Seven years ago local officials in Marin County, California organized to form a nonprofit electricity company with the noblest intentions. Buying and selling electricity allowed the group, Marin Clean Energy (MCE), to route around the local utility giant, Pacific Gas & Electric, which for years had resisted its customers’ pleas for cleaner, more reliable power, all the while “greenwashing” its image with marketing campaigns. “People wanted more of a sense of how their dollars were being invested,” Alex DiGiorgio, MCE’s community development manager, tells Capital & Main. “They wanted more access to competitively priced renewable energy.”
They also wanted to “catalyze local project development,” DiGiorgio says, to see their electricity bills go toward something more beneficial for the local community than large hydroelectric dams, polluting gas-fired power plants and a nuclear facility built over an earthquake fault.
But critics of the local-power movement say agencies like MCE — whose very reason for being was to stimulate renewable energy development — mostly support already extant renewable facilities.
Hello, I’m Helen Gan, a member of IBEW Local 1245.
I want to persuade you to vote NO on Proposition 32. Prop 32 is a measure that will prohibit unions from contributing to political campaigns. It is part of an attempt, going on all across the country, for businesses to roll back the benefits unionization has given to workers.
I am 76 years old, and have worked for 57 years, 52 of them at PG&E. I am part of the generation who, because of the union, was able to live a good life, buy a house, travel, and have a secure old age.
I’m afraid most people have little knowledge of history, and short memories, not knowing how unions lobbied long and hard for us to get the benefits we have today.
In 1912, my mother was seven years old when she went to work in a cannery,