Whether it’s for the environment or cost savings, five North County cities are looking buy their power from an entity that is not SDG&E.

Community choice aggregation is the system that allows cities to choose where they get their electricity from. SDG&E is the local generator and provider, and it decides how electricity gets generated, whether that’s through burning fossil fuels or from alternate forms of energy.

Under community choice aggregation, cities would get to choose what generates their power.

Sometimes that’s done to get a handle on costs for residents. More recently, cities have chosen to act for environmental reasons, and put their money toward sustainable energy.

Del Mar and Encinitas recently voted to join Solana Beach to share the costs of a feasibility study, which includes a plan for how to roll out community choice.

If those smaller cities establish a nonprofit CCA, operated by private companies, they’d be able to choose who provides the CCA with electricity. The more cities (and customers), the more the cost of operating the CCA would be shared ‒ though residents can still opt to buy their energy from SDG&E.

And there are potentially a couple of “big gets” for the CCA on the horizon. KPBS reports that Carlsbad will consider paying for the feasibility study for its 45,000 homes. There are also rumblings for including the 65,000 households in Oceanside to a CCA.

But efforts to ditch SDG&E as their energy producer may be tough for cities.

Ry Rivard writes this week that SDG&E has successfully fought off energy choice efforts across the county for decades, including an effort to create a new utility for a growing San Marcos in 2000. SDG&E lobbyists also helped kill community choice aggregation in unincorporated parts of the county earlier this year.

Community choice is a different beast than what San Marcos was exploring, but lobbyists from SDG&E’s parent company, Sempra Energy, met with Solana Beach leaders ahead of their vote.

A veteran of the fight against San Marcos’ plan urged Solana Beach to delay a decision, to “join a broader and regional dialogue,” but Rivard writes that’s a familiar play from the industry handbook ‒ delay and hope the market is in a different place when the dust settles.

Encinitas Launches Climate Action Site and Draft Plan

Encinitas has launched a website dedicated to tracking the city’s climate action efforts, which includes a draft update of the climate action plan.

The climate action plan was first adopted in 2011, and provided an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in the city, set an emission reduction goal and a plan for meeting that goal. The new plan will include an updated inventory, as well as new methods for tracking, estimating and reducing emissions.

The city identified on-road transportation ‒ resident’s cars, public buses and trucks ‒ as the largest problem, at 54 percent of the city’s carbon dioxide emissions.

Encinitas’ strategy to reduce emissions so far hinges on retiming traffic lights, building roundabouts and installing electric vehicle charging stations ‒ all measures aimed at mitigating the effects of driving.

In short supply, however, are measures for getting people out of their cars. The draft identifies the main goal for dealing with the largest source of pollution as reducing the number of miles travelled by vehicles.

Those specific measures are to be spelled out in a separate document promoting active transportation, but typically those plans focus on improving infrastructure for walking and biking.

Improving infrastructure can only go so far in low- to medium-density suburban areas, where development patterns have given rise to the need to drive everywhere. Encinitas has long struggled with a housing plan that would, in part, grow the city with more walkable neighborhoods.

Trump Supporter Faces Deportation

Minister and undocumented immigrant Jorge Ramirez has been picked up by Border Patrol agents at his house in Oceanside and is awaiting deportation proceedings at the Otay Mesa Detention Center.

While stories of “good people” like Ramirez being picked up by immigration authorities are increasingly reported, what sets his apart is that Ramirez considers himself a Republican, and urged his daughter to vote for President Donald Trump, the Union-Tribune reports.

Trump spoke strongly against undocumented immigrants during the campaign, for those just coming out of their bug-out shelters, so Ramirez’s support for the president is a bit of a surprise.

“Trump said, ‘Let’s keep all the good people here and all the bad people out,’” Ramirez told the Union-Tribune. “That’s great, but I’m here. If I’m here, anybody can be here. I’m not saying I’m the best person in the world, but I’ve tried to live a good life.”

Also in the News

• Managers and part-timers with the city of Carlsbad may be getting pay raises. (The Coast News)

• Del Mar approved a plan for a 16-acre parcel on the bluffs, but the project will need several permits before it receives the final go-ahead. (The Coast News)

• Encinitas adopted a “deemed approved” ordinance, which allows the city to crack down on unruly bars. (The Coast News)

• An amendment to the Village Plan in Carlsbad is headed to the City Council, which would allow for a distillery at a property owned by Mayor Matt Hall. (The Coast News)

Ruarri Serpa is a freelance writer in Oceanside. Email him at ruarris@gmail.com and find him on Twitter at @RuarriS.

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