Sunday, May 30, 2010

California - the 1960s and 1/2 day of gasoline

Growing up in the 1960s, certain radio headlines seem to remain engrained in my pre-mp3, auditory memory:  Wayne Morse, James Meredith, murders of civil rights workersDiem, Medicare (yes, Medicare).

I understood neither the context nor parental answers ("He wants to go to school"), but I am certain the hourly news and daily repetition on classical WQXR (hey, I didn't have choice) created a permanent mental image not unlike an image etched into an old CRT monitor.

Recently, other distant names have surfaced:   permafrost and Alaska pipeline,  Torrey Canyon  and a very far-away place with beautiful birds and beaches called Santa Barbara.

It was a long, long time ago, so long ago that only aging sailors had tatoos.  But I remember.

Rather than complain about the relative guilt of BP, George W Bush, Obama or our addiction to oil, I want to do a calculation - something useful to get a feeling about how much oil has spilled into the Gulf.

For example, if all of the spilled oil had been gasoline, how many gallons would every California car get?  Let's try.

How Much Oil Has Spilled in the Gulf?

BP said 1,000 then 5,000 bbls a day.   After BP released a short video, NPR started reporting that scientists thought it was 20 -80,000 bbls per day.

Let's assume oil is flowing at a rate of 20,000 bbls each day.   There are 42 gallons of oil in a barrel and it has been spilling for 40 days.  If you multiple this out, it is about 34 MM gallons of crude oil.

Since the explosion on April 20, 2010, today's papers say about 18-40 MM gallons oil have spilled, so I in the right ball park.   Let's split the difference the assume the real number is 29 MM gallons of crude oil have spilled into the Gulf.

Ok, 29 MM gallons of oil sounds like a lot. 17% of Louisiana jobs are related to oil. If you are a Louisiana Brown Pelican, it is an awful lot of oil!   But what does 29 MM gallons mean to us?

Crude Oil to Gasoline?

A gallon of gasoline is not the same as a gallon of oil.  Both are mixtures of all kinds of chemicals and hydrocarbons.

Gasoline sold in California has about 100 different molecules.

But let's assume each gallon of crude oil results in 1/2 gallon of gasoline, give or take.  This is a "guesstimate."

So the 29 MM gallons of oil in Gulf, comes down to about 15 MM gallons of gasoline.

15 MM gallons of gasoline

Ok, we are get close.   Now California consumed 360 MM barrels of gasoline for transportation in 2008, i.e. all of us in California collectively consume 1 MM barrels gasoline EACH DAY (360/365) for our cars.  This is 42 MM gallons of gasoline each day in California.

Here we are then:  the total amount of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico would power every California car (yours and mine) for less than 1/2 day (15/42)!  Morning rush hour, barely!

May 30, "Plans for the Worst" New York Times


Louisiana & Energy, the Pelican State

California - 360 MM Barrels Gasoline, Transportation (2008)

Permafrost and Alaska Pipeline

1962  James Meredith

1967 Torrey Canyon Disaster

1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

California Energy Commission - CCS (Carbon Capture & Sequestration)

[Note:  This is first post on a complex, technological ambitious  - and controversial -  effort called Carbon Capture & Sequestration.  Errors are my own.  My purpose is not to spread more misinformation.]

At its May 19, 2010  business meeting (blog post), the California Energy Commission (CEC) approved continued funding for WESTCARB, a Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS)  project managed by CEC and one of several regional, DOE-funded projects to evaluate CCS.  

Commissioner Byron said that Calfornia should be a leader in this technology, as it is in energy-efficiency.

CCS means capturing carbon (actually CO2) from power plant  or industrial plant processes and  injecting the carbon dioxide underground for indefinite storage in  aquifers, old mines or oil fields. (here or here ).   The injection of CO2 is well known, and frequently used in oil industry to extract a bit more oil from aging wells. (Enhnaced Oil Recovery - EOR).   The Sequestration is part of the unknown: Will CO2 stay underground and not leak; who is responsible?  But another  challenging part is the large scale separation of CO2 from the gaseous stew when fossil fuel (with its sulfur and impurities) are combusted, as in coal or natural gas plants, industrial processes, etc.

