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Pacific Gas and Electric Company Honors Employees For Environmental Leadership Clarke Awards Recognize Work of CFL Recycling Champion, Dairy Biogas Team

Release Date: October 25, 2007
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

SAN FRANCISCO - Pacific Gas and Electric Company today announced the winners of the utility's sixth annual Richard A. Clarke Annual Environmental Leadership Awards, which honor examples of environmental leadership among the company's 20,000 employees. The award program honors both individual and team efforts.

"Pacific Gas and Electric Company is proud of the work of our Clarke award winners, Rex Bell and the Dairy Biogas team," said Bill Morrow, president and chief executive officer of PG&E. "Each year, we learn about the remarkable ways employees demonstrate their commitment to the environment. By creating successful partnerships like the ones we celebrate today, we set excellent examples of environmental successes that we can build upon in our work and in our communities where we live and serve."

Winning the award for individual effort was Rex Bell, an environmental field services manager. Bell was honored for his role in making PG&E the first utility in California to participate in the California Department of Toxic Substances Control's (DTSC) Take-It-Back partnership. The goal of the partnership is to provide free, local and convenient ways for California residents to recycle everyday household wastes, such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Adoption of Bell's actionable strategies - collaboration and funding for recycling kits and newspaper ads - help counties achieve recycling goals and help prevent mercury from ending up in landfills, where it has the potential to contaminate groundwater supplies that could impact local water quality and public health.

Receiving the Clarke Award for best group effort was the Dairy Biogas team, a team of 19 employees from several parts of the company, who came together to contribute to PG&E's renewable energy goals by signing two historic agreements with companies to deliver dairy biogas - renewable natural gas generated from the anaerobic digestion of dairy manure. In partnership with Microgy, Inc. and BioEnergy Solutions, LLC, the agreements are the first utility contracts for dairy biogas to be injected into the gas transmission pipeline to provide California Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)-certified, pipeline-quality natural gas to PG&E customers throughout Northern and Central California.

The Dairy Biogas team worked collaboratively with a number of stakeholder groups, including the project developers (Microgy and BioEnergy Solutions), environmental nonprofits such as Sustainable Conservation, business organizations such as the Western United Dairymen, and governmental organizations such as the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC). The team's efforts included initiating a process for the interconnection of a new type of gas, developing new contract language that recognizes the unique attributes of these projects, updating the eligibility of the gas for RPS credit, and developing a methodology for the conversion from gas to electricity.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company will make a $5,000 charitable donation on behalf of the individual and team Clarke Award winners, to the nonprofit environmental organization of their choice. Bell selected the Marine Science Institute to receive $5,000; the Dairy Biogas team chose to devote the funds to Sustainable Conservation.

Clarke Award finalists also include Mike Best, for his work with PG&E's Migratory Bird Protection Program; the Port of Oakland Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Team, for its work to reduce diesel air emissions in the West Oakland community; and the Natural Resource Management Team, for its leadership in the management and stewardship of more than 52,000 acres of PG&E-owned forestlands.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company developed the Richard A. Clarke Annual Environmental Leadership Award in 2002 to honor those employees who demonstrate a commitment to, and accomplishment in the environmental arena. The award is named after the late Richard A. Clarke, Chairman and CEO of Pacific Gas and Electric Company from 1986 until his retirement in 1995. Clarke championed a variety of environmental initiatives at PG&E - from energy conservation to clean air programs to natural resource stewardship.

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