State Officials Reject Environmentalist Plan To Replace California’s Last Nuclear Plant With Green Energy

The Daily Caller | 11/4/2017 | Staff
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Sometimes even the best-laid plans fall through. Environmentalists are fretting their plan to replace California’s last nuclear power plant with green energy sources has been rejected by state regulators.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on Thursday voted to close the Diablo Canyon power plant in San Luis Obispo County by 2025, but the commission mostly rejected a plan from environmentalists to replace the plant with green energy and energy efficiency programs.

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“With this decision, the CPUC failed to take a promising step for California electricity customers and climate,” Peter Miller, western energy project director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, wrote in a blog post on the CPUC decision.

Diablo’s closure plan was announced in 2016 after environmental groups led by NRDC and Friends of the Earth signed a “joint agreement” with unions and plant owner Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to shut it down.

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Their 2016 proposal called for replacing Diablo Canyon with energy efficiency programs, wind turbines and solar panels. Diablo Canyon is California’s last operating nuclear power plant.

The plan also asked for $448 million to help transition workers and offset lost tax revenue in San Luis Obispo County. NRDC estimated its plan would save PG&E customers $1 billion compared to keeping Diablo Canyon running.

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But the CPUC’s approval makes no specific promise to replace Diablo Canyon’s generation with green energy, worrying environmentalists natural gas will fill the void, and it cut funding for local governments and workers.

“Instead, the commission punted on critical support needed to ensure an orderly transition and avoid a spike in carbon pollution,” Miller wrote.

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“Given the lack of action on replacement resources and the disregard for the needs of plant workers and host communities, it is possible the California Legislature will take action to address these issues,” Miller wrote.

With the CPUC’s vote, Diablo Canyon will close both its...
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