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Wednesday's Letters to the Editor


<b>Don't wait</b>

EDITOR: While we appreciate the Santa Rosa City Council's consideration of the risks of joining Sonoma Clean Power, what about the costs of not joining?

Coddingtown spends about $1.1 million annually on electricity. We would save approximately $34,000 with Sonoma Clean Power. Multiplying the impact of a "no" vote over the whole city, Santa Rosa commercial customers could lose about $2.2 million per year paying PG&E vs. Sonoma Clean Power. Imagine the benefits to local businesses of keeping that $2.2 million instead of paying extra to PG&E.

Other downsides of late entry: Santa Rosa will not have a voice in selecting the electric service provider or setting rates, both critical decisions that will affect Sonoma Clean Power for years to come. Santa Rosa businesses won't be represented on Sonoma Clean Power's business operations committee. We would lose a year of reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

The council has spent time hypothesizing about what could go wrong. It should give equal weight to the hundreds of similar programs around the country that are succeeding.

Give businesses and residents a choice for clean energy. Please don't make us wait.

KIRSTIE MOORE

Development manager, Codding Enterprises

<b>Innovative program</b>

EDITOR: I'm glad to see competition will be coming in our electricity market with the start of Sonoma Clean Power in January. Hopefully, this will make PG&E strive to be more efficient and creative.

What we have now is nowhere near a competitive, free market. A monopoly power provider is overseen by a state agency that is unaccountable to the public. Rates are set by state bureaucrats. Innovation is practically non-existent.

Competition spurs innovation. We should all embrace the opportunity that is Sonoma Clean Power. It will allow innovative companies to figure out how to tap local power.

CHRIS BRUNAMONTE

Santa Rosa

<b>Renegade court</b>

EDITOR: The 15th Amendment states, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on the account of race, color, or previous conditions of servitude." It continues with these words, "Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

Everyone should note that the 15th Amendment leaves it to Congress and not the Supreme Court to determine the appropriate legislation. As recently as 2006, a Republican-controlled Congress voted overwhelmingly to retain the provisions in the Voting Rights Act. Unfortunately, we have an activist Supreme Court that disregarded the letter of the Constitution, legislative history and past decisions by the court when it gutted the heart of the Voting Rights Act. As a result, millions of Americans who should be protected by the 15th Amendment may lose that protection, not because of Congress but because of an ideologically driven Supreme Court.

With this decision, some states are enacting voter-suppression laws that are aimed at preventing the very people identified in the 15th Amendment from exercising their constitutional rights. Will the American people stand up to this renegade Supreme Court?

RICHARD NEFFSON

Rohnert Park

<b>Nuclear-free zone</b>

EDITOR: I'm excited that Sebastopol will finally be a truly nuclear-free zone now that we've joined Sonoma Clean Power. We've had "nuclear-free" on our welcome sign for years, but every minute of every day, as PG&E customers, we are using nuclear power. Starting in January, it could be the end to our dependence on nuclear power.

While the bad news is that Sonoma Clean Power won't guarantee that it will never use nuclear power — it's just a demand for the first round of energy buying — the great news is that the decision-making board is made up of the participating cities, so Sebastopol will be able to steer Sonoma Clean Power into making the entire county (or at least the cities that participate) a truly nuclear-free zone for good.

SAMARA SEIBEL

Sebastopol