Gaffney vs. PG&E Oral History

Rose Gaffney helped lead the opposition against PG&E’s proposed nuclear plant in Bodega Bay, California in the early 1960s. gaffney-pg&e-oral-history

Documentary filmmakers Annette Arnold and Cathy Wild introduce us to Rose Gaffney and the people of Sonoma County who resisted PG&E’s plan for a nuclear power plant. PG&E was interested in over 400 of Rose Gaffney’s 600-acre ranch on Bodega Head. By imminent domain, the power company condemned 64 acres of her land and forced her to sell. Her ferocious fight to preserve her land led to a unique expression of local environmental activism, which became part of the template of grassroots anti-nuclear movements in the United States from there on out. It would take until 1964 when the Alaskan earthquake happened for PG&E to say, well, I guess it’s really not a very good idea to have a nuclear power plant on top of an earthquake fault.

Transcription of an oral history interview recorded for Sonoma County Museum’s exhibition: Sonoma Confidential