East Bay Community Energy Votes to Sell PG&E’s Nuclear Energy Despite Notable Comments by Youth

(12/2020) Unfortunately, on December 16, the EBCE Board, voted in favor of staff’s third proposal to accept an allocation of nuclear power from PG&E and flip it to a third party to sell, in return for half of the profit. Only Hayward’s Al Mendall and Albany’s Peggy McQuaid opposed the proposal. The majority of the Board was convinced by staff’s rather tenuous statements that the proposal would bring money to EBCE, force PG&E to utilize more gas-fired power, preventing PG&E from having a carbon-free power mix, and keep EBCE from having to account for the nuclear energy on their power content label.

The Board’s approval was clearly a slap in the face to community members who showed up with little notice to speak, many who have spoken against this issue several times this year. The most notable comment was made by Natalia Balderas, 17, this year's Climate Resilience Fellow for the Rose Foundation: New Voices Are Rising, hosted by the Local Clean Energy Alliance. 
Natalia is a Senior at Skyline High School in the Green Energy Pathway and the school’s ASB Secretary. Natalia’s job this year as the Climate Resilience Fellow is to prepare the East Bay for climate solutions and fighting false solutions that make environmental racism worse, like nuclear energy.   
Natalia Balderas' Public Comment to East Bay Community Energy Board: 
“...I first just want to start by thanking you all for declining PG&E’s offer to use nuclear energy in our community, by doing that you just truly showed that you care about us and our well-being. But it feels like a stab in the back now that you want to start selling it.
Any business with nuclear does not represent Environmental Justice. With this, you make us feel like our health and well-being and that of others and the earth, is nothing but a mere price tag to you. You have this striking opportunity to sell something that injures and kills thousands of people and permanently damages our Earth’s beautiful grounds. One shake, one blow, one drop of water has the chance to destroy absolutely everything when you have nuclear energy up and running.
And you think that 'well we won't be using it, so let's give it to others' is perfectly ok. What you're doing is enabling other communities to absolutely destroy themselves. Is that what you want to represent? Is that how you want to impact the kids that look up to you? The teenagers like myself who want to see what the future has in store?
The community made a choice months ago, and here we are today. We don't want nuclear in our communities and you heard us, so be kind to others as you would your own and don't sell nuclear to other communities.
Go ahead and disappoint all the adults, but don't disappoint the younger generations who feel like you already don't hear us. We want to live, but we also want our neighbors, our earth, and everything in it to live. Nuclear energy has no place in a Green New Deal or the clean energy future we demand.
Thank you for your time.”