Sonoma County has proven to be a national trailblazer in public policy issues and innovations involving climate change, sustainable environmental practices and energy conservation. Perhaps the local governments’ most significant accomplishment has been the advent of Sonoma Clean Power, a community-based power agency dedicated to accelerated goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing affordable consumer rates.

Mary Fricker

Author Mary Fricker

Local journalist Mary Fricker has researched and written a comprehensive and forthright report on the first five years of operations of Sonoma Clean Power. Her reporting includes the delivered promises, the missed targets and the larger risks and challenges still ahead.

In summary, this is a tale of massive ambitions, determined leadership and colossal headwinds straight ahead. As one of her stories reads: “So far, so good.”

Sonoma West Publishers has teamed with Fricker’s reporting on behalf of all of Sonoma County’s electric ratepayers who will want to know more about the high stakes of the region’s electric utility marketplace and infrastructure.

Mary Fricker, 78, began her journalism career 35 years ago at the Russian River News and was a business reporter at the Santa Rosa Press Democrat for 15 years before retiring in 2006.

She is a much-awarded journalist and book author. In 1989 she co-authored the New York Times best-selling book “Inside Job – The Looting of America’s Savings and Loans” with Russian River News publisher Steve Pizzo and New York City reporter Paul Muolo.

Fricker was awarded the McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage in 2010 from the University of Georgia for her work with the Chauncey Bailey Project in Oakland, three Investigative Reporters & Editors awards, the UCLA Gerald Loeb Award, the George Polk award, the National Headliner Award and an Associated Press award for best business reporting.

She now lives near Graton and volunteers at El Molino High School, where her sons and grandsons attended.

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