Thanks for the detailed Nov. 13 article on the Tahoe Donner PUD staff’s recommendation to purchase coal electricity for 50 years.
On the face, this is ridiculous due to the long lock-in period. It is absolutely certain that there will be global carbon taxes within 20 years, which will raise the price of this energy supply type. Also, non-fossil supplies are coming down in cost steadily.
Most disturbing was the seeming fact that the PUD staff had not prepared a detailed study of all of the alternatives, including energy conservation, for such a costly decision. I have asked the PUD for the studies they have done. We all need to verify how clean the coal plant will be and what other alternatives were costed out.
We can do better than this. This is no longer a small rural utility that can operate on limited information.
I would like to voice several concerns about the Truckee Donner Public Utility District’s proposal to engage in a 50-year contract for electric power from a to-be-built coal-fired generation plant based in Utah. I believe that doing so would be unwise for the following reasons:
1) Any 50-year commitment is very risky. We can not know now what the future holds for electric generation, federal or state regulations or environmentally friendly, efficient, cost-effective power capabilities 15 or 25 years from now, let alone 50.
2) The American public is finally waking up to the reality of global warming and our state and federal government legislatures are (or will be by January) controlled by environmentally conscious legislators. Subsidies for coal generation will likely end and fines and other disincentives for carbon dioxide and other pollutants from generation plants will increase significantly. These will make being partner in a coal-fired plant a fiscally bad idea.
3) Finally, I believe that investing in any new power plant that will generate pollutants or gases that contribute to global warming is morally reprehensible.
I will gladly pay extra for electricity generated by environmentally friendly generation systems.
The community has been shut out of plans to utilize Truckee’s old middle school. Throughout many well-attended community meetings, the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District explicitly stated that a participatory process would decide the best use of vacated classrooms and modulars. The majority of attendees asked that space be used to centralize family resource agencies. In spite of our requests, closed-door meetings and undisclosed criteria have been used to make decisions. Valuable space is now being used to store unwanted office equipment. The school district has failed to follow through with its promises to Truckee residents and should restart community meetings on the matter immediately.
There has been some media attention in California regarding “amnesty programs” to homeowners who may currently have “illegal second units” in their homes, since such programs make properties more marketable for homeowners and help meet the growing need for affordable housing in the Truckee and greater Lake Tahoe area and provide “peace-of-mind” to prospective home buyers.
What makes sense for a small group of second-unit owners also makes sense for other homeowners in unincorporated areas of the county who did not obtain the necessary building permits for their construction or home improvement projects. And this also includes many homeowners who have purchased homes which have technically “illegal” second units because previous owners did not go through the permit process. In any event, if these other homeowners can prove that their work is up to code, then they are as deserving of a clean slate as the owners of “approved” second units.
Is this an issue of interest to a growing number of current and prospective homeowners?
Congratulations to Rob Haswell, Democratic candidate for the California Fourth Assembly District, for running an honorable, people-powered campaign with very little money donated only by individuals. His campaign style is a model for ethics in campaigning and maintaining personal honesty and integrity. He is an admirer of the late Senator Paul Wellstone, with whom he shares a devotion to making life better for everyone. He is an honest man. –
Hopefully, Rob will consider another run for public office because he is a new kind of candidate for our area that has become a bastion of out-of-area big donors who expect to pay to play. Rob is a quality-of-life candidate whose primary purpose is keeping our area good for people, in which families can raise children in a safe and healthy environment, with quality public education. Rob is the most ethical, intelligent and sincerely committed to the betterment of the people candidate in the history of our area. Please join me in urging Rob Haswell to consider running again for public office. Once people get to know Rob, they will support him zealously. Go to http://www.robhaswellforassembly.com and tell him why you want him to run again.
Jack L. Sanchez