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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

The Persistence of Change: Coal Gets Pushed Off the Podium

Posted July 27, 2015 by Sierra Martinez

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Government figures out today show that for the single month of April, history was made in the electric sector: For the first time, the amount of electricity generated from coal resources in one month was less than the amount generated...continued

Entering the Sustainable Energy Age: From Wood to Fossil Fuels to Historic Amounts of Clean Power

Posted June 5, 2015 by Sierra Martinez

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I'm guessing that the last time logs of wood were your only choice to warm your house or heat your oven is either: (A) a long time ago, or (B) never. But what might surprise you is that for half...continued

Center Stage at the California Energy Summit: Clean Energy

Posted May 12, 2015 by Sierra Martinez

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Energy leaders from throughout the state of California are descending upon San Francisco this week to explore the energy landscape of the future. At this year's California Energy Summit, what's the standout issue that pops up in all the discussions?...continued

The New (and Improved) Electric Grid in California

Posted February 25, 2015 by Sierra Martinez

Did you know that the amount of electricity we need from the electric grid now can reach its lowest point in the middle of the day instead of the middle of the night when people are asleep and businesses are...continued

Forty Years of Paying Less for Energy Services

Posted January 22, 2015 by Sierra Martinez

While you're no doubt aware that you're paying less money at the gas pump these days, you might not have noticed that over the past 40 years, you've been paying much less on your electric and natural gas bills thanks...continued

Counting On Energy Savings Is the Right Way To Go

Posted December 9, 2014 by Sierra Martinez

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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