For much of my life my place on the political spectrum was well on the left—slightly to the right of Che Guevara—but over the years I have mellowed a bit with time and experience nudging me inexorably toward the center, as far as I can get from the consummate idiots occupying either extreme. So you can imagine my leftist chagrin when after reading Al Fonzi's recent piece ("The green-energy chimera," Feb. 25) that I had no choice but to admit that for once Al was completely correct.
In the same edition, a letter condemning the Atascadero City Council for having the foresight not to embroil their community in the community choice energy scam is a good example of delusional groupthink ("Wake up Atascadero," Feb. 25). The author is obviously unaware that the community choice process does absolutely nothing to reduce global carbon emissions, since it involves purchasing green energy from already existing sources. Carbon emissions can only be reduced by expanding additional renewable capacity to replace that of carbon-emitting sources. The author is apparently unaware that the majority of renewable sources are only available part of the time and can therefore only serve part of the total demand. Recent California Energy Commission data indicates that in-state renewables can only ever serve about one quarter of total demand, therefore continuing renewable subsidies is a complete waste of money.
Advocates of community choice do not realize that purchasing renewable energy from distant sources is the same as purchasing clear crystalline water from a distant mountain stream and having it delivered through your tap. You do have a receipt proving you purchased pure, clean water, but that will not save you from lead poisoning from your local infrastructure or the communistic effects of fluoride.
Finally, and most importantly, community choice advocates are ignorant of the dangers of subjecting their communities to the whims of the wholesale energy market. Could community choice communities face the impact of skyrocketing rates, as it recently happened in Texas? The answer is yes. Could that happen in California? It already has: Remember Enron? Just like rampant energy deregulation, community choice will also prove too good to be true.
San Luis Obispo