SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — In a stunning defeat for green power advocates, San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has halted a decade-old plan to develop a city-operated power program to generate clean energy for residents.

Environmental activists who had been pushing the clean power program to ween residents off PG&E, asked the PUC to approve the rates for CleanPowerSF. The rate approval would have been a necessary step to move the program forward to its launch next spring.

Backers of the CleanPowerSF plan wanted residents and businesses to have a choice in their supply of power.

Opponents complained the plan is merely a shadow of the one approved by the supervisors in 2004 with rates still higher than PG&E, no promise of local jobs and the opt-out feature where residents would be enrolled and then have to say no thank you.

PUC President Art Torres was one of three no votes that halted Clean Power in its tracks.

“We want to make sure that the rate payers are protected here and right now I don’t feel comfortable that this proposal does that,” Torres said.

Supervisor John Avalos is asking the city attorney whether the board of supervisors can force the PUC to set rates while Mayor Ed Lee, who always had concerns, said the PUC made the right decision

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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