Petaluma, Santa Rosa on different timelines with power agency

Sonoma County's two largest cities appeared headed down divergent energy paths Tuesday, with Santa Rosa vowing to move swiftly toward a decision on whether to join the Sonoma Clean Power Authority the day after Petaluma delayed a decision until at least September.

Santa Rosa City Council members expressed both strong support and deep reservations about the proposal, but all agreed to try hard to make up their minds one way or another by the impending June 30 deadline or shortly thereafter.

"I love the concept. I want it to work, but I've got to make sure it's right for our city, and I'm not there yet," Councilman Jake Ours said.

The council decided to convene its three-member subcommittee in coming weeks to get answers to myriad questions it has about the plan's governance, rates, green energy mix, and impact on greenhouse gas emissions. It proposed another full public hearing on the issue in late June.

Mayor Scott Bartley said the city would "move as fast as we can move," but warned that pressure on it to act quickly was like "pushing on string, and that doesn't work."

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