At this meeting CEC approved a $4MM contract for WESTCARB to build upon Phase II (a small test injection is scheduled for later this year) and begin Phase III, a larger test facility.  Note, the amount of CO2 to be tested (1MM tons) is still small compared to the billions of tons of CO2 produced annually by US industry.

WESTCARB includes 7 states & British Columbia (international, but no China), and over 80 partners.  From WESTCARB's promotional materals:  "Sequestration allows ... continuing use of today's fossil fuel reserves, thereby 'buying time' ...."

Phase I (2004 -2005)
"....Phase I CCS research evaluated regional opportunities and potential barriers to implementation of the technology."

Phase II (a 5 year effort)

" perform three geological sequestration field validation pilots at which CO2 injection will take place—two in California’s Central Valley and one in northern Arizona. Phase II research also includes detailed site-characterization pilots—one on coal-bed methane and saline formations near a coal-fired power plant in Centralia, Washington, and the other on saline formations and oil fields near Bakersfield, California."

Phase III (a 10 year effort) will be inject CO2  from a commercial power plant or oil refinery as a field test.

California has a CCS Review Panel to the advise the CEC, CPUC, ARB and other agencies about specific CCS policies  and  the significant legal/regulatory framework.   It had its first public meeing on April 22, 2010;  the next one is this week: June 2, 2010.   I don't want to miss "Association of Irritated Residents" presentation, listed on the agenda.

At the April meeting, the Panel was clear that CCS is no "magic bullet."   But the discussion soon turned to regulatory and legal issues (who has underground CO2 storage rights?) , i.e. an implicit assumption that the technology, much not yet created, will be will invented, reliable and done in time.   

The panel was very concerned about public acceptance of CCS and avoid things like "not in my backyard."

[I think science should drive policy, not lawyers, so I don't get a vote.  I've been meaning to spend more time with this presentation because it is an assessment of state-of-the-art and how much further we need to go.   In English, author seems to be saying CCS isn't ready for prime time yet, but he does outline possible paths. ]

A California Example

Aside from WESTCARB trials, a company called Hydrogen Energy is proposing an ambitious project to combust a discharged residue of oil refineries (oil coke) to produce electricity, H2  and very pure CO2.   This CO2 will then be transported and injected into old oil wells to try to recover additional crude oil.  It is clean, ambitious and expensive.  Pure CO2 is valuable to the oil industry.  Note,  ARRA funding is at stake, too, in this siting - adding to the pressure on regulators like CEC.

But Why Caifornia?

This was asked at the April 22 Panel meeting. Unfortunatly, I missed the answer.  California has little coal, so using CCS for coal-fired power plants has limited applicability in California.   [However, much California electricity is produced by 'dirty' out-of-state coal-fired plants.]   California does have significant geological formations, esp. in the Central Valley, which might be useful for Sequestration.  And California does have SB 1368 will requires new coal-fired plants be as clean as natural gas fired plants  (500 g CO2 released, for each MW-hour of energy produced.)

CCS - has opponents

However, as all seem to acknowledge, CCS is hardly a proven technology.  Here is recent NYTimes article cautioning on use of more public money for CO2.   This particular  letter:  caught my attention, although the author appears to be pro-nuclear and doesn't mention energy-efficiency.  I, too, am concerned about use of public money for industry.

To the Editor:

Robert Bryce’s opposition to financing carbon sequestration development is right on point. Tax dollars should be devoted exclusively to financing research and development on clean energy. If “clean coal,” including sequestration, is a sound approach, the mining and fossil fuel industries should be able to finance their own research and development after more than a century of support from us taxpayers.

