I am a fan of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. I appreciate the work that they do. I am grateful for the ability to toast my bread in the morning and take a hot shower at night. However, my affection for the utility comes with certain caveats:
•Please raise my rates ... if Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is deemed safe from earthquakes.
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•Please raise my rates ... if you will invest in a robust distribution grid that will support our hospitals, data centers and businesses.
•Please raise my rates ... if they are used to help those without enough to pay their own bill.
•Please raise my rates ... if you will develop advanced smart distribution grids.
•Please raise my rates ... if you hire more employees locally to design, build and maintain a system that supports the integration of large percentages of solar, wind, biomass, combined heat and power and other distributed renewable energy technologies.
•Please raise my rates ... if it will help California to get off its addiction to fossil fuels and to fight climate change.
•Please raise my rates ... if it will help our economy and communities become more resilient.
•Please raise my rates ... if they go toward innovation and not toward ballot measures that stifle competition.
•Please raise my rates ... if they don’t go to buy the voices of our trusted business leaders and politicians and the loyalty and silence of our needy community organizations.
•Please raise my rates ... if they will internalize the real costs of energy instead of externalizing them to our eco-system and to future generations.
This was read by Eric Veium during the June 15 California Public Utilities Commission General Rate Case hearing. Veium, who studied engineering at Cal Poly, works locally on issues surrounding local renewable energy systems and lives in San Luis Obispo.