Diablo Canyon Portal

Welcome and thanks for supporting Diablo Canyon

We are delighted to share that Governor Newsom has recently submitted a bill proposing to extend the life of Diablo Canyon. The Governor, together with the California Energy Commission, CALISO, numerous elected representatives and energy experts recognized that the state is currently at great and increasing risk of not having sufficient power to meet its projected summer peak load demand. This is the situation now, even with both of Diablo Canyon’s reactors running. If the state were to shut down either or both, the certainty of blackouts and brown-outs and resultant deaths and health impacts, especially among the elderly and disadvantaged communities, would be a direct result. So, despite the 2016 agreement reached by the prior governor, Governor Newsom is unwilling to sacrifice the lives of residents for ideology.

On August 12, 2022, the CEC and CALISO hosted a public workshop to report on the findings and to elicit public comment.  They welcomed the submission of written comments about Diablo Canyon and they allowed oral public comments at the end of the presentations prepared by the state’s energy planners. Hundreds of people joined this virtual workshop and made public comments and over 600 written submissions were docketed as of August 13th.  The Governor’s Office then helped  to sponsor legislation that would allow the state to provide as much as $1.4 billion in additional aid to support the relicensing of Diablo Canyon. The legislature needs to sign this bill into law within a few weeks, so we need to be reaching out to our representatives to urge them to approve this bill.  See #1 below for more details.

The History

Back in 2014, former Governor Jerry Brown, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and a small cabal of self-interested antinuclear groups conspired to force PG&E to agree to shutter California’s last nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon. This was done behind closed doors without meaningful public or scientific engagement and thus failed to take due consideration of the true impacts of this closure on climate change, grid reliability or ratepayers’ pockets. Ever since, an array of alarmed environmentalists, climate scientists, academics, non-profits and pronuclear activists have been fighting that decision, which is due to take effect in 2025. Dr. Gene Nelson, with support from Californians for Green Nuclear Power, put up a staunch legal fight against the CPUC’s actions, however most of the arguments and appeals were rejected. In November, 2021, a team of experts from Stanford University and MIT released a report assessing the impact of this premature closure on the state’s decarbonization efforts. They found that the cost to California of prematurely shuttering Diablo Canyon would exceed $20 billion dollars and potentially require the seizure of as much as 90,000 acres of land for siting wind and solar plants. Following this, Dr. Nelson broke the news that the CPUC’s covert plan to replace Diablo Canyon’s power was going to come predominantly from coal power from PacifiCorp, the emissions of which would be exempted from inclusion in CPUC’s mandated emissions tally. This finding of the CPUC’s horrific planned deception on the people of California, together with the urgings of the scientific community to save Diablo Canyon, galvanized efforts to re-assess the state’s plan to destroy this multi-billion dollar clean energy asset which was (and is) providing five Hoover Dams worth of clean energy, preventing climate change and supporting grid reliability.  Below are our current and prior campaigns to help protect Diablo Canyon and its clean energy.

1. Sign on in support of the 79 experts’ letter to Governor Newsom

79 scientists, academics and entrepreneurs from a range of disciplines, including former Secretary of Energy and Nobel Laureate, Dr. Steven Chu, Pulitzer Prize Laureate, Richard Rhodes and reknown climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen, sent a letter to Governor Newsom explaining in great detail why the decision to prematurely close Diablo Canyon would be bad for climate and bad for California. The Climate Coalition heartily welcomes this important outreach to the governor and agrees with the contents of this letter. We reproduced this letter here and have urged everyone to add your name to this appeal. We will continue to collect more signatures from the general public and send these additional signatures to the Governor office as they rise. 

Update 1:  On April 29, the L.A. Times published an article titled California promised to close its last nuclear plant. Now Newsom is reconsidering.  The Climate Coalition has drafted and then sent an Open Letter to thank Governor Newsom for working to prevent the closure of the Diablo Canyon plant by applying for federal support funds through the DOE’s new Civil Nuclear Credit program.  We will forward signatories of this draft open letter to Gov. Newson as well.

