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Show Your Opposition to State Assembly Bill 2145 – Energy Community Choice

wind-turbinesSustainable Novato and Sustainable Marin both strongly reject SB 2145, which will effectively destroy Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), so we are asking residents to send individual e-mails, phone calls, and letters opposing AB 2145 to Chairman Steven Bradford, Utilities/Commerce Committee, c/o his staffer , Phone 916-319-2062, or Capitol Office P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249–0062.

Sustainable Marin has sent the following letter to Chairman Steven Bradford:

SM Opposes AB 2145

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The First 100% Solar City?

Solar shade in lancaster

Solar panels over a stadium parking lot in Lancaster, CA

The high desert city of Lancaster, CA is seriously planning to be the first city in the world to produce more electricity from solar panels than it uses. It’s an ambitious plan, but they’ve already taken a number of measures that are more far-reaching than anywhere else in the world.  For example, all new houses in Lancaster, which is a fast-growing exurb of L.A., are required to either be built with a self-sufficent solar system of their own or to be part of a subdivision that contributes one KW of net generation to the grid for each home in the development.

These plans were recently the subject of a feature story in the New York Times. You can read it below.

NY Times logo

With Help From Nature, a Town Aims to Be a Solar Capital

By . April 8, 2013

LANCASTER, Calif. — There are at least two things to know about this high desert city. One, the sun just keeps on shining. Two, the city’s mayor, a class-action lawyer named R. Rex Parris, just keeps on competing.

Two years ago, the mayor, a Republican, decided to leverage the incessant Antelope Valley sun Continue Reading →

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(Video) Saving the Night Sky

USLight POL mapThe great American naturalist, Rachael Carson, once wrote of seeing “the misty river of the Milky Way flowing across the sky” as she gazed upward on a moonless night. Today, it has become harder than ever to see the stars as cities, with their 24-hour lights continue to sprawl. Many children learn about the Milky Way only through books or films, Too often, poorly shielded outdoor lighting, even in Novato, blots out the night sky and its myriad wonders, wastes electricity, and adds to climate-disrupting carbon emissions.

This video, from the International Dark Sky Association shows that this isn’t simply an esthetic issue or a problem only for astronomers. Light pollution is causing serious problems throughout nature and in our own daily lives,

To learn more about the problem and about practical steps for reducing it, check the association’s website and this 2010 report from the Council of Europe.

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Novato Leads on Electric Cars

Leaf recharging 640 wNovato city planners are working toward five convenient, local Electric Vehicle charging stations.  Novatans Donn Davy and Nancy Foster are enjoying their Nissan Leaf  with electricity from  the PV panels on their home’s roof . Both their heating and transportation come at very low cost and virtually zero carbon emissions, because the sun powers both his house and car.   Read more about Donn’s solarized, low-carbon driving.

And here are some more resources on EVs:


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Donn Davy’s EV Experience

Donn DavyAfter a year and a half of driving our Nissan Leaf all-electric zero emissions car, do we still like it? Did we make the right decision in leasing it? Has it met our expectations? Are we happy EV drivers?  To all these questions we offer a resounding, “yes!”.

The car is used more by my wife, since I work mostly out of an office in our home, and since I sometimes need to carry bulky equipment in my work.  The Leaf has adequate room for the equipment, but since it’s a new car, we choose to use the 2006 Prius instead.  Nancy drives the Leaf to work every day.  We take it to both airports, to the top of Mount Tam, to the tip of Point Reyes, to Santa Rosa and Healdsburg, to the East Bay, and of course on all types of shorter errands around Marin.  Continue Reading →

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