The debate surrounding PG&E’s ClimateSmart program spans government agencies, nonprofits and commercial businesses. We’ve collected contact information for key players, as well as answers to frequently asked questions.
Also, reporter Susanne Rust will be answering questions on PG&E's ClimateSmart program from Friday, June 17, to Tuesday, June 21. Post a comment on our website or tweet us at @CaliforniaWatch and @SRustCW. Use hashtag #climatesmart.
The Conservation Fund
Write: 1655 N. Fort Myer Drive, Suite 1300
Arlington, VA 22209-3199
The Nature Conservancy
Write: 4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100
Arlington, VA 22203-1606
Wildlife Conservation Board
Write: 1807 13th St., Suite 103
Sacramento, CA 95811
California Coastal Conservancy
Write: 1330 Broadway, 13th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612-2530
State Water Resources Control Board
Write: P.O. Box 100
Sacramento, CA 95812-0100
The Utility Reform Network
Write: 268 Bush St., #3933
San Francisco, CA 94104
Frequently asked questions
What are carbon credits?
A carbon credit is just a generic term used to describe a tradable permit, certificate or credit of one ton (usually a metric ton) of carbon or carbon dioxide. Some industries and businesses produce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. There is concern that these gases are not only polluting our atmosphere, but also changing the Earth’sclimate.
Other businesses and organizations have products, methods and techniques that sequester carbon dioxide, pull it out of the atmosphere or prevent it from ever getting there. In the last decade, a market has spawned in which carbon dioxide emitters can buy credits generated from carbon dioxide sequesters, thereby “offsetting” or neutralizing the polluter’s emissions. For instance, a factory might generate 1 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. In order to neutralize, or offset, this pollution, the factory can buy 1 million tons of carbon credits.
The Climate Action Reserve is a California-based organization that established a registry of companies and utilities that offer carbon credits. The reserve manages the market, establishing protocols that credit producers must follow to have their credits listed and verified.
Am I automatically enrolled in ClimateSmart?
PG&E’s ClimateSmart program is completely voluntary. Unless a ratepayer actively signs up for the program, he or she will not participate. As of June 3, ClimateSmart had 30,586 business and residential customers enrolled in the program.
Is there anywhere you can go to learn more – either about the ClimateSmart program or the issue in general?
To find out more about ClimateSmart, go to www.pge.com/climatesmart.
To find out more about the carbon market, read the work of the Center for Investigative Reporting’s Mark Schapiro here: www.centerforinvestigativereporting.org/reporters?profile=199.
How can I get involved?
Anyone interested in enrolling ClimateSmart can join by going to the ClimateSmart website.