Update 2:  On August 12, the Governor’s office, the California Energy Commission and CALISO hosted a public workshop to report on the findings of the state’s energy planners showing that the state will experience far worse grid outages with the expected closure of Diablo Canyon. They provided opportunities to submit written comment about Diablo Canyon and make public comments. Please submit a comments to the CEC’s website in support of Diablo Canyon. Use a descriptive “Comment Title” to clearly indicate your support for Diablo Canyon’s continued operation. Use docket number “21-ESR-01” and be sure that any PDF that you submit is searchable. If they stopped taking comments there, you can submit a written comment by email to docket@energy.ca.gov.

Update 3:  The Governor has had legislation submitted that will provide $1.4 billion of state funds to support the extension of Diablo Canyon’s NRC license. We nowneed to urge our California Assembly Representatives and Senators to approve this legilsation.  Please use the SAVE CLEAN ENERGY site’s petition form to send messages to your representatives in the California State House. Also, there will be an important meeting on Thursday, August 25th, 2022 in Sacramento, of the Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee, at noon.  The address is 1021 O Street, Room 1200.  Please try to attend and/or sign up to attend virtually to express support for extending the operations of Diablo Canyon.

Sign the Letter Urging Governor Newsom to save Diablo Canyon

2. Legal Defense of Diablo Canyon & Opposition to CPUC’s plan to fill in with Coal Power

The independent, non-profit intervenor, Californians for Green Nuclear Power (CGNP) has been waging a legal battle to save Diablo Canyon for years. They have supported the relentless efforts of Dr. Gene Nelson, who has volunteered thousands of hours of his time, and helped to fund the filing of dozens of briefs in a multitude of actions, in the interests of the environment, ratepayers and public safety. Nevertheless, for years, all of CGNP’s filings have been met by a wall of denial, obstruction and obfuscation from state and federal agencies.  Meanwhile, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) claimed that Diablo Canyon’s clean energy would be replaced with other sources of clean energy, as required by law.  This kept state leaders in support of the decision to close Diablo Canyon. Unfortunately, the idea that Diablo’s “5 Hoover Dams” worth of clean, 24×7 power could be replaced with wind or solar was a complete fiction. In fact, the CPUC’s 2026 procurement order for the additional 11,500 megawatts of energy cannot be filled with new wind or solar and the state will have to scramble to even be able to replace that enormous amount with energy from burning coal. They have to race to complete transmission lines from Wyoming to get sufficient power from coal. And that’s apparently what their plan has been.

Dr. Gene Nelson was the first to reveal this elaborate charade to the public. As he explained in an OpEd in _____, in order to meet this energy demand, the state plans to allow “Unspecified Energy Imports” from out-of-state to meet the 2026 shortfall,” as revealed in a document filed by the California Independent System Operator in 2020. In fact, the CPUC’s references to “unspecified imports” is a California legal euphemism that mostly applies to out-of-state coal-fired generation, such as that provided by PacifiCorp.  This subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE) owns several coal and natural gas plants in the west and is currently constructing an Energy Gateway transmission project that will link to California. There is already a transmission line in southern Nevada that links to a Southern California Edison substation, providing access to the California grid.

But it gets even worse.  Despite a 2006 California law (SB 1368) that sets an emission standard for power provided to California, PacifiCorp obtained an exemption due to its “small footprint” in California. Furthermore, the CPUC allowed itself a legal loophole that enables them to avoid reporting on the emissions from out-of-state power generationGovernor Brown vetoed a bill that would have required CALISO to provide disclosure of Energy Content.  It thus appears that the CPUC is acquiescing to Diablo Canyon’s closure, knowing that the energy will be replaced by dirty coal and that those emissions can be deceitfully omitted from inclusion under SB 1368.