Renewables as far as possible and closed-cycle nuclear need our help until they are on a pay-as-you-go basis.  We need a new leader of the Department of Energy whose head is not turned from scientific and economic fact by political expediency. We have Congress for that.

Avrom Handleman
Indianapolis, May 14, 2010

California CCS Review Panel - June 2, 2010 Meeting

Hydrogen Energy Siting


WESTCARB - Phase II (2007)
'It allows society to reduce the carbon intensity of the economy while continuing use of economical fossil fuels, thereby “buying time” to develop and construct affordable non-CO2-emitting energy systems.'


NYTimes Letters
Avrom Handleman


Avrom Handleman, inventor, peace activist, entrepreneur, consultant, MIT grad., and former President of the JTDC, will present "A Rational Energy Program" at the October meeting. Ave will propose his "long-range program to get energy while putting Americans to work". 

NYTimes Op-Ed

MIT's Sequestration Page

California Energy Commission - Jobs, Retrofits, CSS, Tomatoes, PHEV & Smart Grid

To get a glimpse at the range of activities of California Energy Commission, the regular business meetings are a good place to start.   At the May 19, 2010 meeting, about $58 MM were awarded in grants, loans and contracts to an interesting set of green jobs programs, energy retrofits, PHEV and Smart Grid studies, and even new way to process tomatoes.

All agenda items here:

A few highlights:

-$19 MM contract - to retrofit the kind of refrigerators found in grocery stores (commercial retail refrigeration) and train people to do do the retrofits, In conjunction with the State's California Conservation Corps
-$3 MM contract with UC Davis - to examine the issues related to Electric Vehicles and the Smart Grid. What if we all want to charge our cars at 7 pm?
[Ex: "We re gravely concerned...[that electric cars] will drive up our need for peak power," CPUC Commissioner Grueneich recently said]

-$2 MM grant to the Gas Technology Institute (industry group?) - "To help design future energy efficiency [commercial] appliances", according to CEC's Valerie Hall - things like commerical ovens, cooking, woks.   Sounds good, but can't industry finance this?

-$400K grant for a Frito Lay Plant - a pilot demonstration of direct steam generation, using solar thermal.   Again, sounds good to support a new industrial process which claims to reduce energy, GHG use.  But again can't industry finance?   Frito Lay apparently also gave CEC an award, a year so back.   Unfortunately, the agendas list only project summaries and do not link to the full information the Commissioners and Staff have.    I just hope taxpayers are not funding greasy potato chips, even if the underlying industrial technology is cleaner.  Here are a few links I did find:
-2004 - potato chips -
-$400K grant - carrots! -  to demonstrate a technology which energy and cost-efficiently extract some of the remaining lipids (fats for fuel?) and nutrients from fruits and vegetables after they have been juiced.

-$2.5 MM loan @ 3%  - for Hayward to put a 1 MW PV system at its water pollution facility.  Alas, Hayward will forgo a 1% rate because it is far cheaper to purchase the the solar panels overseas.  (Can't somehow combine CEC awards and build the panels here?)  

However, some of the discussions during the meeting raised a few good questions.  
"Move the Needle" on the Rosenfeld Effect

After the $11 MM contract for a Bay Area home energy retrofits was approved, Commissioner Byon made a timely comment:  we need to "move the needle" forward with the promise of energy-efficiency (the famous Rosenfeld Effect that energy efficiency is the cheapest and easiest way to avoid more power plants; usually stated that California's per capital energy use has been flat - because of efficiency - while the rest of the US has grown.)

Commissioner Byron added we need to "quantify results," and the consenus appeared to agreed that we need to 'change the slope.'
Yes, let's see the data.

"I love data" and Oversight

CEC's Ms. Chandler, speaking for CEC managment, promised Commissioner Eggert a t-shirt with "I love data."   Sounds good to me.

