Open Mike at Energy Independence Day July 4

by Mark Gabrish Conlan Monday, Jul. 02, 2001 at 3:56 PM, (619) 688-1886, (619) 563-7761 P.O. Box 50171, San Diego, CA 92165

Add YOUR opinions on the California energy/electricity rate crisis and the harm it's done you or your business as part of the Coalition for Affordable Public Power's (CAPP) "Energy Independence Day" rally July 4. Congressmember Bob Filner, San Diego City Councilmember Donna Frye, Chula Vista City Councilmember Mary Salas and representatives of grass-roots organizations will also speak.

Local Officials, Activists Proclaim Fourth of July Energy Independence Day


SAN DIEGO The Coalition for Affordable Public Power (CAPP) announces that their Energy Independence Day rally, Wednesday, July 4, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the County Administrative Center, 1600 Pacific Highway (Harbor Drive side), will feature an open-mike section. Individuals who are being especially hard hit by skyrocketing utility rates and the threat of rolling blackouts are encouraged to speak.

CAPP also announces that Jodi Beebe of the Utility Consumers Action Network (UCAN) will be speaking at the rally. The group is also in negotiation with the California Public Interest Group (CalPIRG) to supply a speaker. With these groups represented, virtually every organization in San Diego dealing with energy and utility-rate issues in a grass-roots manner will be part of Energy Independence Day. These new speakers join U.S. Congressmember Bob Filner and newly elected San Diego City Councilmember Donna Frye as part of Energy Independence Day, being held to offer ordinary San Diegans a chance to join together and demand that the people regain control of their energy future.

Filner, a veteran Congressmember and former San Diego City Councilmember and San Diego Unified School District board member, has been active on the energy issue. He sponsored a bill to force the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to impose price caps on power wholesalers serving the California market, and has also filed charges with the California Attorney General and San Diego County District Attorney alleging that generating companies have illegally manipulated prices to gouge the state and energy consumers.

Frye, a long-time environmental activist in San Diegos beach areas, recently won a hard-fought race for the District 6 City Council seat left vacant by the resignation of former City Councilmember Valerie Stallings. When I was living in Sacramento [in the 1970s], we had public utilities, and it worked fine, Frye said in a Zengers Newsmagazine interview during her campaign. All the people that paid into the utilities were owners of it. I like that system. I think its a good system, as long as the system has some controls.

Other speakers at the rally will include:

MARY SALAS, Chula Vista City Councilmember and future candidate for Mayor of Chula Vista. We are no better off than we were when this [energy crisis] started, Salas said at a previous energy rally with Filner in Chula Vista May 4. The county is pursuing several options, including forming a municipal utility district to give us energy independence. It is my goal that the city of Chula Vista become more active in efficiency and renewables, including installing photovoltaics [solar energy cells] on all city buildings wherever possible.

DAVID DRAKE, former Escondido Planning Commissioner and board member of the San Diego County Water Authority. He recently proposed a renewable energy goal for the City of Escondido, which was adopted by the Escondido City Council. He is an engineering manager, holder of two patents and a Caltech Electrical Engineer. He was the former VP and CIO of Mitchell International. He has worked at JPL, Digital Equipment, and SAIC. Drake has a strong interest in supporting renewable energy resources as the key to long term energy independence and economic growth.

HOLLY DUNCAN, an official intervenor against the construction of the proposed large-scale power plant in the Otay Mesa area of San Diego and a veteran activist on energy issues. We used to have a monopoly that was regulated, and now we have one thats unregulated, Duncan recently told a hearing of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in San Diego. I am a retired state employee and I got paid to follow the rule of the law. Im asking what kinds of laws were following now. The public voice is out the window, and the rule of law is not being followed anymore.

ROBERT NANNINGA, a native of San Diego's North County, a freelance television producer and environmental writer by trade, and a Tree Hugging Dirt Worshipper by nature. A long time progressive activist, Bob writes editorials for three regional newspapers under the title Observations from the Edge. Currently serving as co-chair of the Green Party's San Diego Chapter, he also performs the task of media spokesperson. Other affiliations include San Diego EarthWorks and Zero Population Growth. Mr. Nanninga also sits on the Parks and Recreation Commission for the City of Encinitas as well as San Diego County's Fish and Wildlife Commission.

JIM BELL, head of the Ecological Life Systems Institute (ELSI) in San Diego, candidate for San Diego City Council in District 2 and principal co-author of Investing in an Energy-Secure Future for the San Diego Region, a detailed plan for energy independence in the San Diego region based on the maximum use of investments in efficiency and renewable energy sources.

In addition, musical entertainment will be provided by the Prince Myshkins, an original folk duo whose wry, satirical lyrics and unusual instrumental blend of guitar and accordion regularly delight San Diego audiences; and the Watergypsies, an all-female trio who artfully blend folk and smooth-jazz styles.

The San Diego Coalition for Affordable Public Power (CAPP) represents San Diego citizens and grass-roots organizations who are actively pursuing the following strategies to resolve the energy crisis and provide for the well-being of our economy, community and environment by advocating for public control, operation and ownership of power (production, transmission and distribution); investment in energy efficiency and conservation; maximizing local control, use of renewable energy technologies and distributed energy generators, located near the consumers they serve.