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Sierra Martinez, Legal Director, California Energy Projects, San Francisco

Sierra Martinez

I grew up in Martinez, California, a place that engendered my interest in energy and the environment, as it embodies both: bordered by ample natural beauty: golden rolling hills, the Carquinez Strait, and Briones Regional Park, but also the location of prominent, large, oil refineries. I've carried this with me throughout my learning and career.

I enjoy skiing, hiking, independent music, reading, and just hanging out with family and friends.

Recent Posts

Counting On Energy Savings Is the Right Way To Go

Posted December 9, 2014 by Sierra Martinez in Solving Global Warming, Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment

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California is in the midst of reinventing its energy infrastructure for a number of reasons: massive amounts of clean renewable energy (like solar and wind) are coming online; the state’s second largest nuclear power plant recently retired; and a whole...continued

Missing The Big Picture About California's Low Electric Bills Again

Posted November 6, 2014 by Sierra Martinez in Curbing Pollution, Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming, The Media and the Environment

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Despite all the facts, the myth that Californians pay a lot of money for their electricity every month continues to be perpetuated, with its proponents using their misguided interpretation of the data to justify their claim that California shouldn’t be...continued

Public Power Reaches New Heights in Saving Californians Energy

Posted October 9, 2014 by Sierra Martinez in Curbing Pollution, Living Sustainably, Moving Beyond Oil

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This post reflects extensive contributions by Lisa Xue, a Sustainable Energy Fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council, working on energy efficiency issues in California. She received her M.A. in International Policy from Stanford University and B.A. in Economics and B.A....continued

California Misses Opportunity to Swap a Full Nuclear Plant for Clean Energy

Posted August 14, 2014 by Sierra Martinez in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, Nuclear Weapons, Waste and Energy, Solving Global Warming

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Ever since California’s giant nuclear plant shut down two years ago due to malfunctions and poor economics of revival, state regulators and politicians have been wrestling with the question of: How much clean energy can we use to replace that...continued

3 Ways to Make Our Electric System Stronger Using Energy Efficiency

Posted June 26, 2014 by Sierra Martinez in Solving Global Warming

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California has long proven that saving energy is good for our wallets, good for the air we breathe, and good for meeting our environmental goals. But California is in the forefront of proving something new: that saving energy actually can...continued

It's Official: Efficiency, Clean Energy to Help Fill California's Nuclear Generation Gap

Posted March 13, 2014 by Sierra Martinez in Curbing Pollution

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California took another major and symbolic step today with its decision to rely significantly on energy efficiency and other clean energy resources to help replace electricity once generated by the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station (SONGS) serving San Diego and...continued

CPUC Proposes to Replace Power from San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station with Energy Efficiency and Mix of Other Resources

Posted February 12, 2014 by Sierra Martinez

The California Public Utilities Commission is proposing a strategy to replace the electricity generated by the retired San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) with a mix of resources, including energy efficiency. The replacement strategy is a critical issue for communities...continued

California Energy Agencies Adopt Historic Agreement On Energy Efficiency: Saves Customers From Paying For Unnecessary, Polluting Power Plants

Posted January 17, 2014 by Sierra Martinez in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Solving Global Warming

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California made significant progress this week toward relying on clean energy efficiency to avoid the need for new power plants and grid infrastructure. For the first time, the California Energy Commission (CEC) fully relies on energy efficiency in its forecast...continued

It's Time For California's Energy Agencies To Agree On An Energy Savings Forecast

Posted October 7, 2013 by Sierra Martinez in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, Solving Global Warming

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California’s energy agencies have not yet agreed on a forecast of energy savings from the state’s many energy efficiency efforts that will reduce energy demand over the coming decade, even as a vote on the final California forecast fast approaches....continued

California Public Power Renews Its Commitment to Independent Evaluation of Energy Savings

Posted April 22, 2013 by Sierra Martinez

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This month, the publicly-owned utilities (POUs) in California committed to conducting independent annual evaluations to ensure that energy efficiency savings can be used to avoid power plants, and that efficiency programs continue to improve over time. This is an important...continued

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: CPUC Plans for New Power Plants in San Diego

Posted March 25, 2013 by Sierra Martinez in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Nuclear Weapons, Waste and Energy, Solving Global Warming

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The California Public Utilities Commission authorized nearly 350 Megawatts of new and upgraded power plants in San Diego, a decision that was based on an incomplete analysis that excludes a significant portion of expected energy savings from efficiency upgrades. The...continued

California Leads the Nation in Energy Efficiency - Part 2: Myth-Busting the Naysayers

Posted March 1, 2013 by Sierra Martinez in Solving Global Warming

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Although some naysayers question whether efficiency policies alter the amount of energy people actually use, there is no doubt that strong policies embracing this cheap and clean energy resource help keep the lights on and lead to major reductions in...continued

CPUC Undercounts Energy Savings That Can Offset The Need For New Power Plants

Posted December 20, 2012 by Sierra Martinez in Solving Global Warming

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Today, the California Public Utilities Commission adopted assumptions that fail to take advantage of energy efficiency’s full potential to displace the need for new fossil fuel resources. Omitting these energy savings could cost utility customers $1 to $2 billion in unnecessary...continued

CPUC Should Keep Its Promise of Incentive Payments for Energy Efficiency Programs

Posted November 13, 2012 by Sierra Martinez in Curbing Pollution, Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

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California’s largest utilities administered energy efficiency programs over the past two years that save customers more than $1.5 billion in the form of lower utility bills, avoid the need for two giant power plants, and remove over two million tons...continued

CPUC Plans To Rely on Clean Energy -- Not New Fossil Fuel Power Plants -- To Meet Customers' Needs

Posted May 10, 2012 by Sierra Martinez in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, Solving Global Warming

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To develop a sustainable and healthy economy, California policy requires utilities to rely on clean energy resources whenever it is cost-effective and before turning to the dirtier options.  The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) just finalized its plans to implement this...continued

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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