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SOMETHING OTHER THAN NATURAL GAS STINKS AT SEMPRA ENERGY

Until now, I have had a lot of respect for San Diego, California-based Sempra Energy, a public company and the owner of SoCalGas, my gas supplier, and San Diego Gas & Electric, both located in Southern California. 

Sempra

Until I read this… 

Sempra boss says company is OK with San Diego City Council plan to eliminate natural gas

Natural gas is a cornerstone of Sempra, the Fortune 500 giant that is the parent company of San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Company.

But on Thursday, Sempra’s top executive said he has no beef with a unanimous vote by the San Diego City Council to eliminate natural gas in new construction and electrify nearly all existing buildings in the city by 2035.

We’re supportive of where the city wants to go,” Sempra CEO Jeff Martin said when asked about the council’s resolution during the company’s second quarter earnings call with financial analysts. “And I think one thing that’s unique about our business, whether we’re in Louisiana or Mexico or California, we’re strongly aligned with supporting policymakers and making sure we’re advancing services for consumers.”

[OCS: There is no doubt that clean-burning natural gas is a cost-effective, reliable energy source far superior to unreliable and intermittent power produced by solar and wind systems. Likewise, there is no doubt that the progressive communist democrats, the communist-infiltrated environmentalists, and the progressive propagandists in the media, both traditional and social, want to destroy America from within—primarily by destroying our energy-based economy.

One might think Sempra CEO Jeff Martin would champion environmentally friendly natural gas as a commonsense alternative to increasingly expensive green-power electricity, mainly when much of the base consumer costs translate into government subsidies, grants, and tax abatements to further the progressive’s communist agenda.]

The council’s vote earlier this week is part of a sweeping update to San Diego’s Climate Action Plan, passed in 2015, to slash greenhouse gas emissions throughout the city.

While many other cities in California, including Encinitas, have passed resolutions to ban natural gas in new construction, San Diego’s call to retrofit existing structures goes significantly further.

[OCS: Once the gas distribution infrastructure is degraded or removed altogether, the costs to retrofit new gas service become prohibitively expensive. Those costs are used to promote the continuing development of so-called green energy. With few exceptions, green energy production, distribution, and use are far costlier and environmentally unfriendly than existing alternatives. Especially more so when you consider that while the climate is constantly changing, the planetary-scale climate change emergency is one of humanity’s greatest political hoaxes. A hoax promoted by a loosely-coupled coalition of elites who profit immensely, both politically and financially, from the green power surcharges and subsidies.]

According to a PowerPoint presentation of the city’s update to the Climate Action Plan, 90 percent of natural gas usage in existing buildings will be phased out in the next 12 years. Specifics of the city’s more ambitious plan are still to come.

SDG&E has supplied natural gas to its customers for more than 100 years and SoCalGas is the nation’s single largest natural gas distributor. Parent company Sempra has established itself as one of the top players in the worldwide liquefied natural gas, or LNG, market.

Martin pointed to the fact that since 1982, the state has decoupled the profit that power companies make from the amount of power they sell to customers.

The price of gas and electricity is a direct “pass-through” so the utilities don’t profit from how much the energy costs. Instead, the California Public Utilities Commission sets a predetermined amount the utilities can make.

“In California, we’ll go out and purchase the fuel at a certain price, whether it be electricity and natural gas, we’ll run a really highly efficient system and we pass that cost on to the customers without markups,” Martin said. “So whether we’re selling more natural gas or less natural gas, isn’t really a financial issue to us.”

[OCS: California is ruled by a tight-knit radical cadre of progressive communist democrats whose public policies have destroyed our formerly Golden State’s economic base with their open borders, high taxes, and burdensome rules and regulations. Our legislature is fixated on sex, preferring to keep gay bathhouses open for promiscuous gay men rather than prevent a spreading public health risk like Monkeypox. The public be damned.

As for Sempra, they employ an army of lobbyists to support the company’s activities.

Sempra makes corporate political contributions in the U.S. as permitted by law only from corporate shareholder funds. Political contributions are made to candidates, political parties, political action committees, and ballot measures in furtherance of public policies that support the company’s business interests.

