‘Fire SDG&E!’ Rally at San Diego Civic Center Plaza – Sat., April 1

by on March 30, 2023 · 1 comment

in Energy, Environment, San Diego

From Press Statement:

The Public Power San Diego coalition will hold a mass FIRE SDGE! rally on April 1st, Noon, in Civic Center Plaza, downtown San Diego.

The event will be the first mass protest advocating a divorce from San Diego Gas & Electric, which charges the nation’s highest electric rates. “This rally signals a turning point.” said Craig Rose, a member of Public Power San Diego’s steering committee.

“The option to organize a community-owned, non-profit utility has been discussed and researched. This rally moves public power from a talking point to a political movement that aims to end our relationship with SDGE.

“We can’t afford a utility that charges these sky-high rates and is too often an opponent –not a partner – in fighting the climate crisis.”

The City Council hired SDGE, when it approved a new 20-year franchise with the utility in 2021. But it’s becoming more widely known that under the City Charter and the franchise contract, the council retains the right to fire SDGE at any time to organize a community-owned, non-profit utility.

The rally is also calling for City Council hearings into the January gas price gouge, which increased heating bills by 114 percent. Rally organizers urge the City Council to press for a moratorium on utility shutoffs and a halt to reporting arrearages to credit agencies.

“It’s the City Council’s job to oversee SDGE, its ‘tenant’,” said John Mattes, chairman of Hillcrest Indivisible. “We had over 350,000 SDGE customers in arrears on their utility bills before the January gas gouge. Many more are sure to fall behind because of that price spike.”

Once credit is damaged, Mattes, noted, it becomes harder to lease apartments and more expensive to obtain consumer loans for things like auto purchases. “We can’t let more San Diegans fall into financial disaster because of SDGE’s rates.”

Supporters of the rally note there are a host of contradictions between the interest of for-profit SDGE and the residents of our region.

“We need affordable electricity and SDGE charges the highest rates in the nation,” said Rose.

“San Diego needs to tap its wonderful sunshine by prioritizing rooftop/parking lot solar installation. But, SDGE works to make installing rooftop systems less attractive.

“We need cheap natural gas today and a rapid transition from this planet-damaging fuel as soon as possible. But Sempra Energy – SDGE’s parent company – needs revenues from its natural gas projects for decades to justify the billions it has invested in its fracked gas infrastructure.”

The event will include speakers from the Climate Action Campaign, Hillcrest Indivisible, San Diego 350, Democratic Socialists of America, the Sunrise Movement, Activist San Diego, Public Power San Diego and the North County Justice and Equity Coalition.

Music will be provided by The Resizters, a terrific local rock band.

Public Power San Diego advocates for the creation of a community-owned, non-profit electric utility. For more information, please visit PPSD’s website: publicpowersd.org

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

unwashedwalmarTthong March 31, 2023 at 12:30 pm

Wait! What?! We’re doing something?

OK, I’ll go.


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