OCEAN HERO PROFILE, Bruce McPherson, Santa Cruz, CA, Elected official, Bringing power to the people – in cool, new ways

Bringing Carbon-Free Power to Local Homes and Businesses

Ocean action: What if you could have carbon-free power in your home or business, for the same or less than you're paying now? Bruce McPherson, a member of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, is betting that most people will say yes without hesitation. That's why the former state assemblyman, state senator and California secretary of state spearheaded Monterey Bay Community Power. The organization began supplying clean energy this year and represents a joint agreement among Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey counties and 16 cities in the Monterey Bay region to supply power through the existing infrastructure—power sourced exclusively from carbon-free and renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydro.

How the community benefits: "This will put a huge dent in conventional energy consumption within the Monterey Bay region," says Bruce, which will help reduce the harmful effects of climate change and ocean acidification. In addition, Monterey Bay Community Power is committed to providing all customers—including those with solar on their homes and businesses—greater cost savings than they receive now from PG&E. It's a win for the environment—and the family budget.

"Many people don’t connect the health and well-being of our ocean with the energy that powers our homes and businesses. With Monterey Bay Community Power, counties and cities are joining together to source green power."

Oceans of inspiration: "I'm a fourth-generation Santa Cruz native," says Bruce, who also served as editor of the Santa Cruz Sentinel. "I'm a former surfer dude and would take my kids to Big Basin and Yosemite—the outdoors has always been a big part of my life." This background prompted him to be heavily involved in fighting offshore drilling and advocating to create the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. "People can have their beliefs or doubts about climate change, but if we establish game-changing initiatives like Monterey Bay Community Power, we'll be on track for a sustainable energy future."

Learn more: Monterey Bay Community Power

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The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the ocean.