On Friday afternoon, the city Controller's office released a report on the economic impact facing the city if it chooses to dabble in providing residents with public power. You couldn't time a release better — if you were hoping no one would read it.
And that's too bad. Because, per the controller's analysis, the proposed contract with Shell Energy to inaugurate the CleanPowerSF program will cost the city millions more than the status quo, require a 77 percent spike in San Franciscans' electricity costs just to break even, and require city agencies to begin paying higher energy rates — and, therefore, spend millions less on services — and will actually cost the city jobs.
Spending far more money, bleeding city agencies, and costing the city jobs would still be ostensibly worthwhile to provide San Franciscans with “100 percent renewable energy,” the term used, repeatedly, in the controller's analysis.
Just one thing: “100 percent renewable energy” doesn't mean what most English-speaking human beings think it does.