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Supes submit CleanPowerSF, surplus land, legacy business ballot measures

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The Truth in Advertising Act would define what qualifies as renewable energy, for example solar panels, such as those shown here in Hayes Valley. EXAMINER PHOTO BY CINDY CHEW

On the verge of launching a renewable energy program, San Francisco is facing opposition from a ballot measure that would restrict how it advertises the effort to convince customers from switching back to PG&E.

Opponents of the CleanPowerSF community choice aggregation program, set to launch as early as January, announced on June 1 a Truth in Advertising Act ballot measure that would require The City to tell customers about “the actual percentage of renewable, greenhouse gas-free electricity provided” to consumers.

The measure defines what qualifies as renewable electricity, for example energy generated by solar or wind power.  The measure goes further to state any energy outside of that definition, such as renewable energy credits, would prohibit The City from using words like “green” or “clean” in its marketing materials of CleanPowerSF.

That didn’t sit well with Board of Supervisors President London Breed who on Tuesday submitted a Right to Know Act, which among other things reaffirms the state law definition of renewable energy resources and calls on the Department of the Director of the Environment to inform electric customers of the nuclear power content of energy providers.

“This way, when San Franciscans choose which energy provider to use — PG&E or CleanPowerSF — they can make an informed choice, knowing that almost one-fourth of PG&E’s power comes from nuclear plants,” Breed said.

The measure was placed on the ballot with four signatures from board members on Tuesday, the deadline to do so. Supervisors John Avalos, Scott Wiener and Julie Christensen signed it along with Breed.

The countermeasure was submitted by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245, which represents
PG&E workers. It has to qualify for the ballot. It would need 9,700 signatures by July 6.

If both measures pass, the one with the most votes prevails.

Another measure submitted was Surplus Public Lands by Supervisor Jane Kim with the support of supervisors Avalos, David Campos and Eric Mar. It would require a more rigorous examination of public lands for housing development and mandating below-market-rate requirements. For any public parcel sold for development, for example, the project would have to ensure at least 33 percent of the units are offered at below market
rates.

Supervisor David Campos introduced, with the support of John Avalos, Jane Kim and Eric Mar, a measure to create a Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund. The fund would provide grants to businesses and landlords to help keep long-time small businesses from closing down amid the economic boom resulting in skyrocketing rents.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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