Chabot College faculty group supports power plant appeal

chabotlogoHad a story over the weekend about Chabot-Las Positas Community College District being the sole party still fighting the approved 600-megawatt Calpine powerplant at the Hayward shoreline, about a mile and a half away from the campus.

I just received a letter of support from the Chabot-Las Positas Faculty Association, which was sent to the district’s trustees. Find the full text after the jump, and here’s the district’s web page dedicated to the subject.

April 2, 2011
TO: Board of Trustees, CLPCCD
FROM: Charlotte Lofft, President, CLPFA
RE: Russell City Power Plant

Dear Trustees:
I read with alarm the April 2, 2011 article in the Contra Costa Times entitled, “Chabot Alone In Fight Against Hayward Shoreline Power Plant.” I am concerned that Chabot is alone in this fight since all the other parties against the plant have acquiesced in the fight to resist the plant.

Please understand that the Faculty Association stands with the District in this fight against the power plant. The FA appreciates the firm stand the District has taken in this matter, and we are grateful for your persistence. We encourage you to continue in this effort.

The FA has repeatedly stated, at Board of Trustee meetings and in our Faculty Focus Newsletter, that we are totally opposed to the Russell City Energy Center Power Plant. Here are some of the reasons:

 The plant will negatively impact working conditions of faculty, staff and students. The plant will emit numerous toxins into our environment, including five criteria pollutants identified by the EPA as injurious to health, the environment, and property. The “Maximum Impact Receptor Center” map prepared by the California Energy Commission identifies the Chabot College campus as “ground zero” for falling toxins from the Russell City Energy Center, which the FA denounces as unwarranted and unacceptable burdens on a community resource such as ours. The FA interprets a move to site a power plant in proximity to our mostly low-income, majority-minority students and neighbors as an act of environmental racism, especially since the electricity generated by the plant is intended for residents of the Peninsula, not Hayward or the East Bay. The FA finds no assurances in the text of the “Prevention of Significant Deterioriation Permit” that polluting emissions will be sufficiently monitored or that sufficient oversight is in place to ensure the PSD Permit Conditions are met.

 The plant’s emissions will put at risk the many young children who attend our Children’s Center on a daily basis, especially since these children have been identified by the EPA as “sensitive receptors” to criteria pollutants. We totally disagree with the California Energy Commission’s staff assessment that ten deaths per million due to exposure to contaminants from the Russell City Energy Center is an “acceptable risk” for the community to bear. The supports of the plant’s persistent claims that the plant will bring 650 jobs to the region repeatedly fail to acknowledge that those jobs are temporary and will last no more than 18 months, yet the plant will be a polluter in this community for as many as forty years or more.
In conclusion, the Faculty Association emphatically denounces plans to site the Russell City Energy Center in the west Hayward corridor, near our campus, where it will negatively affect the working conditions of the faculty and staff and the learning conditions of students.

The Faculty Association is proud to join forces with the District against the construction of this plant and will work with the District to eliminate this threat to our working conditions and our students.

Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions about this matter.

Yours truly,
Charlotte Lofft
Cc: FA Executive Board, Dr. Joel Kinnamon

Eric Kurhi