Members Fighting Climate Change
News From Our Climate Change Committee
Celebrating Earth Month
The Climate Change Committee hopes that you had a Happy Earth Month! Earth Day started on April 22, 1970, and the event helped jumpstart the modern environmental movement. Since we are still under a Shelter-in-Place order, we wanted to share some resources that many of us used to celebrate Earth Month in our homes.
Have time to read? Click HERE for an EarthDay.org list of some “must-read” books on the environment and climate change. The Green Book List HERE from the San Francisco Library is broader in scope. Even though the libraries aren’t currently open, it looks like most of these can be found online HERE.
If you’re more in the mood to watch a documentary, go HERE for a list of some interesting-sounding environmental documentaries that are currently available on Netflix.
And, if you know anyone who would like to get more involved with local environmental issues, the Citizens’ Advisory Committee of the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority is recruiting new members. You can learn more and apply HERE, or you can contact Vicki Alexander, HERE for additional information.
Recycling, Youth Outreach, and MORE!
We encourage you to join with the Climate Change/Natural Resources committee to support the most important environmental missions in our League history. Please contact Rita Norton HERE
Recycling: What happens to the items in your recycle bin?
Our League is following the state of the recycling industry and the issues of how waste contaminates our environment. With this in mind, we have scheduled a local recycling tour, which will be educational and useful for our research. See the Greenwaste Facility HERE.
Our Committee has initiated research into microgrids and their potential role in supporting communities into a resilient sustainable future. Committee member Vicki Alexander has created a Google Docs page where we can share our research. Microgrids are at an exciting time as the CPUC is developing new protocols for their implementation. We also plan to provide comments to the City of San Jose on this important emerging topic-Please contact Vicki at HERE to participate in the microgrid research project.
LWV supports outreach to youth in San Jose. LWV will have a table at the March 7th City of San Jose's Pathways to Climate Smart Career Fair. Please contact Sara Nicolson HERE to volunteer for this exciting event and share optimism for the future with youth and help in voter registration at the same time.
San José Clean Energy GreenSource
San José Clean Energy GreenSource Service Remains Cleaner & Cheaper than PG&E. View our Testimonial for TotalGreen video below, prepared by member Karen Nelson and her crew to learn more about our commitment.
In 2020, residents and businesses who are enrolled in GreenSource, the default electricity generation service from San José Clean Energy (SJCE), will receive more carbon-free electricity than in 2019: 86%, including 45% renewable energy from solar and wind. Despite a 6% increase in carbon-free energy from hydroelectric plants in 2019, SJCE will maintain the 1% rate discount relative to PG&E standard service. This rate discount is after accounting for PG&E-added fees. Customers can also upgrade to TotalGreen to receive 100% renewable energy, costing the average home about $5 more per month than GreenSource. The San José City Council, SJCE’s governing body, approved the 2020 power mix and rates on December 10. For more information, visit SanJoseCleanEnergy.org.
The League Supports San Jose Clean Energy
Carol Watts, President of LWV of San Jose/Santa Clara, is providing a testimonial in support of San Jose Clean Energy’s TotalGreen product.
By doing so, the LWV is on record as a community leader – and communicating our understanding of the importance of acting to support climate change mitigation. With our board's approval, we encourage our members and community associates to educate themselves on the impact and solutions for the Climate Crisis that demands a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to minimize our carbon footprint.
Our President’s testimonial will appear on the San Jose Clean Energy’s web page, along with other San Jose/Santa Clara League members. We also plan to post them on social media to increase our visibility. We thank our members, Karen Nelson and Sally Pyle for organizing and videotaping these testimonials.
Since the initial San Jose Clean Energy study, our LWV has supported the consideration and adoption of this program based on the positions in support of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Along with many many other communities in California, the City of San Jose operates Community Choice Energy procurement utility for residents and businesses. Combating climate change and reducing the carbon footprint of the City is the rationale behind the adoption of this program.
Currently, San Jose Clean Energy offers a number of customer products.
Green Source is 80% carbon-free with 45 % renewable.