However, with so much money already awarded through ARRA and other programs, we hope this is not an after thought.   As I have written before, ARRA has been working with CEC staff on the financial oversight (public information?) and it is wise to substantiate claims made in proposals and be sure that public money go to the public good.    Numerous awards are "passed through" to contractors or "public-private partnerships," whose agenda may not quite be what ours is.

But back to energy, the CEC needs to be sure to take full advantage of the data that will stream back about effectiveness and maturity of the various programs, technologies, vendors, funding mechanism and so on that will be integral to future policy.   Mr. Eggert made no follow-up  to his comment a week ago about asking a University to do  an indepedent, rigorous analysis pro-bono. 

Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS)

Among the awards was approval of DOE-supported WESTCARB, a large regional (several states & British Columbia - but not China?) effort to test feasibility of CCS.   CEC manages and co-funds WESTCARB.   

Commission Byron remarked "California wants to be a leader in CCS as well as in energy-efficiency."  Indeed, CEC approved a $4MM contract to build upon Phase II (a small test CO2 injection is scheduled for later this year) and Phase III, a larger test facility, will begin.

However, CCS is hardly a proven, or non-controversial technology, which even WESTCARB admits is "buying time" to continue using fossil fuel.
I will post more on CEC activities and CCS in the coming week.

But here is a recent letter to the NYTimes about public financing of CCS, although the author appears to be pro-nuclear and doesn't mention energy-efficiency.

To the Editor:

Robert Bryce’s opposition to financing carbon sequestration development is right on point. Tax dollars should be devoted exclusively to financing research and development on clean energy. If “clean coal,” including sequestration, is a sound approach, the mining and fossil fuel industries should be able to finance their own research and development after more than a century of support from us taxpayers.

Renewables as far as possible and closed-cycle nuclear need our help until they are on a pay-as-you-go basis.

We need a new leader of the Department of Energy whose head is not turned from scientific and economic fact by political expediency. We have Congress for that.

Avrom Handleman
Indianapolis, May 14, 2010

Committees, Committees ...

How many unique committees of 2 can you form from a pool of  5 Commissioners?

Several references were made to these Committees, statements like this or that was approved or vetted by a certain Committee.
I certainly aware of the Siting Committee, now grappling with a number of large solar desert projects with possible ARRA funds.   And I know of the Efficiency Committee for its work on decertifying a refrigerator and its work on low-carbon fuels, but I could not find meeting references to some of the Committees referred to here, where project decisions, apparently, seem to be taking place.  Is it public?

Public Process

I have heard that  "Not all committee meetings are public, it depends on what the purpose is. "  Hmmm.

And CEC awards are publicly announced by NOPA (Notice of Proposed Award).  For example, here is one for the organization that will help 
Measurement, Verification, Evaluation and Reporting, which was later approved at a CEC Business Meeting.

However, for many items on the May 19th  agenda, I could not find a NOPA announcement; nor a Commttee meeting.

So I have a bit more to learn about the process and when the public can be involved in its review.  

I know from experience and the advice of many more seasoned hands that business meetings are not place for debate issues.

(By my count, 10 unique committees of 2 can be formed from 5 Commissioners, meaning 2 Committees must have the same members but cover different topics.)

NYTimes Letters

NYTimes Article

CEC - May 19 Agenda

CEC - Committees

CEC - $314.5 (MM) ARRA? programs

CEC - ARRA contracts

NOPA (Notice of Possible Award)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Schwarzenegger's Office - Continues to Block Release of China Documents

In a previous post, I outlined efforts to obtain information about an energy cooperation agreement California signed with Jiangsu Province on October 3, 2009.  

The Governor's office refused to release any documents, except its original press release.

After  I asked about the CPRA (California Public Request Act) philosophy favoring public disclosure over non-disclosure, I received this May 17, 2010 reply  "public disclosure does clearly favor nondisclosure in this case"

Why a secret?

