01.02 Approved Minutes

 

 

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

PEAK OIL PREPAREDNESS TASK FORCE

 

REGULAR MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2, 2008, 2:30 P.M.

 

CITY HALL, ROOM 421

ONE DR. CARLTON B. GOODLETT PLACE

SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102

  

 

TASK FORCE MEMBERS:  Jeanne-Marie Rosenmeier (Chair), Bernard Meyerson (Vice-Chair), Carl Duisberg, Patricia Gerber, Jan Lundberg, Jason Mark, and Marya Stark

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS 

1.        Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force convened at 2:55 p.m.  Present:  Members Gerber, Lundberg, Meyerson, and Rosenmeier.  Excused:  Members Duisberg, Mark and Stark.

 

Item 2 was heard after Item 6.

 

2.        Approval of the December 5, 2007 Peak Oil Preparedness Access Task Force Special Meeting Draft Minutes.  (Explanatory Document:  December 5, 2007 Draft Minutes) (Discussion and Action.)  Upon Motion by Vice-Chair Meyerson and second by Member Gerber, the December 5, 2007 meeting minutes were approved with a correction to change the meeting day from the second Tuesday monthly to the first Tuesday monthly (AYES:  Chair Rosenmeier, Vice-Chair Meyerson, Members Gerber and Lundberg; Absent:  Members Duisberg, Mark and Stark).

 

3.        Scenarios for Final Report. (Discussion).

 

Chair Rosenmeier discussed Portland’s three report scenarios: (1) long term transition--gradual price increases; (2) oil shocks—shortages; and (3) social disintegration which Portland did not consider.  Member Gerber discussed the Post Carbon Institute’s graphic that references the four scenarios which peak oil may arrive; e.g., small, medium, large and extra large.  Portland states that if extra large should be arriving, no amount of advanced planning is going to mean anything; only a certain amount of things can be done for the large; and a lot of mitigation can be done for small and medium if you plan ahead. 

Vice-Chair Meyerson stated that there are early changes that would impose economic impacts that should be considered and suggested changing “social disintegration” to “post oil-shock survival” in order to predict the kinds of things that can be used to survive the shock.

 

Chair Rosenmeier suggested scenarios (1) energy watch for 2% decline per year; (2) export adjusted; e.g., 6% decline per year.  It was stated that these would be the two steady increases in price and decreases in supply, and (3) using the term “disruptions to social fabric” instead of “disintegration.”  Member Lundberg stated that there has already been disruption to the social fabric in our society and indicated he would address the social functioning aspect in his section of the report. Member Gerber stated that these issues may not impact all aspects of the report that all members are working on and suggested that members handle their sections individually.  A discussion was held on the possibility of submitting minority reports for areas where a consensus is not reached.

 

Ms. Melissa Capria, Climate Action Coordinator, Department of the Environment, stated that the section that people would most likely reference would be the report’s recommendations, which may lead to additional studies in the future.

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Cal Simone discussed the concept of total anarchy versus maintaining an order of society as we have it today.  It was recommended that the report contain an Executive Summary that would include all scenarios.

 

Mr. Charles Russo, Freelance Journalist, introduced himself.

 

Items 4, 5, and 6 were heard together.

  

4.        Final Report Outline. (Discussion) (Explanatory Document: Draft Outline)

 

5.        Information Gathering Techniques, including Possible Public Meetings (Discussion)

 

6.        Members’ Reports regarding Subject Areas (Informational Reports and Discussion) (Explanatory Document:  Report Documents)

Areas: Economy (leader: Marya Stark)

             Energy (leader: Carl Duisberg)

 Architecture (leader: Pat Gerber)

 Food (leader: Jeanne Rosenmeier)

             Infrastructure (leader: Bernie Meyerson)

             Transportation (leader: Jeanne Rosenmeier)

 Societal functioning (leader: Jan Lundberg)

 

Chair Rosenmeier presented a final report draft outline (see Explanatory Document by Item 4 above) and suggested that the report be specific to San Francisco. It was recommended that the name of the section “Introduction to Peak Oil” be changed to “Introduction to Peak Oil Preparedness.”  Members were asked for their suggestions of who to talk to and what type of information to gather before recommendations are made. Vice-Chair Meyerson suggested that different agencies be contacted to provide presentations on all aspects of the report. Member Gerber discussed interrelationships and intersections between member’s report topics.  Chair Rosenmeier suggested working with each other on interrelated topics.

