CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO
PEAK OIL PREPAREDNESS TASK FORCE
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2008, 3:00 P.M.
TASK FORCE MEMBERS: Jeanne-Marie Rosenmeier (Chair), Bernard Meyerson (Vice-Chair), Patricia Gerber, Richard Katz, Jason Mark, Cal Simone; 1 Vacant.
ORDER OF BUSINESS
1. Call to Order and Roll Call. The Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force meeting was called to order at 3:10 p.m. Present: Chair Rosenmeier, Vice-Chair Meyerson, Members Gerber, Katz, and Simone; Excused: Member Mark.
2. Approval of the October 21, 2008 Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force Regular Meeting Draft Minutes. (Discussion and Action) Upon Motion by Chair Rosenmeier and second by Member Katz, the October 21, 2008 Meeting Minutes were approved as written without objection (AYES: Chair Rosenmeier, Vice-Chair Meyerson, Members Gerber, Katz and Simone; Absent: Member Mark) (Explanatory Document: October 21, 2008 Approved Minutes)
Item 10 was heard before Item 3.
3. Discussion on the Energy Section of the Report. Speaker: Chair Rosenmeier
Chair Rosenmeier, Member Simone, Mr. Don Eichelberger, and future Member Lowe who was recently appointed by the Rules Committee as a Task Force member would meet as a work group on Thursday, November 6 to discuss Mr. Eichelberger’s proposed Energy Section (Explanatory Document: Proposed Energy Section), how to divide the report, and to gather additional information.
Mr. Lowe joined the meeting at this time and stated that he would be able to attend the Thursday work group meeting.
4. Presentation of the First Draft of the Societal Functioning Section of the Report. (Explanatory Document: Societal Functioning Section Draft) (Informational Presentation and Discussion) Speaker: Member Simone
Member Simone reported on his collaboration with public members and his continuing research on the Societal Functioning section. Section topics discussed included (1) Scenarios--the wide range of scenarios arising from the peaks of oil and natural gas production and its continuum; (2) Communications—cellular and cordless phones, internet, schools and libraries; (3) societal and psychological considerations—psychological health and well being, individual stress, the fabric of society--neighborhood committees, identity of a city, government’s role in informing and educating; and (4) conclusions and recommendations.
Task Force members provided their input and recommendations into the report as it relates to including how current events can impact peak oil, whether to broaden the communications section or include it in this particular section, timeframes and prioritization of energy supply, defining transition towns, development of a body to implement recommendations and develop future actions as new developments occur; City departments to consider increased criminal activity, streamlining this section and the societal degradation section; add discussion of food, water, shelter, and safety security, recommendations to MUNI, including an education component, creation of neighborhood resource centers and planning councils, and other related recommendations. Vice-Chair Meyerson recommended that the November 18 meeting be devoted to fleshing out the structure and form of the report before looking at all of the individual write-ups.
Mr. Cal Broomhead, Department of the Environment Energy Manager, recommended that the Office of Emergency Services add a peak oil contingency plan into their Disaster Management Plan and to let Police, Fire, and Emergency Services deal with issues such as social unrest because they have thought these issues through as to what actions to take under different scenarios. Vice-Chair Meyerson explained that the Office of Emergency Services has thought about local disasters where outside help could be brought in, but not peak oil scenarios that could affect the nation, and outside help could not be counted on. Mr. Broomhead stated that the Office of Emergency Services should change their paradigm to talk to other departments such as Police, Fire, PG&E, etc. about issues that may affect other department’s activities.
Mr. Ben Lowe recommended researching what other countries have gone through to see how their energy situation changed based on constraints on their energy supply. Member Gerber reported that she could provide information on what happened in South Africa last summer and occurrences in a few other countries. Mr. Lowe discussed neighborhood committees and their role in decision making and City government accountability to Committees. Mr. Lowe also recommended that the focus be more on the perceived supply of gas and oil available rather than the cost. Mr. Lowe suggested that recommendations in the report include mandates for the Office of Emergency Services to consider peak oil scenarios in their Disaster Management Plan. Additional recommendations were provided.
Mr. Don Eichelberger recommended that this section should be as concise as possible and to add footnotes if further analysis is required. It was explained that electric energy can be produced using renewable energy and that a call for increases in electricity can be accommodated in a post carbon world through additional funding for renewables and wave generation. Mr. Eichelberger discussed the car companies that are going out of business and how they are ignoring consumer demand, the current situation, and still producing hummers and SUV’s. Mr. Eichelberger recommended focusing more on mitigations that are being offered and to qualify the Phase 3 paragraph by stating that if we do not act, there are these possibilities that we would face. Additional recommendations were provided.
Mr. Steve Vitka stated that the most important thing that would come out of this document is a recommendation to create an entity to deal with the unknown, a Transition Task Force, and the vision for this Task Force should be defined. It was stated that society will not function without creation of an alternative currency. Mr. Vitka recommended holding nightly community dinners as an important model for transition.
