Margaret T. Simpson’ article about the Transmission Agency of Northern California (TANC) focuses on the withdrawal of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) from the $1.5 Billion project that would bring green power from Lassen County to more populated areas of the state.

While the merits of the project are the subject of some debate, the reality is that we all generally want to encourage an effort to bring green energy sources to California.

What really can’t be debated is the complete failure of TANC to communicate with local government leaders throughout Northern California. 

There has been zero dialogue with local government leaders.

For a major project like this, it’s completely wrong for local government officials to become informed only through screaming constituents in public comment.

Local government officials have a difficult job.  Communicating with people they serve is an important part of the mission. The public outreach effort by TANC made everyone in local government look bad.

The amazing thing is that the people involved with TANC don’t seem to care that they have upset dozens of local government officials and thousands of residents from Turlock to Redding.

Compare the effort by TANC with those of the effort to bring high-speed rail to California.  The people involved with high-speed rail have been working for years with local government officials from all over California.  The new chair is Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle.  That is real effort to recognize the role of local government in the process.

The complete failure by TANC in local government outreach may have doomed a potentially good project from getting the consideration it deserved. 

We hope this lesson has been learned by TANC and observed by others.

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