Update: Alameda County Supervisors Re-Open Application Period for Community Choice Energy Committee

20150505communitychoiceOur voices do make a difference! At its May 5, 2015 public hearing, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors delayed the adoption of a slate of County positions for the Steering Committee of the County’s Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Program. The Board heard from a number of stakeholders who expressed dissatisfaction with the list of nominees and requested modifications. Citizens’ concerns focused on the range of stakeholder representation on the draft slate of nominees, with concern expressed that some groups (e.g., women, business / renewable energy interests, and minority stakeholders) were underrepresented. As a result, the Board delayed adopting a final slate, ordered the application process reopened to all for a period of two weeks and authorized an increase in Committee size by up to five additional members. Any citizens wishing to apply for a seat on the Steering Committee may now submit an application for consideration from now through 5 p.m. on May 20, 2015. Click here for more information.

Here’s our earlier post that raised this issue: If you live in Alameda County, an urgent issue is being voted on TODAY, Tuesday, May 5th, related to the creation of a Community Choice Energy program that will provide residents with a clean energy alternative to PG&E. The County Supervisors are voting on members for a steering committee to oversee that process. PG&E’s union (IBEW) is attempting to stack the committee – the current proposed slate of 21 candidates has 4 IBEW representatives. Labor is an important interest to have represented in this process — especially since a new Community Choice Energy program could be a vehicle to create many local, green jobs.

The concern with IBEW is that their over-representation on this committee could torpedo the creation of a viable Community Choice Energy program in Alameda County. It’s noteworthy that IBEW Local 1245 spearheaded a bill (AB 2145) designed to prevent the formation of new Community Choice Programs last summer. Alameda County and the California State Association of Counties opposed the bill, which was ultimately defeated. Labor, and IBEW, certainly deserves a voice at the table; but, should only have one seat rather than four seats. A large block on the steering committee could enable IBEW to delay, obstruct and potentially derail the formation of a Community Choice program. Instead, a balanced stakeholder committee should represent a wide and diverse range of interests, which includes labor along with the renewable energy industry and the business community.

Please call your supervisor immediately. If live in Berkeley, you’re in Keith Carson’s district. Please call his aide Kevin Jenkins at (510) 268-5376. If you live in other areas, and do not know who your representative is, click here to access that information using your zip code.

TALKING POINTS:

  • The proposed list of nominees for the Alameda County Community Choice Energy Steering Committee is not representative of the diverse Alameda County community. This list does not include broad-based representation of the many diverse stakeholders within Alameda County (it has only one from the renewable energy business community and very few women, people of color, youth and low-income residents). If the list is approved as proposed, it will lack legitimacy as a community oversight committee.
  • Most notably, 4 nominees are from one single union, IBEW. We support organized labor, but 4 representatives from one union does not represent the diversity of workers that Community Choice will affect and that have a stake in clean energy.
  • It is worth noting that IBEW is the same union that pushed AB 2145 last year, a bill which would have eliminated Community Choice energy in California. The County of Alameda opposed AB 2145, as “an untenable burden for Alameda County’s efforts to form a CCA.”
  • IBEW should be limited to one representative, and the other three seats should be filled by community organizations, social justice organizations, consumer groups and individuals who reflect our county’s diversity.
  • The Board of Supervisors should not approve this slate and the county should re-open the application process to seek additional candidates or reconfigure the slate with other candidates from the pool of applicants they already received.

If you can, please attend the Board of Supervisors meeting on ​Tuesday May 5, 2015 at 1:00 pm in the 5th floor Board Chambers at 1221 Oak St., Oakland (near 12th St. BART) and fill out a speaker card to share your opinion about this slate.

[Photo by Takver on Flickr]


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