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City of Menlo Park to buy carbon credits

Original post made on Apr 1, 2008

A thumbs up and a $15,000 check -- that's what four of five Menlo Park City Council members agreed to give the new carbon credit program created by the Pacific Gas & Electric Corp.
But not everyone is on board the ClimateSmart program, including Councilman John Boyle, who questioned whether the program is the best use of city funds.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 1, 2008, 12:35 PM

Comments (10)

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Posted by Gov't run amuck..
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Apr 1, 2008 at 3:48 pm

The decision to waste $15,000 on a program like this is utterly astonishing. Since we're so worried about absolving our sins, why don't we donate an additional $250,000 to PG&E and raise taxes to do so... and while we're at it encourage citizens to live like we're in the stone ages. Go PG&E!! Go Menlo Park village idiots!! Go environmental extremists!! Welcome to the new era of environmental socialism...

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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 1, 2008 at 7:44 pm

This unflagging insistence of the city council (some members it seems) on spending our money is absolutely disgusting.

This inexcusable use of $15k will not be forgotten.

It must be so easy to spend someone else's money. $15k could have been used for "the environment" in a tangible way that educates and encourages residents directly. Instead, our money is thrown into an abyss.

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Posted by yagotabekiddinme
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 1, 2008 at 10:41 pm

Village idiots at work! Isn't this the same council that drove out business, ran up a deficit, and then came to the voters to bail out the city with increased taxes? Then they give our hard earned money to PG&E for guilt credits? Throw them out!

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Posted by GetItStraight
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Apr 2, 2008 at 7:43 am

YGTBKM, Excuse me, but your memory needs refreshing. The deficit, if there really was one (can anyone clear this up, now that city hall is no longer controlled by David Boesch?), was announced during the Jellins-Winkler-Duboc Rule of Error. And the utility users tax, to which I presume you are alluding, was passed under their reign, and with their support.

Your criticism of the current council's action re carbon credits may be valid, but your mucking it up with falsehoods doesn't advance your cause.

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Posted by DJW Watchdog
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 2, 2008 at 7:59 am

They're baaaaccck!!! "Joanna" and all the other Duboc, Jellins, Winkler shills were ready to kill council just for considering the Park Theater are now trying to oust council for making a $15k expenditure. Just check out a consent calendar on any council agenda to see many routine expenditures that far exceed this. Web Link The consent calendar on 4/1 contains a $68k expenditure whose output is "a study" to reduce automobile trips. Four times the amount to produce a document.

$15k is so small its within the discretion of the City Mgr, yet "Joanna" et al want to go to war.

For those who feel either "pollution price" or "cap and trade" systems are critical, donating $15k just to bootstrap the program is a worthwhile expense.

Yes, government quickly needs to zero in on effective actions to reduce global warming, but there is a difference between the criticism of those who want more effective actions and those who don't care, but want to exploit the criticism to cease power and change the policy direction in Menlo Park.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 4, 2008 at 2:30 am

Why is it that anyone who questions the wisdom of the projects that Ferguson and Robinson are trying to railroad through the council are labeled as "anti-green?"

Boyle is not the only one who thinks that the PG&E ClimateSmart program is a distraction and a waste of our money.

Michael J. Brune, the executive director of Rainforest Action Network says “Helping consumers buy offsets is feel-good environmentalism that lets people duck out of responsibility for changing their behavior”

Daniel F. Becker, the director of the Sierra Club’s global warming program says “People view offsets as papal indulgences that let them make environmentally bad decisions.”

Govindasamy Bala of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory says that other than urban shade trees and tropical rainforests, planting trees does NOT reduce global warming and should NOT be used to offset CO2 emissions.

Salon says that funds from ClimateSmart may be going towards building a new forestry school at Purdue and that $16 million in advertising costs for ClimateSmart are already being passed through to all Californians through a PG&E rate increase. Web Link

The environmental consultants (ICLEI) hired by our city council recommended against participating in ClimateSmart at the present time.

Even PG&E, with a $2 billion dollar operating profit, is only contributing $1.5M (0.075%) to ClimateSmart.

Robinson and Ferguson should follow the process that they established to develop a Climate Action Plan based on our Initial Emissions Inventory and a rigorous cost benefit analysis of the many options generated by the GRCC.

Their attempts to eliminate the at-large citizen positions on the coordinating committee, circumvent the Brown Act requirements for public process, and then push through their own pet projects ahead of prioritized Climate Action Plan undermine public trust and support for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Initiative.

Mayor Cohen should show some leadership and get this initiative back on track and keep it out in the open.

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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Apr 4, 2008 at 8:37 am

Boyle Brigaders:

I will soon release the voting records of these new councilmembers.

What I can tell you is that while there has been some inconsistencies across the board, the one councilmember who has voted for his supporters without apology is Boyle. If you support him, congratulations. If you thought he was going to represent everyone, tough luck.

I know you all are thirsting for the election run up. And the emails and the forum letters are just too transparent for words. But since you wish to use Boyle as your example and deride the others then you will need to see if he is voting for the city or for his $100K plus developer funders.

We will flood this forum and the papers with true data and facts. You can scream and call names all you want. But Menlo Park residents want and deserve more than that.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 4, 2008 at 9:07 am


What in the world does this have to do with Boyle and developers??? It was the Almanac that positioned Boyle as the only one speaking out against the ClimateSmart program.

The point here is the the council rushed through support for a program that leading environmentalists say at best should be a last resort. Conservation, renewable power, and green building should be the city's priorities, NOT purchasing carbon offsets that involve planting trees and building buildings.

We took the "Cool Cities Pledge." Why don't we start with the Sierra Club's list of recommended projects. Web Link

We had an audit done, why not start with our biggest emission sources.

The former mayor started a public process to generate a Climate Action Plan, why not listen to their recommendations.

If anyone is being political, it is Council member Ferguson who is trying to rush through a symbolic project that she can take credit for in the next election.

Why don't we put divisive politics aside and do something constructive about global warming. It will take more time and effort that a purchasing carbon offsets, but will be worth it in the long run.

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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 4, 2008 at 10:28 am

There is no circumstance in which private meetings are appropriate other than security related issues.

Those who obfuscate hearings and meetings for their own personal gain (monitory or political) will be identified.

Carbon credits on a city scale are an unnecessary expense.

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Posted by ColdRealityCheck
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 4, 2008 at 10:32 am


"Why don't we put divisive politics aside and do something constructive about global warming. It will take more time and effort that a purchasing carbon offsets, but will be worth it in the long run."

My advice: Don't hold your breath!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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