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Cal Simone asked to be kept informed about all meetings including those where less than a quorum meets.

 

Architecture Section:  Member Gerber discussed San Francisco buildings energy use and what type of architectural standards would yield the greatest amount of demand destruction and how best to achieve them.  Member Gerber discussed her critique on the San Francisco Mayor’s Task Force on Green Building’s Report and suggested that recommendations for revisions be presented before the Report is adopted.

 

Economic Section:  Chair Rosenmeier presented Member Stark’s Work Plan on the Economic Section of the Report that includes data that needs to be gathered, people to contact, and strategy.  Member Gerber suggested that the report contain information on goods and services and interruption and supply. A discussion was held about the Task Force outreaching to the business community for the purpose of holding public meetings. Vice-Chair Meyerson suggested that the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce be contacted to discuss relevant issues; e.g., the potential for larger organizations researching telecommuting programs as gas prices increase.  Ms. Capria discussed City telecommuting efforts extended towards City employees and suggested interviewing Mr. Faiz Khan, the Department’s Transportation Demand Manager, on his efforts with the business community. 

 

Food Section:  Chair Rosenmeier presented Member Mark’s recommendations on the Food Section. Member Gerber stated that certain parts of San Francisco are more amenable to food production and discussed the importance of identifying which microclimates are most suited for food production.  Member Gerber discussed Oakland’s recommendations on allocating land toward food production.  Member Meyerson suggested that nutritionists be contacted to provide information on what the best combination of food to plant per acre would be in order to provide basic nutritional requirements.  Member Gerber recommended that Member Mark contact Pam Pierce, author on a number of books on microclimate gardening in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Member Meyerson suggested that the City’s educational system allocate more attention to farming techniques and nutritional requirements.

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Cal Simone suggested more of a tie-in between the Food Section to peak oil preparedness.  

 

Infrastructure Section:  Vice Chair Meyerson reported that he is researching the City’s basic infrastructure units; e.g., the Police and Fire Departments, and General Hospital systems as to local water and waste provisions.  Report concepts being considered are (1) what is being done now to move the energy requirement from fossil fuels to alternative fuel; (2) examine the replacement rate for Police Department vehicles from gasoline to hybrid or electric for a program similar to the one in New York City; (3) getting ordinary day to day and backup systems off the grid for the facilities and communications side; (4) establishing locally generated biodiesel for the City fleet; and (5) Police and Fire Department to think about prevention and protection methods from people who are frustrated and angry about price shocks.  It was stated that gas stations may be targets of anger and hospitals also should be aware that people could be injured.

 

Transportation Section:  Chair Rosenmeier discussed the data needed for her Work Plan e.g., gasoline used to drive into San Francisco, long-haul deliveries into San Francisco, air travel, transit, bicycles (see explanatory document above).  Chair Rosenmeier indicated that she would also be studying the intersection between transportation and the economy and reported that MUNI is working on a transportation effectiveness project. Member Gerber recommended (1) assessing the desirability and long-term viability of biodiesel; and (2) researching City-owned car usage.  Ms. Capria suggested researching current policies on City vehicles and making recommendations for modifications.  Vice-Chair Meyerson suggested a focus on moving from fossil fuels to alternative fuel instead of recommending modifications to City-owned car usage.  Member Rosenmeier discussed researching how much biodiesel is available from recycled grease.  Ms. Capria suggested scheduling a presentation by the Public Utilities Commission who handles the City’s recycled grease program.

