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Elected officials should have done basic research 

In response to Mark Henry's concern ("Community choice seems like a scam," Aug. 1): community choice energy is not a scam; it's a law. If Mr. Henry wanted to learn the basics about how community choice energy works, or energy markets in general, he could read the text of Assembly Bill 117 from 2002 or type "Community Choice 101" into a search engine. He chose instead to write a letter flaunting self-enforced ignorance, wild surmise, and ad hominem attack.

But that's not the problem. The problem, as my July 25 opinion piece ("They'd rather not discuss it") made clear, is that the Atascadero City Council and San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors had all the information they needed. A representative of one of California's successful community choice energy programs testified before them, and they could have asked him or their staff all the questions they wanted in order to determine why this is rapidly becoming the preferred method of energy generation in California. But they, too, professed ignorance and ended the discussion.

While counties and cities across the state are switching to community choice programs for the environmental and economic advantages they bring, these two local governments are now the lone holdouts on the Central Coast. As such, they are doing a significant disservice to residents.

Again, not a problem if Mr. Henry prefers to skip basic research and do something else with his time. When elected officials choose that course of action—and also refuse to agendize a discussion, deliberations, and a vote on whether to join the regional community choice program, thereby foreclosing the possibility of an informed decision—their constituents have a problem.

Andrew Christie


Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club

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