Sempra's employees take an active role in the political environment through the voluntary Sempra state and federal Employees Political Action Committees (collectively, SEEPAC). SEEPAC is independent of any political party. <Source>

Does Sempra speak out of both sides of their mouth?

Misaligned Lobbying Efforts Run Counter To Climate Goals

SoCalGas’ anti-climate lobbying practices have made headlines in recent months. The California Public Utilities Commission’s Public Advocates Office is investigating its use of ratepayer funds to promote natural gas and has thus far recommended the company pay a $255 million fine. SoCalGas has also filed lawsuits with California agencies fighting clean truck regulations and electrification policy.

Sempra claims it is taking action to reduce its climate emissions, but its efforts to block climate policy tell another story,” said Lila Holzman, Energy Program Manager for As You Sow. “Investors are concerned that such misaligned lobbying efforts run counter to climate goals, delay action, and set Sempra up for increased risk.”

States like California are taking the lead in adopting policy solutions to the challenge of how to transition away from natural gas. In early 2020, the California Public Service Commission launched a rulemaking to examine the potential for stranded assets and rate-setting issues related to managing “the state’s transition away from natural gas-fueled technologies.” New York and Massachusetts have since followed suit with similar investigations. Cities in California (and across the country) have already banned gas hookups for new construction, a trend likely to continue.

“Policy, economics, climate, and ratepayer concerns are converging to move the clean energy transition forward,” said Daniel Stewart, Energy Program Associate for As You Sow. “Investors want to see utilities embracing and promoting policies that align with Paris goals. Instead, Sempra’s lobbying indicates it will continue to fight and cling to business-as-usual reliance on fossil fuels. This strategy is extremely short-sighted.” <Source>

Sempra company fined $10 million for ‘unlawful’ lobbying

“It might surprise a lot of people to know that your utility is using your money to shape California's policy,” said Sara Gersen, an attorney with the environmental law group Earthjustice, a party involved the lobbying rulemaking litigation.

Lobbying at ratepayer expense is allowed under state law if the utility is encouraging more energy efficiency, for example, by supporting building codes that require electric stoves, said Gersen.

“Because in the long run, raising energy efficiency standards for the appliances we buy and the homes we build saves customers a ton of money,” said Gersen. “The problem is that SoCal Gas got caught using our money to lobby against stronger energy efficiency standards.”

You might ask – why would a Sempra utility company lobby against the State's climate goals?

The trend toward electrifying homes is an existential threat to SoCalGas's business,” said Gersen. “SoCalGas and its parent company Sempra have a business model that relies on selling fossil fuels.”

Examples of the alleged lobbying violations were included case filings.  One alleged SoCal Gas sent a letter on August 9, 2019 to the City of San Luis Obispo concerning proposed local amendments to the 2019 California Building Code.

Overall, the cost-effectiveness analysis appears to be designed to reach a predetermined conclusion to support building electrification as the optimal pathway to decarbonize buildings . . . Large scale, economy-wide cost impacts to City residents and businesses should be based on robust and broad technical support and analysis, which . . . the current cost-effectiveness study does not do.  We support the city’s goal to reduce its carbon emissions but do not believe an all-electric scenario achieves that and places unnecessary costs on residents,” the SoCal Gas letter was quoted as saying. <Source>

Can you trust Sempra to do anything that does not benefit its directors and senior management.]

<Source>

About Sempra’s boss…

As Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and President at SEMPRA ENERGY, Jeffrey W. Martin made $14,721,786 in total compensation.

Of this total, $1,350,000 was received as a salary, $3,952,300 was received as a bonus, $2,833,344 was received in stock options, $6,083,529 was awarded as stock, and $502,613 came from other types of compensation. This information is according to proxy statements filed for the 2021 fiscal year. <Source>

He and his well-paid cronies are well-insulated from the consequences of their actions. 

Enough said! 

Bottom line…

Money talks, bullshit walks.

No one considers the number of AstroTurf organizations that were surreptitiously created to provide faux and ineffective opposition to a company’s true agenda.

We are so screwed when we do not know who to trust or what positions they support.

Steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS

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