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Currents

An Energy Newsletter for Local Governments

ISSUE 61: Special April 2008 Edition

Dear CURRENTS Subscriber,

This special issue of CURRENTS is to share with you a report developed by the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition (LGSEC) highlighting energy and climate change activities at State agencies that affect local government interests. This bi-monthly report is one of the services LGSEC provides to its members. Topic areas for this report include:

I have been writing about LGSEC in CURRENTS since the Summer of 2006. While utilities, trade unions, and other advocates regularly participate in decisions made by California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), very rarely are local government interests represented. The League of California Cities and California State Association of Counties focus their efforts on protecting city and county interests before the legislature. They do not as a rule become involved with the State agencies’ eventual implementation of the laws.

The need for the LGSEC became apparent during the Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) proceeding at the CPUC. During that decision making process, a small group of cities and counties banded together, pooled their funds, sponsored expert witnesses, questioned other witnesses and filed comments on the two major decisions in the proceeding. Both decisions reflected that input and are fair to potential CCAs. The outcome would have been far different had not local government concerns been part of the CPUC record that resulted in the decisions.

The LGSEC is a coalition of like-minded local governments that believe that local governments can increase their influence on the impacts, availability and reliability of future energy use in California by speaking with one voice at regional, state and federal venues. It seeks to influence decisions by state agencies and others, rather than having to react to decisions that have had no local government input.

The LGSEC’s mission is to provide a central resource to help California cities, counties, special districts and regional government entities to:

  • Stay informed of energy policy, regulatory and market developments affecting their interests;
  • Expand local competence to shape energy issues and developments;
  • Share energy experience and expertise that can benefit other communities;
  • Leverage their resources to inform and advocate in public forums for energy policies and programs that support local sustainability initiatives; and
  • Empower them to speak with a credible and cohesive voice on energy matters affecting their communities.

Full membership in the LGSEC, including a seat on the governing board, is restricted to cities and counties, and ranges from $5,000 to $10,000 per year based on population. Special districts and regional entities such as councils of governments can join as associate members, as can cities and counties not wanting to be on the governing board, for $2,500 per year. The current LGSEC Governing Board chairmembers are the County of Los Angeles and the City of Santa Monica.  For more information on membership, or to see the Memorandum of Understanding that members agree to or the LGSEC bylaws, contact Pat Stoner at pstoner 'AT' lgc 'DOT' org or by calling 916-448-1198, extension 309.

We hope you find this report valuable and will consider joining the LGSEC to help us continue this important work.

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