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Cal Simone suggested referencing Oakland’s report page 11, “Transportation Hierarchy” which is a list of the most efficient and least efficient consumption of fossil fuel.  Mr. Simone indicated that the entire Oakland Report discusses transportation issues, and that the only statement on biodiesel is a recommendation to use recycled waste material for biodiesel for city fleet vehicles.  The group did not have a consensus on the use of biofuels.  Mr. Simone also recommended researching the environmental hazards of building a grease recycling plant.  

 

Societal Functioning: Member Lundberg discussed the concept of societal functioning and methods for sharing information during a peak oil crisis. Discussions were held on improving networking, providing education, media contact, and having contact with neighbors.  Member Lundberg stated that he would prepare a draft report on the areas that he is most interested in (reeducation) and would list the other areas in order to request additional expertise. It was suggested that City agencies, non-profits, schools, religious organizations, and publications be referenced to provide additional information. Member Lundberg stated that the Task Force is geared towards what the City needs to know and can do, but it is essential that the City be an enabler for the community. It was suggested that the Task Force start with the way the situation is right now and then sketch out a progression of what is going to be happening and what needs to be done.

 

Vice-Chair Meyerson stated that one of the challenges is how to begin to get people to think about the cultural shift that has to happen in a post fossil fuel world—the whole value and monetary system would have to change.  It was stated that society’s biggest financial needs would be coming at a time when their financial base is disintegrating.  In addition, how do you get public organizations to start to spend money on something where there is no immediate need?  Chair Rosenmeier suggested looking at the City’s tax base.  Member Gerber suggested considering what happens when the price of a gallon of gasoline exceeds the minimum wage, and people may not be able to afford the gas to get to work.  Member Lundberg stated that it is essential that people work with the community and know where their food would be coming from. Vice-Chair Meyerson discussed the importance of the educational aspect and recruiting educational planners to develop a curriculum. 

 

Ms. Capria suggested setting up a timeline for submission of initial drafts to the Task Force in order to prepare recommendations.  Task Force members agreed to submit their preliminary draft outlines to the Task Force Secretary by Tuesday, February 26 to include in the March 5 meeting packet.  Member Gerber suggested adding a summary of policy recommendations and suggestions for actions by the Board of Supervisors, Mayor, and City Departments.  It was suggested that members of the public who attended the last Task Force meeting and had volunteered their assistance be contacted.  

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Cal Simone stated that the Task Force should include socioeconomic race issues as it relates to food shortages.  Vice-Chair Meyerson recommended including ways to mitigate impacts in underserved communities.  Mr. Simone stated that the Oakland report did not include this topic.  Mr. Simone asked whether the report’s recommendations would cover only the next five years.  Chair Rosenmeier stated that her suggestion was to make recommendations on things to do now, but that may still have an impact long-term.

 

7.        New Business/Future Agenda Items (Information and Discussion). Future agenda items included (1) Public Utilities Representative to discuss the grease recycling program for biodiesel use; and (2) Members Duisberg and Mark on the Energy and Food Sections of the report.  The next meeting of the Task Force is scheduled for Tuesday, February 5, from 3:00 – 5:30 p.m.  A discussion was held on outreach to neighborhoods, setting up meetings to gather input, and doing presentations.     

 

8.        Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Task Force on matters that are within the Task Force’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  Mr. Cal Simone suggested that (1) the Task Force focus on the informational report during the regular meeting agenda and not include the public education segment into the regular meeting agenda; and (2) consider holding more than one meeting per month.

 

9.        Adjournment.  The Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force adjourned at 5:20 p.m.

 

Additional Explanatory Documents Distributed in Task Force Meeting:  What is Peak Oil, 1.2 Miles of Oil vs. Alternatives to Petroleum and Oil Independent Oakland by 2020 Report)  

** Copies of explanatory documents are available at (1) the Task Force office, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., (2) upon request to the Task Force Secretary, at telephone number 415-355-3709 or via e-mail at Monica.Fish@sfgov.org, or (3) at the Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force meeting website as attachments with each agenda or meeting minutes.

 

Respectfully submitted by,

Monica Fish, Task Force Secretary

 

Approved: February 5, 2008

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