Written by Natalia, Climate Resilience Fellow
Photos above: New Voices supports Local Clean Energy Alliance’s social media
campaign to keep East Bay Community Energy Nuclear-Free.
As this year’s Climate Resilience Fellow, I am doing what I can to make sure our Oakland community is ready for any climate change impacts that come our way. That means I get to work with other awesome movements and organizations that are working toward the same goal!
Recently, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work with the Local Clean Energy Alliance (LCEA) to keep nuclear energy out of the East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) portfolio. Now, that was A LOT of information in that last sentence, so let me break it down. LCEA is an organization that promotes a clean energy future through the development of local renewable energy resources. This clean energy future has to start in our own communities. EBCE is a Community Choice Energy service, which allows people from our community to choose exactly where we get our energy. Instead of fossil fuel-based electricity from sources like fracked gas and coal, EBCE’s energy comes from local renewable energy projects that create good paying jobs in our communities. With this ownership over our energy and energy prices, big corporations are no longer in control of our communities. And unfortunately this year, EBCE has opened up the energy portfolio to future nuclear energy projects.
So, the question is, why don’t we want nuclear energy in the EBCE portfolio? Nuclear energy is considered a clean energy, because generating nuclear energy does not release any greenhouse gasses. However, from sourcing all the materials to generate nuclear power to the radioactive waste it creates, the process of creating nuclear energy is not renewable. And, nuclear energy plants are very sensitive and prone to disasters caused by human error, like what happened in Fukushima, Japan in 2011. These meltdowns can damage communities beyond repair for the foreseeable future. By allowing nuclear energy to enter our community and our energy portfolio, instead of creating more renewable energy projects, we would be taking a huge step backward away from our end goal of a renewable and clean energy future. For these reasons and more, our community is saying “No!” to nuclear power!
As the Climate Resilience Fellow, I stand for a renewable, clean energy future. And although nuclear power doesn’t produce greenhouse gas emissions, it does cause harm to our earth and could cause even greater harm to our community.
Want to learn more and join these efforts to keep EBCE Nuclear Free? Keep an eye out for LCEA’s upcoming webinar on their Facebook Page!