TotalGreen is 100% carbon-free and 100% renewable.
Residents can easily upgrade to TotalGreen and purchase 100% renewable energy.There are important global impacts by signing up for TotalGreen. Every household that participates in the TotalGreen program annually saves 2.5 tons of CO2 emissions equivalent to what 1 acre of US forest absorbs in a year. Recently, individuals and organizations have chosen to provide Testimonials to upgrade to Total Green have done so for the following reasons:
To reduce their carbon footprint, protect the planet for their children or grandchildren.
To help SJCE to further invest in new renewable energy resources and promote a green grid at the State and micro level.
To drive their EV’s carbon-free.
To provide a commitment by customers for the City to invest in long-term power purchase agreements such as the new 100 MW solar field and 10 MW of battery storage.
To become more resilient as the program evolves and TotalGreen customers can use their backup solar as a hedge against power blackouts.
It takes two minutes to enroll in the TotalGreen program!
It costs the average home only $5 extra per month, like a cup of coffee
All you’ll need is your PG&E account number, last name on the account, and service ZIP code
Green Storm Water Infrastructure
The League of Women Voters of San Jose/Santa Clara (LWV SJ/SC) was pleased to comment and urge approval of Green Stormwater Infrastructure Plan. The 88-page Plan itself is to be applauded for its long-term 30-year vision, to move the city from a purely gray stormwater collection system to an integrated green plan that not only focuses on reducing the impact of stormwater flows on health of downstream water system - but also addresses the need to integrate itself into the General Plan, address climate change and make our water supply more resilient.
Reach Building Codes
Additionally, the League of Women Voters San José/Santa Clara, along with many other organizations, had endorsed passage of a Reach building code in San Jose, which moves the building stock to carbon-free emissions by adopting all-electric buildings in new construction. San José’s Reach Code prohibits the use of natural gas in single-family and low-rise residential (3 stories or less) new construction. In other building types, it strongly incentivizes all-electric construction by imposing higher compliance requirements beyond base code for buildings that utilize natural gas, including making mixed fuel buildings “electric-ready” for future retrofits that replace gas-using appliances with electric ones. All-electric buildings only need to meet the base Title 24 requirements. In addition to the building electrification elements, San José’s reach code requires the installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure (EVCI) to help facilitate the transition to electric vehicles and requires buildings to be “solar-ready” where they are not already required by the State. This is a very big step forward in San Jose commitment to Climate Smart San Jose.
Global Climate Strike March
To cap that accomplishment off, our chapter joined with hundreds of students and resident in the global Climate Strike marching from Diridon to City Hall. LWV staffed a table at City Hall encouraging voter registration. Great turnout and important to be part of an international movement.
Mid-month our chapter attended a Northern California Climate Change meeting of the LWV in Sacramento where we shared information with other chapters and learned about efforts regarding sea level rise, electrification, CCA’s (community choice energy), smart growth and ways to support each other and our communities through advocacy and education.
High Speed Rail
We submitted a letter was submitted the High Speed Rail commenting on the proposed alternatives for the Modesto to San Jose portion, commenting specifically on the alignment going through San Jose. League member Bob Ruff has been the league representative. Safety concerns were raised in the letter regarding the staff-recommended Alternative 4 alignment. A copy of the letter is here
Fighting Climate Change
Our league continued its fight against Climate Change by hosting an informative event, Paris to Pittsburg to San Jose. A crowd of 75 attended the August 13th League event, where we showed the National Geographic film From Paris to Pittsburgh, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Jim Eggers, Sierra Club Loma Prieta chapter director, and panelists:
Kerrie Romanow, Director of Environmental Services, City of San Jose
Julie Hutcheson, Director of Impact, Committee for Green Foothills
Angel Ibanez, Office of San Jose Mayor, Policy Analyst: Housing, Environment, Energy, Immigration
If you were unable to attend, or want to watch the film again, go HERE to view the film online. If you would like to get involved to combat Climate Change there are many local groups who are effectively fighting the good fight every day. Click HERE to see a few.