San Diego Union-Tribune Letter to Editor

June 12, 2014

Regarding the June 10 editorial “Geothermal mandate: Ben Hueso’s folly” and SB1139, the editorial’s conclusion that procuring geothermal will increase rates is simply inaccurate. Our complex energy system makes it easy for detractors to make unfounded claims. Californians deserve facts. 

Current state policies regulating how we evaluate the true costs of energy production puts geothermal power at a competitive disadvantage. This is foolish, especially when one considers the benefits of geothermal: no combustion, almost zero greenhouse gas emissions, and reliable energy supply to our grid 365 days a year. Furthermore, the mineral byproduct of geothermal extraction is lithium, which can be used to power phones and automobiles, further opening economic opportunities and paving the way for a low-carbon future.

More than half of California’s electricity is generated by natural gas, and 88% of it is imported. Geothermal is local and will keep California taxpayer dollars in California. 

Bottom-line: an investment in geothermal power is the next step to cleaner energy in California. It takes advantage of the state’s geography and has the potential to bring over $38 million in revenue per year to our local communities.

With geothermal power in the electric portfolio mix, electricity rates will not increase. A solid, long-term contract ensures stable rates, a benefit that other energy sources cannot offer.

We all share the responsibility of making this work to ensure the well-being and success of California’s environment and economy.