Of course, I do not know.   There are several private groups with indirect or direct ties to California, China and this MOU.  C3, for example, was started by CalEPA  under this MOU, but seems to operate privately. (CPRA request is pending.) Other private groups claim involvement with the MOU, but the State has refused to release information.

Last year, the The Sacramento Bee wrote about one such private group,, which pays for regulators and legislators to take overseas trips.  
Because California businesses join on these private trips, there is potential for conflict-of-interests, according to the Bee article. (California Foundation on Energy and the Environment) turned up in a recent CPRA request of the California Public Utilities Commission. CFEE paid for A "Legislative and Regulatory Delegation" to China last fall, some two weeks after the MOU was signed.  Two CPUC members participated, asserting benefits to California.  The CPUC referred questions to CFEE for more information about the trip.

In private communications,  denied any knowledge of the California-Jiangsu MOU.   However, the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)  is represented on its Board and the same NRDC was also one of the champions of the California-Jiangsu MOU.

I hope the State will shed light on these and other MOUs that the State has signed with China or elsewhere.  People such as Susan Kennedy (Gov Chief of Staff), Dian Grueneich (CPUC) promised to reply with information, but did not.  I have asked the ARB, CEC and gotten nowhere (CPRA requests have been filed.)

If "public-private partnerships" are to be believed, the public has a right to know.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

UC Davis - Energy for the Future Initiative & Nature's Secret Sauce

Coaxing plants to yield automobile fuel not may have been nature's original plan.

At last Friday's Energy for the Future Symposium at UC Davis, ten young faculty members presented a snapshot of their investigations into basic chemical, biological, physical mechanisms that may someday yield breakthroughs in rapidly developing fields of biofuels, higher efficiency solar panels, fuel cells, batteries.

Straight Answers from Smart People

How young?   All were hired since 2005 under the Energy for the Future Initiative and none appeared to need coffee to function.  Their talks were focused, precise, driven by careful questions about the science and data.  They were genuinely excited about peering over the edge in their fields, and unafraid to probe and then give honest, mature assessments, an increasing rarity in our world.

They run "labs", which means people:  postdocs, graduate students and undergraduates.  They are must seek collaborators; find funding; publish.  And they teach, worry about tenure, get their lives in order.

Difficult science

And they must think.

Nature does not yield secrets easily.  For example, the actual chemical and biological steps in Photosynthesis are quite a bit more than what I learned long ago (  sunlight + nutrients + CO2 = plants and O2).  They are asking clear questions about the underlying subtle, complicated processes, i.e. they are trying to convince nature to give a hint or two about each ingredient of a very  'secret sauce'. (Here is an excellent paper Professor Jeoh gave me to read.)

But understanding nature's 'secret sauce' isn't good enough.  Nature didn't have automobile fuel or solar fluids in mind.   The nature of their work appears to be, to this layperson,   to understand the basic processes and then use modern tools and knowledge (catalysts, DNA, enzymes, bacteria, modern materials) to improve: make processes work faster, more efficiently, cheaper; or substitute new a new process.

Only Part of the Equation

As difficult as this is , basic research is only part of the whole problem.   Quantum mechanics was understood by the 1920s and 1930s, but lasers, computers and twitter took took decades longer to emerge.  

We don't have this kind of time with energy.  Just some of hurdles:

First, these researchers are doing this in the lab, someone else will then need to figure out how to make billions of gallons of the stuff at price or enough batteries to hold ample energy when the 'sun doesn't sunshine' at price we are willing to pay.

Second, I am not sure how well legislators or regulators really understand the state-of-the-art.   But they must make many of the funding decisions, set GHG targets now.  It is not just what "stakeholders" wish.

And ultimately, there is the public, who must accept the conclusions of these scientists.

Why Not ...?

I am sure UC Davis and every other university would like to have hired 20, not just 10 for an Energy Initiative.    And whatever each new faculty costs, it is a bargin.  The US is lucky that we can pick the best from almost anywhere in the world.   So Why Not?

