Mountain View’s Environmental Power Team (ESTF)

Mountain View’s Environmental Power Team (ESTF)

By Bruce Naegel   October 2017

Mountain View’s Environmental Power Team (ESTF)

 

The first ESTF (Environmental Sustainability Task Force) started their work in 2007. ESTF1 results drove environmental action in Mountain View over the last 10-years.

California, the county, and the city moved forward since 2007.   Mountain View’s goal setting process in 2017 kept Sustainability as a key goal category. The city initiated t the second ESTF to better define this goal.

The First ESTF

The first ESTF produced a 301-page blueprint (1) for environmental action.  This blueprint covers topics including natural ecosystems and adaptation.

ESTF-Start
Background for ESTF 1 and

What did Mountain View initiate with the first ESTF (2) (3) ?

  • The city assembled the Climate Action Plan (CAP) providing goals to 2050, for all of Mountain View
  • The city created the MOCAP (Municipal Operational Climate Action Plan). The MOCAP provides long term sustainability goals for the city government.
  • The ESAP (Environmental Sustainability Action Plan) provides a 3-year plan to focus the CAP and MOCAP. The current ESAP runs from 2016 to 2019.
  • Mountain View monitors GHG monitoring as per the protocols used by other cities in the area.

Why ESTF2 Now?

  • California has stricter environmental standards. SB-32, AB-802, and SB-350 are three good examples.
  • Mountain View has Carbon Free electricity today via the CCE Community Choice Energy) provider SVCE (Silicon Valley Clean Energy). Now, we can focus on reducing GHGs from transportation and buildings.
  • Increasing carbon levels means we are getting closer to the climate danger zone.
  • Renewable energy continues to drop in price.
  • Advances continue in energy storage, electric automobiles, and heat pumps.
  • We need to counter a federal government that is dismantling environmental regulations.
ESTF Crowd
Filling up the counccil chambers prior to the meeting.

Action with the most carbon reduction to date

The action with the largest carbon reduction was the formation of Silicon Valley Clean Energy. (4) This CCE (Community Choice Energy) organization provides carbon neutral electricity to Mountain View and 11 other communities in Santa Clara county.  Electric power generation previously provided 20% of the carbon. Now that contribution is s gone so we can focus on other things.

What is changing in the second ESTF?

ESTF2 focuses on those items that can lower GHG. Climate Change requires our full attention now to ensure we have a habitable planet.

This focus can be seen in the 5 categories in ESTF2 as compared to 11 categories in ESTF1.  ESTF2 will work on Transportation, Buildings, Other sources, Outreach, and Metric.

Transportation and Buildings provide r over 95% of the GHGs in Mountain View. We can thank Silicon Valley Clean Energy for eliminating carbon from power generation.
The third category of “other” addresses reductions that do not easily fit into the first two categories. The team on this subcommittee may also look at consumption based categories like food and airplane travel.

The last two categories (Outreach and Metrics) provide centralized resources for the other subcommittees.

Steve Attinger
Steve Attinger, Sustainability Coordinator for Mountain View

 

Where are we now in launching ESTF 2?

There have been two meetings of the overall group each 4 hours long. We discussed basic ground rules of how things work. The Brown act, key to ensuring transparent operation was discussed as were other topics.

The completion date for ESTF2’s work and report is June 2018.  Overall meetings for the ESTF are scheduled for the first Thursday of every month.

The overall ESTF team elected the Chair (Bruce Karney) and Vice Chair (Thida Cornes) during the October 5 meeting.  The subcommittee groups (Transportation, Buildings, Other, Outreach and Metrics) will be formed during the next overall meeting in November.

Engaging Mountain View citizens during the ESTF2 process will be part of what the Outreach committee will do.

The City council expects ESTF2 to address

  • Strategies and Pilots that focus on reducing GHGs
  • Regional Collaboration
  • Legislative Advocacy

Moving Forward

ESTF2 has an enthusiastic group who want to make a difference.  It also has experienced people to provide leadership.  It also has friendly competition from neighboring towns like Sunnyvale and Palo Alto. We will keep our eye on ESTF2 as things develop.
References:

Silicon Valley Clean Energy

http://www.mountainview.gov/depts/comdev/sustain/default.asp