5. Presentation of the Architecture Section of the Report. (Continued from the October 21, 2008 Meeting) (Explanatory Document: Architecture Section Draft) (Informational Presentation and Discussion) Speaker: Member Gerber
This item was continued to the November 18, 2008 meeting.
6. Recruitment of a Graphic Designer for the Final Report. (Continued from the October 21, 2008 Meeting) (Discussion) Speaker: Chair Rosenmeier
Member Gerber reported that she has a graphic artist who may be interested that Chair Rosenmeier would pursue. Mr. Lowe reported that he has had a lot of experience in layout, formatting, and a certain amount of graphics and offered his assistance in this effort. Chair Rosenmeier recommended contacting Supervisor Mirkarimi and requesting this resource as it will be an official report of the City. This item was continued to a future meeting.
7. Brainstorm Ideas for Inclusion of Vulnerable Populations into the Final Report. (Continued from the October 21, 2008 Meeting) (Discussion) Speaker: Chair Rosenmeier
Chair Rosenmeier distributed a list of recommendations targeted at vulnerable populations that the Task Force discussed at the previous meeting. Member Simone asked whether there would be a requirement to define vulnerable. Chair Rosenmeier, Member Gerber and Mr. Broomhead felt that it was not necessary to define the term. Vice-Chair Meyerson and Chair Rosenmeier stated that this topic could be addressed at the next meeting as well as where the subject would fit into the report. Member Simone inquired whether this topic should include a narrative assessing the impact of peak oil on economically vulnerable populations. Vice-Chair Meyerson explained that additional data is needed on this topic, e.g. lifeline rates. Mr. Broomhead recommended contacting the Department of Children Youth and their Families (DCYF) to inquire how many families/children are vulnerable. Vice-Chair Meyerson stated that he would be contacting DCYF for information.
Mr. Lowe inquired whether vulnerable populations would be defined only in the context of economics because it could also be viewed as elderly, disabled, people who speak different languages. There would be a wide range of vulnerable populations. Chair Rosenmeier explained that the enabling legislation specifies that economically vulnerable populations should be addressed. Member Gerber stated that the Task Force could add more to the subject of vulnerable populations, but the legal mandate calls to address economically vulnerable only.
This item was continued to the next meeting as part of the discussion of the report structure.
8. Report on Meeting with Mr. John Kaufmann of the Oregon Department of Energy. (Informational Report and Discussion) Speaker: Chair Rosenmeier
Chair Rosenmeier reported on her meeting with Mr. Kaufmann as follows: (1) Portland has a public information officer; (2) recommendations were made that agencies create a plan on how to deal with peak oil; (3) Portland had a lot more official expertise on their Task Force; (4) Portland’s report included an appendix of action items that made the report more readable; (5) Oregon cities do not have their own building code-they have to abide by state code and had a proposition that repealed the urban growth boundary; (6) recommendation was made that all members send their section to the Chair so it could be put together in the same format and kept at the same detail level, and then a request should be made that the City format/design the document into a public document. Chair Rosenmeier recommended that this subject be discussed at the next meeting during the agenda item on the report structure.
Vice-Chair Meyerson asked if Portland had implemented any of the recommendations made in their report. Chair Rosenmeier reported that Portland implemented a B20 biodiesel requirement in the City and did electrification and expansion of some of the public transit system.
Member Gerber reported that Mr. Kaufmann would be able to attend a Task Force meeting and offer suggestions on the report if an invitation was issued. Member Gerber explained that the Portland Task Force had the individual members do the information gathering, relay the information to Mr. Kaufmann, who wrote the report. It was explained that the Portland Task Force had a lot of staff support and advantages over this Task Force. Vice-Chair Meyerson recommended issuing an invitation for either November 18th or a meeting in January. Member Gerber indicated that she would check with Mr. Kaufmann on his availability.
Vice-Chair Meyerson left the meeting at this time. The meeting adjourned due to a loss of quorum.
9. Presidio School of Management Town Hall Meetings--Vote on whether to retain the presentations on the Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force web site. (Continued from the October 21, 2008 Meeting) (Discussion and Action). This item was not heard at this time due to a loss of quorum. Continued to the November 18, 2008 meeting.
10. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information and Discussion)
Member Katz read his resignation letter to the Task Force that was distributed in the Task Force Meeting (Explanatory Document: Resignation Letter). Ms. Fish stated that she would forward Member Katz’s resignation letter to the Clerk of the Board’s Office so a vacancy notice could be posted. Member Katz left the meeting at this time. Chair Rosenmeier reported that she would work on the Transportation Section since Member Katz resigned from the Task Force.
Public Comment: Mr. Eichelberger asked if the Task Force has the power to name a provisional member. Chair Rosenmeier stated that the Task Force could not appoint a provisional member.
11. 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. There was no public comment at this time.
12. Adjournment. The Task Force meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.
*Approved: November 18, 2008
** 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 [email protected], or (3) at the Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force meeting website as attachments with each agenda or meeting minutes.