Terry Lamphier’s Town Hall Meeting, AB32, Energy Audit

Lamphier next to transport chart

Terry Lamphier’s Town Hall meeting at the Veteran’s Hall in Grass Valley last night was well attended, and we recognized quite a few familiar faces there, including Bob Crabb (I asked him if we’d see his version of the town hall meeting in The Union, and he showed me one of his latest very funny pieces of work, which he was carrying in his pocket on a folded piece of paper).

We also spotted Pat Wynne, Peter Van Zant, Ralph Silberstein, Deni Draper-Silberstein, Lisa Lackey, Mike Pasner and Ray Bryars, among others.

The meeting included reports by Rick Haffey (on county budget issues), Mary Ann Mueller (on the work of the chamber), Dan Landon (update on Dorsey interchange, the transfer station and other transportation issues), Joann Drummond (status of biomass utilization), Richard Stone (on volunteering for the Mental Health Advisory Board) and of course Terry Lamphier himself.

Rick Haffey

Howard Levine of the Grass Valley Downtown Association spoke a few unscheduled words. Lamphier promised to include him in the regular schedule at the next meeting.

During the Q&A, Deni Draper-Silberstein asked whether the county is planning to respond to the energy audit conducted by the Sierra Business Council (under a grant from PG&E)? Terry referred that question to Eve Diamond, who was also at the meeting, and it appears (if I heard her right) that she will get back to Deni on that.

Ralph asked Terry about the impact AB32 might have on the county:

” What plans — or guidelines — is the county working on, or has started on — with respect to meeting those goals … and how do you think that might impact development?”

In the following video segment Terry responds to Ralph’s question about AB32.

Lamphier’s response included this curious remark:

“If you took it fully seriously, you’d probably kill all development everywhere. That’s just not gonna fly.”

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4 Responses to “Terry Lamphier’s Town Hall Meeting, AB32, Energy Audit”
  1. RL Crabb says:

    It was nice to see you and the Mrs. at last night’s meeting. I guess you could call it well attended, if you use Nate Beason’s town hall in comparison. Rick Haffey told me that two (count ’em, two) people showed up for his get together in Chicago Park. I didn’t do a head count, but I’d say there were about thirty citizens there, if you don’t count the public officials. Maybe booking the Vet’s Hall was a bit of overkill.

    Either way, there was a lot of good info presented, although the stats are somewhat depressing. The drop in property tax revenues was especially sobering.

    And no, I don’t think there is a cartoon in it. I try to show up at as many of these events as possible, because I learn more from talking to people than reading about it or watching it on NCTV. Sometimes there’s a story, sometimes not.

  2. Don Pelton says:

    Thanks, Bob. I saw your piece in today’s Union, the very one you had in your pocket! Funny!

    It was nice chatting with you too.

    I agree about the sad stats from Rick Haffey.

  3. terry lamphier says:

    RE: AB32
    Grass Valley’s Loma Rica project is an interesting illustration on current thinking on AB32.

    I asked specifically in my comments on the DEIR for this project on how it would comply with AB 32.
    As best as I could tell by my interpretation, the project clearly and significantly fails air quality standards (not debatable) and will contribute to global warming BUT less so than it would if they did not include things like bike paths, etc.. So by the EIR reasoning, it ‘complies’ with the intent of AB 32.
    The project, as proposed (and which may be approved at the Grass Valley City Council meet May 11), meets the intent of AB 32 as follows, according to the City:

    “In light of the provisions of AB 32 and its limitation on the generation of greenhouse gases (GHG), the reality is that it will be difficult, if not impossible, for future development proposed in our air basin to achieve compliance. Also, this portion of Nevada County has been classified by the State as a “nonattainment area” for several air pollutants (which are largely generated from outside our region) that further impacts our ability to achieve compliance with State law.

    The Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the Loma Rica Ranch Specific Plan does acknowledge and address air quality impacts in a manner compliant with current State law. The EIR includes a number of mitigation measures for the developer to follow that seek compliance with AB 32 and serve to reduce GHG. The mitigation measures incorporated to the FEIR are consistent with the California Office of the Attorney General’s recommended measures to reduce GHG emissions. However, even with these measures in place, the project, when looked at from a cumulative condition, will still exceed air quality thresholds. This will be the case with any project of measurable size proposed in Western Nevada County.”….
    “When the topic of growth and development is discussed, both the City and County recognize the City is the region’s “economic hub” and our respective General Plans have encouraged growth to occur in our City as a result. In order for both the City and County to work together to achieve this common goal, we do have to balance certain issues such as air quality or transportation against the need to advance our economic and social conditions”

    The City will likely adopt “overiding considerations’ measures arguing that the benefits outweigh the costs.
    Hope this helps you understand where the “If you took it fully seriously, you’d probably kill all development everywhere. That’s just not gonna fly” remark came from.

  4. Ralph Silberstein says:

    The impact of the AB32 legislation on development is not necessarily as onerous as is seems. Let us take a rough look at what a emissions reduction policy would look like for Nevada County.
    Suppose we set in motion a 10 year plan in which we reduce county-wide net carbon dioxide emissions by 5% per year (including other emissions). This could easily be achieved by 1) A goal of auto emissions reductions by 5%/year through fleet replacement (almost a given since newer vehicles are trending towards better fuel efficiency. Especially hybrids). But we could improve our gains further by supporting better alternative transportation. 2) A goal of 5%/year reduction in household emissions by solar panel installation, increased insulation, and other well proven technologies. This is also quite feasible. 3) Work to achieve similar savings in local manufacturing and agriculture to reduce emissions by changes in production methodologies, co-generation, solar power plants, solar panels, bio-fuels, increased insulation, and a variety of other measures which have been already used successfully in other countries. Taken together over 10 years, these changes would achieve more than 50% reduction in emissions (AB32 is targeting about 30% reduction), and the big win would be lower operating costs and energy security.
    This would still leave room for a 2% annual growth in emissions attributable to new construction. Since 2% exceeds the actual Nevada County growth rate anyway, this would provide enough development to meet demand. Also, it is critical to realize that where construction consists of replacement units as in older housing units within redevelopment, the emissions would be reduced.
    The major hurdle with new construction are the one-time materials cost emissions from concrete and other non-renewables such as steel and plastic. These emissions could conceivably be amortized over the lifespan of the structure, in which case they are not significant, but that would not solve our short term goals, so building materials would have to be evaluated to guarantee that we achieve the annual reduction goals and possibly additional mitigations such as tree planting would have to be included.
    In summary, a strict adherence to the goals of AB32 is not necessarily going to halt construction.

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