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Author: Franklin J. Lunding

Publisher’s Perspective: The More We Learn about OCPA, the Clearer it is that the City of Irvine Must Cut Ties with the Agency

Last year, all Irvine electricity customers were automatically enrolled in the Orange County Power Authority (OCPA), without a vote of the people.

OCPA promised to deliver greener electricity at lower monthly rates, and to be fully transparent with the public. But, even before OCPA had officially launched, the agency had broken all three promises.

From day one, Irvine electricity customers have been charged higher monthly rates than we paid to Southern California Edison (SCE).

And, the agency refuses to release all records that show OCPA’s purchase of system power (dirty brown power); and OCPA’s resale of wind and solar power — demonstrating actual delivery of advertised renewables to OCPA ratepayers.

Promising to do a positive thing and then doing the exact opposite is called “bait-and-switch.”

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Publisher’s Perspective: Councilmember Kim’s Lack of Civility Towards Her Council Colleagues and Irvine Residents

While I typically wait until an election year before offering my personal opinion on the candidates running for elected offices here in Irvine, I feel compelled to speak out now regarding the 2024 Mayoral race. Current Councilmembers Larry Agran and Tammy Kim have already announced their candidacies to become the City’s next Mayor.

One of the most important jobs of the Mayor is to make sure that the Council chamber is a safe space for varying points of view to be heard. We need a Mayor who encourages constructive dialogue, is able to accept feedback and criticism, and is not afraid to hear diverse perspectives. That’s how consensus is reached … through civil discourse.

Unfortunately, Councilmember Tammy Kim does not value civil discourse. Since being elected in November 2020, Kim has displayed a disturbing pattern of bullying and attacking anyone who disagrees with her point of view — whether it’s her Council colleagues or even her own constituents.

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Publisher’s Perspective: OCPA’s Continued Broken Promises

OCPA was established by local politicians who wanted so badly to be seen by voters as “green” leaders that they created the agency — even though they had no understanding of the complex electricity market or the financial burden they were placing on our City’s taxpayers and electricity ratepayers.

Irvine’s representatives on the OCPA board — Councilmembers Tammy Kim and Kathleen Treseder — recently announced that OCPA has delivered  “100% renewable” electricity to its Irvine customers. That’s simply not true!

There is not a separate transmission line pumping 100% renewable electricity into the homes of OCPA customers. Everyone in the state receives power from the same source — the California electricity grid.

According to the California Energy Commission, the California electricity grid delivers 54.23% green energy from non-Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emitting sources and renewables.

Councilmembers Kim and Treseder also proclaim that OCPA is “2% cheaper than Southern California Edison (SCE),” even though they know that the cheaper rate applies only to the handful of electricity customers who have “opted-down” to OCPA’s lowest renewable tier (Basic Choice). Kim and Treseder never mention that Irvine households were forced into the highest tier (labeled “100% Renewable”) — which is on average $36 per month more than SCE’s 100% renewable plan.

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Is OCPA Engaged in Ongoing Consumer Fraud?

Critics of the Orange County Power Authority (OCPA) are beginning to question whether the agency is engaged in ongoing consumer fraud, which involves misrepresentation and deceptive practices in connection with the sale or advertisement of goods and services.

The case against OCPA appears to be straight forward. Cities joining OPCA were promised cleaner electricity at lower monthly rates than those of Southern California Edison (SCE), a falsehood. OPCA also promised that the new agency would offer the community full transparency, another misrepresentation.

Last year, Irvine residential households and businesses were automatically enrolled into the new OCPA electricity plan — without a vote of the people. Now, those ratepayers are being charged more for the same 100% renewable electricity that SCE provides its customers.

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