderson with a sign that said PG&E SUCKS...well looks like REU does now too...

Side note..why did I have to do that? Because PG&E had a canned message on their service call in number and many folks in the area had gone without power, during those storms for days, PG&E recorded message told each customer, Not to worry their power would be restored that evening, so my neighbors, stayed in their freezing homes, day after day, calling that stupid-*ss number.

Because of that message, elderly folks, sick folks and others in the area, stayed in their unheated homes, with their food going bad, and suffered for days...while PG&E skeleton crews reinstated the power. (This system and way of doing business, has since been changed by PG&E)

I suggest we need a whole lot of other changes made if were ever going to stop these power hungry POWER Grabbers....

This is exactly why I fought the Shasta Ranch Gravel Pit...Because public notice was supposed to go out to my neighbors and a private survey, my own, discovered that about twenty neighbors, surrounding the ranch had never heard of it. And Lyle and the rest who devalued the properties of others, and are now running a business in a known toxic dump, where pumpkins people couldn't eat, and hay that horses could,
but not cows, grew....These greedy, evil and tricky bastards, and Some with Shasta
County , Planning, etc, etc...are lucky I was not chairing the committees to stop
that plant..we would have done a lot more..... that purchased matching T'shirts...

So...there you have never ends, and it never will until we organize, and take the power and give it back to those that can be trusted with it....


Solar, Wind, Bio, Energy News And Commentary By_Green Earl, 30 year Pioneer In Conservation & Solar Energy

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