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CA Legislation Would Force Sale of Diablo Canyon to Benefit Wildfire Victims

© California State Assembly

Central Coast Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham has announced his intention to introduce a bill aimed at keeping Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant operational, which is currently slated to shut down by 2025.

The assemblyman’s new proposal would mandate the California Public Utility Commission (PUC) not approve a PG&E bankruptcy or settlement plan that does not include an initiative to continue the operation of the nuclear power plant. Additionally, the bill would require at least $1 billion and $300 million of the proceeds from a potential sale of the plant go to fire victims and wildfire prevention respectively.

“Californians deserve an all-of-the-above approach to fighting climate change. Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, an emission-free source of electricity that supplies the state with 9 percent of its power, needs to be a part of the answer,” Cunningham said in a statement. “PG&E and the bankruptcy court should be looking at creative ways to raise the type of capital necessary to pay fire victims. There’s no reason for a bankrupt utility with billions of dollars in liabilities to shut down a perfectly safe and profitable source of emission-free electricity.”

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 21, 2019 9:51 pm GMT

Californians deserve an all-of-the-above approach to fighting climate change. Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, an emission-free source of electricity that supplies the state with 9 percent of its power, needs to be a part of the answer

What do you think, Bob, it would take for this message to truly resonate with a California electorate that's perhaps traditionally resistant/fearful of nuclear? 

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Oct 22, 2019 1:28 am GMT

Matt, the fact that a state assemblyman will be introducing legislation represents the tremendous progress groups like Californians for Green Nuclear Power, Mothers for Nuclear, Citzens' Climate Lobby, Environmental Progress, and Stand Up for Nuclear! have made (unsurprisingly, Jordan Cunningham has a degree in physics - he understands why it's so important).

It takes reaching out to (first of all) listen to others' perspectives on climate change and energy, then (usually) correct misperceptions which have been ingrained over decades about the role nuclear can play.

It takes confronting forces behind the scenes doing everything they can to shut down Diablo Canyon ASAP. On Friday, a group called "Mothers for Peace" filed an application with the state Public Utilities Commission to close Diablo Canyon before the scheduled 2025 date. That's good news - the reality of climate change and the potential of nuclear energy is sinking in, and California's natural gas industry has been put on notice.

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