Energy Democracy Campaign Update

In May, our Energy Democracy campaign was designated a priority campaign by the chapter. The timing couldn’t be better. Energy Democracy is a movement across the country to convert privately owned energy utilities into public management and ownership, and to bring greater transparency and accountability to municipal utilities and rural energy cooperatives. The need to transition to renewables is too urgent to let corporate shareholders and fossil fuel lobbyists call the shots – public power is a public good, essential for climate justice.

SDG&E is owned by Sempra Energy, whose primary business is storing and shipping fracked natural gas. Sempra operates massive operations in Ensenada and Louisiana, and is building a new terminal on Texas’ gulf coast. Our Energy Democracy campaign offers the opportunity for solidarity with chapters across the continent and transnationally, as we fight to shut down global circuits of extraction and existentially dangerous carbon dioxide emissions.

This week, the City of San Diego will begin considering terms for a new energy franchise agreement. The current 50-year agreement with SDG&E will expire on January 20, 2021, and two other bidders have stepped forward to compete. City Council’s Environment Committee will meet on July 2 at 1 pm, and will begin discussion of terms for the new franchise agreement. UPDATE: This meeting has been postponed by the city council, and they have not provided a new date yet.

We urge DSA members and friends to offer public comment during this meeting to let members of the Environment Committee know that public accountability is crucial for achieving a transition to renewable energy that doesn’t put the financial burden on the working class. (This post will be updated with dial-in details as soon as they’re available.)

Many more activities are being planned for this crunch time for our campaign, so please reach out to or (members only) join the #wg-met-ecosocialism channel on Slack to find out more.