Former Governor Jerry Brown and his team cut a backroom deal between anti-nuclear groups (several funded and allied with natural gas groups) to force PG&E to shutter California’s last nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon. This was done without meaningful public engagement or due consideration for the impacts of this closure on climate change, on grid reliability or on ratepayers pockets. Governor Brown had already set the stage with energy policies that penalized PG&E by preventing Diablo Canyon from getting credit for producing zero-emission energy which help the state meet its clean energy goals while keeping the grid reliable. Thus, while those building new natural gas plants and renewable plants would profit, the ratepayers and citizens of California would lose their investment in and the clean energy benefits of the largest single source of clean energy generation in the state.
Ever since that deal was announced, an array of alarmed environmentalists, climate scientists, non-profits and pronuclear activists have been fighting that decision and seeking ways to protect the plant from this totally wasteful and premature closure, which goes against the mandates of AB 32, to decarbonize at the least cost. Up until now, most of those efforts and campaigns had little effect. Then, in early 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. Just as opponents of this deal had feared, the cost to California of prematurely shuttering Diablo Canyon would result in increases in emissions and cost the state more than $20 billion dollars, combined with the need to seize and use of as much as 90,000 acres of land for building replacement wind and solar plants. This analysis has galvanized efforts to re-assess the state’s plan to destroy a multi-billion dollar clean energy asset which is helping to prevent climate change and providing increased grid reliability.
Below are current campaigns and ways that you can help support the preservation of Diablo Canyon and its clean energy.