I also thought each young faculty member should be allowed to add one question to California's written driving test.

But Davis is quite close to Sacramento.   I am hesitant to take people away from important work - the researchers, I mean.   Perhaps UC Davis could offer seminars to legislators and regulators.  But this would be with one condition: "attendees" would   be allowed only to ask sharp, science or data-driven questions (i.e. end with a question mark).

The young researchers would tell them the truth; or clarify what is known from what is not yet known.

UC Davis - Energy Institute

Symposium May 14 - link

Biomass Overview

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

California Energy Commission - Last $21 MM EECBG/ARRA Grants, Calls For Data Analysis

Today, the California Energy Commission awarded the final $21 MM batch of ARRA funded block grants to over 100 communities across California. The 5 Commissions also discussed the need for analysis of the program, known as Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Awards (EECBG), in terms of GHG reductions, energy savings, jobs created, money leveraged to California etc.

Lighting, Retrofits and more

Most of the grant summaries use words like "retrofit lighting", "replace ... with LED's", "replace streetlights."   Several include new HVAC, pumps, motors or control systems. A few use use old-fashioned insulation or simple techniques that are both energy-efficient and financially efficient ("bang for the buck")

For example, the City of Yountville will use its $25,000 for old-fashioned building insulation, as well motion sensors, and the popular upgrades to HVAC, LED exit signs and streetlights.

I was very glad to see the 'cool roofs', tankless water heaters and "misers" on vending machines (healthy chips, I trust), PC power load management software among the more capital-intensive features of the $2.3 MM grant to San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. (It also won a separate $1.7 MM grant.)

It isn't immediately clear to me whether how capital-intensive projects compare to behavioral or best practices changes, in terms of kw-h savings per ARRA dollar.

But the most innovative appeared to come from Alameda County which will leverage funding from multiple sources, including $784,000 from the CEC, in an effort to improve "health and safety" issues in its housing stock, as well as retrofit roofs and join a PACE, municipal financing program for energy-efficiency home improvements.

Praise for the CEC Staff

With these EECBG grants, Commissioners normally vote approval as a whole and do not discuss individual awards, unless specifically identified as unique agenda item. 

However, today they did formally praise the Staff, most by name, in the year-long process of preparing ARRA grants.

Public praise, certainly welcome, should augment career training/advancement, sufficiently diverse projects, fair compensation and the wise management that all make it is easier to hire and retain professionals. I trust the CEC is a forward thinking boss.  The CEC staff are among the 'first responders' ('incubators'?) of the energy transition that the US must go through. I hope they will be able to share their insights with the public.

Attention to Detail

Legal Council reported on possible litigation from a grant applicant whose disqualified proposal arrived at 5:32 pm, on a 5:00 pm deadline. Ouch, $20 MM gone.

And one Commissioner was very careful to write down the full grant amount one application.

I do hope this level of care extends to verifying the need for $2500 computers or $300 per diem expenditures awarded and maximum 'profit' awards to non-profits under the various CEC grants.  In this painful era of cuts, maximum money should flow first to government, second to private or non-profit sector for management of public services and initiatives.

Calls for Data and Analysis

Toward the end Commissioners did discuss, but not vote, on an effort to collect data to tabulate the amount of energy, GHG reductions, jobs and other benefits. 

Commissioner Eggert suggesting asking a University to 'crunch numbers' on a pro-bono basis, but I hope this can be done in a transparent way and subject to reasonable rules to maintain independence.

Let's look to thoughtful resolution on a CEC agenda soon.

In closing, I would like to add a few of my suggestions on this. Financial integrity is, of course, crucial. But once this is established, the awards under this ARRA/EECBG grants will yield an enormous amount of data on technologies, products, vendors, PACE programs, policy decisions.

In short, what works, what doesn't, how to management energy infrastructure projects?   I trust the grants include provisions to report this back to CEC/ARRA.

