San Francisco Clean Energy Act, Proposition H (November 2008)
Measure H was defeated with 38.44% of the vote.
The measure called on the city to:
- Produce more than half of its energy through renewable sources within a decade. However, it defines "renewable sources" as simply non-nuclear, as opposed to the State of California's more stringent definition.
- Explore a move toward city control of its power. There is no mandate to stop a takeover of private utilities by the board, however, if the study does not result in a recommendation for a public power takeover.
- Fulfill 51 percent of its energy needs through renewable energy by 2017, rising to 75 percent by 2030, and 100 percent "or the greatest amount technologically feasible or practicable" by 2040.
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, the original sponsor of the charter amendment, said it represents "what San Francisco's green energy should strive for." Mirkarimi said it was "not a hostile takeover" of private power companies, but represented "what should be the indigenous right of San Franciscans." The primary motivation behind the measure is the belief that Pacific Gas & Electric doesn't buy enough renewable-sourced energy to provide electricity in the city.
- 11.4% of PG&E's electricity came from renewable sources in 2007.
- Under current law, the amount of energy PG&E buys from renewable sources must increase to 20% by 2010.
- Proposition H would require the city to get 51 percent of electricity from renewables by 2017.
- Proposition H would require the city to get 75 percent of electricity from renewables by 2030.
Dianne Feinstein opposed Proposition H. So did Mayor Gavin Newsome.
The language on the ballot said:
- "Shall the City: evaluate making the City the primary provider of electric power in San Francisco; consider options to provide energy to San Francisco residents, businesses and City departments; mandate deadlines for the City to meet its energy needs through clean and renewable energy sources; establish a new Office of the Independent Ratepayer Advocate to make recommendations about utility rates to the City's Public Utilities Commission; and allow the Board of Supervisors to approve the issuance of revenue bonds to pay for any public utility facilities without voter approval?"
- SF Supervisors Approve Clean Energy Ballot Measure, July 23, 2008
- New York Times, "A Clean Energy Uprising in San Francisco"