Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said Tuesday it will pay about $2 million to help restore two California redwood forests as part of a ratepayer-funded program to offset the utility's greenhouse gas emissions.
PG&E;'s ClimateSmart program will invest the money in restoration projects in the Garcia River Forest in Mendocino County and the Lompico Headwaters Forest in Santa Cruz County.
The "carbon offsets" are the first purchased by ClimateSmart, which allows PG&E; customers to pay an extra fee to offset emissions from their electricity and gas usage.
More than 17,500 customers have enrolled in the program since it was launched in June, and the average residential customer pays less than $5 a month to participate.
Few native US forest species are more long-lived than Sequoias; which makes it pretty hard for US citizens to criticize this carbon offset scheme by worrying about how long the carbon would stay fixed. Might take awhile for the benefits to accrue in comparison to soil-conservation based, or other, offset projects. But then, not many hikers want a weekend tour of the soil.