-jobs, of course, is number 1 - how many? kind? how sustainable?
-leverage, for each dollar of CEC money, how much other money is brought to Calif ( 2:1, 10:1, 100:1?)
-to save 1 kw-h, how much CEC staff time? how much real cost?
-compare PACE programs
-vendor/technology/products data
-capital-intensity and kw-h saved?
-behavioral change and kw-h saved?
-overhead costs, for every dollar of funding, how much goes to project vs. overhead -best practices? best of the breed?
-data on infrastructure, Where should we invest first? How best to manage?
-did ARRA work?
-where to improve?

Schwarzenegger's Office - Blocks Release of California-Jiangsu MOU Energy Documents

Earlier this week, Govenor Arnold  Schwarzenegger's office refused to release any documents related to a "first-of-its-kind" subnational energy agreement between California and Jiangsu Province in China.

The October 2009 California-Jiangsu agreement (or Memorandum of Understanding or MOU) calls for several regulatory California regulatory agencies (Cal EPA, ARB, CEC, CPUC), on behalf of California, to cooperate with their Jiangsu counterparts in several areas of  energy efficiency, policy, energy standards, reducing GHG emissions, technology, etc.  

Jiangsu Province is immediately adjacent to Shanghai and has emerged as a industrial giant, including laptop, semiconductor and now solar manufacturing.   GE, for example, recently announced it is developing a smart grid demonstration center in Jiangsu.   Numerous State officials and several private groups related to energy cooperation have traveled to Jiangsu, China before and since the MOU was signed.

Invoking the California Public Records Act (CPRA)

The request to the Governor's  Office used the California Public Records Act, which is intended to allow the public access to public records to ensure government is functioning properly.  The CPRA does allow certain public records to be withheld (or 'exempt') but this limitation is not absolute:  the State  may voluntarily release certain public records even if there is an allowable exception.   However, the act is very clear that disclosure is preferred option and the burden is on the Government.  (Some records like social security numbers or home address are naturally private and were not requested.  The state's business is what should be public.)

However, the Governor's Office refused to voluntarily release any documents.   This has raised a few eyebrows in Sacramento.

The CPUC was used only after face-to-face and follow-up requests to Susan Kennedy (Governor's Chief of Staff), Dian Grueneich (CPUC), CEC Board, Mary Nichols and the ARB Board and ARB China's Director all went nowhere.   

CPRA requests have filed with Cal/EPA, ARB, CEC, CPUC for information about the MOU, visits to China, China to California, and the Cal/EPA group called C3, among others.

Additional Information

-California-Jiangsu MOU (October 2, 2009)

-CPRA denial from the Governor's Office

My letter to Governor's Attorney, Daniel Maguire, who then promised to review the matter

May 12, 2010

re: CPRA denial - California-Jiangsu MOU (October, 2009)

Dear Ms. Cummins:

I would appreciate if you pass this to Mr. Maguire since I do not have his email address.

I have received your May 10, 2010 denial to my PRA request.

Per this denial, you have located relevant documents, claim all are exempt and will waive the exemption from disclosure for any record.  

As you are aware,  CPRA favors public release unless non-disclosure "clearly outweighs" disclosure.  This is about an MOU for cooperation with a province in China; not national security.   Several California officials have traveled to China to discuss the issues covered by or related to this agreement.

Please release all non-exempt portions of all records.   As always, if not, please provide specific reasons why non-disclosure outweighs the Act's preference for public disclosure.  "Deliberative process" is not sufficient.

You may also wish to contact Susan Kennedy, who spoke with me March 9, 2010, and promised to check the MOU and provide information.  I am certain she can clarify and answer all my questions.

In any event, I would appreciate full disclosure by May 26, 2010.
Separately, I have filed a second CPRA notice to Cal EPA for records.   
In this correspondence, I am referring to YOUR records.

Email is preferred for all correspondence.

Thank you.

Jim Rothstein