Dr. Nelson began waging a battle to bring this emission loophole to the attention of the public—and he succeeded. CPUC commissioners, as well as those of the California Energy Commission and the California Independent System Operator (CASIO) Board of Governors are all appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Now that their scheme has been revealed, they are much less willing to let such a detrimental solution be used, which is clearly contrary to what California’s laws and the public demand. The revelation of California becoming reliant on coal would have been devastating for Governor Newson. We are pleased to have supported Dr. Nelson and CGNP in ensuring that California protect its existing clean energy from Diablo Canyon. They continue to wage a PR and ongoing legal battle on behalf of California’s residents. They welcome both financial and research support. Please contact Government@CGNP.org for information on how you can help.

Legal Acttions to reveal schemes to undermine clean energy and defend Diablo Canyon:  Help CGNP maintain their legal challenges to the CPUC’s decision.

Nelson Possible Coal

(Click to enlarge)

3. Petition to Governor Newsom, the California Legislature and the CPUC

The Climate Coalition has prepared a state-wide petition to circulate to send to Governor Newsom, the California Legislature and CPUC to SAVE CLEAN ENERGY from DIABLO CANYON.  Closing Diablo Canyon before we have eliminated the dirty energy that is causing climate makes no sense whatsoever. California needs to reverse the decision to shutter clean Diablo Canyon before all sources of dirty emissions have been shuttered.  This petition is being held for the time being, as we follow the news about Newsom’s efforts to apply for CNC funds to keep Diablo Canyon running. Nevertheless, we are welcoming early signatures and comments on the current draft, which is likely to evolve.  We could also use your help when we are ready to circulate this petition.

Petition to save Diablo Canyon:  Be an early signatory and/or provide edits.

PAST ACTIONS

Save Diablo Poll

The San Luis Obispo paper ran an article with a review of the MIT and Stanford report which was released in November, 2021 showing the benefits of continued operation of Diablo Canyon. They provided a very clear overview of the issues as described in the study.  The publishers of the article decided to field an informal poll at the bottom of this article asking readers if they think Diablo should remain open or be closed. Contrary to what many people would suspect, 94% of those who answered the poll, totalling over 550 respondents, voted to keep the plant running!  5% supported closing the plant and only 1% didn’t know.  This reflects the changing attitudes about the role of nuclear energy in efforts to decarbonize the grid.

Help Support Diablo Canyon:  Read the article and take this poll to show support for keeping Diablo open.

Save Clean Energy Rally | Dec. 4th, 2021

Following the release by MIT and Stanford of a report showing the benefits of continued operation of Diablo Canyon, several local politicians and many environmental and clean energy groups have come together to keep the momentum going. We are holding a rally on December 4th in San Luis Obispo to show California and Governor Newsom that Californians support clean nuclear energy and keeping Diablo Canyon working for us. We invite everyone to join us to SAVE CLEAN ENERGY! Let’s make this the BIGGEST rally in favor of nuclear power in California’s history! We need your help. Let’s make our voices heard and save the world together!  RSVP here to let us know you’ll be there!

Date: Saturday, December 4th, 11:00 am
Meet at: 1050 Monterey Street, the SLO County Government Center (across from Fremont Theater), San Luis Obispo, CA
Featuring:  Musical performances, Engaging speakers, Pizza and drinks. and lots of
Media!

For more info: www.savecleanenergy.com
If you are coming from another city and are bringing a group, email lets@savecleanenergy.com to request help with transportation.

RSVP here and see you on December 4th!

Date: Saturday, December 4th, 11:00 am
Meet at: 1050 Monterey Street, the SLO County Government Center, San Luis Obispo, CA
Featuring:  Musical performances, Engaging speakers, Pizza and drinks. and lots of Media!
More info at: www.savecleanenergy.com)
Email: lets@savecleanenergy.com for help with transportation.

(PLEASE CONTACT US TO SHARE OTHER CAMPAIGN INFO THAT YOU KNOW ABOUT!)