Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 31 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

California's Primary Season Comes Amid a Dramatic Battle Over Nuclear Energy

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   No comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Harvey Wasserman
Become a Fan
  (22 fans)

From Truthout

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant
Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant
(Image by (From Wikimedia) Doc Searls from Santa Barbara, USA, Author: Doc Searls from Santa Barbara, USA)
  Details   Source   DMCA

California's Super Tuesday primary on March 3 comes amid an atomic struggle whose outcome will hugely impact the nation and world, including the global climate crisis, the Green New Deal and the outcome of the 2020 election.

Ground Zero is Diablo Canyon, nine miles west of San Luis Obispo. Ringed by earthquake faults, the two big atomic reactors there are less than 50 miles west of the infamous San Andreas Fault. Since their mid-1980s opening, the Diablo Canyon reactors have become a symbol of everything the global No Nukes movement opposes, provoking more civil disobedience arrests (over 10,000) than any other U.S. reactor site.

The two reactors are also in the vortex of a revolution in green tech. All other California nukes have since shut down. Meanwhile, new solar and wind installations accounted for some 1,700 megawatts of new green capacity last year alone. That's nearly three-quarters the total power of the two Diablo nukes combined.

The massive influx of new independently owned renewable generation has helped shove Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) into its second bankruptcy this century. In 2010, PG&E's neglected pipes blew up 38 San Bruno homes, killing eight people. Convicted of numerous felonies, PG&E went under the supervision of a "federal probation officer," Judge William Alsup.

Then its shoddy wires fed epic wildfires that killed more than 80 northern Californians and destroyed some 10,000 structures. Countless square miles of forest turned to ash along with the entire town of Paradise (misnamed "Pleasure" by President Trump in a later visit).

On February 26, in a parallel Massachusetts case, Columbia Gas was convicted of criminal negligence in a 2018 gas fire that killed one person, injured dozens more and torched numerous buildings. The company will pay a $53 million fine and leave the state.

PG&E's fire victims have sued for tens of billions of dollars, prompting this latest bankruptcy.

Since 2017, PG&E has also lost more than half its customers. As part of a national push for public power, Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) now allows local citizens to form their own power companies, slashing deep into mega-utility rate bases.

In response, corrupt state regulators have forced "exit fees" on CCAs to cover Diablo's staggering losses. Simply put, PG&E makes its former customers pay for power they don't want from a supplier they've left.

The scam is national. Corrupt governors and legislatures in New York, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey and Connecticut have approved massive ratepayer handouts for obsolete, dangerously decayed reactors. Almost all of the U.S.'s remaining 96 reactors are more than 30 years old. All emit heat, carbon and radiation. None can compete with new renewables.

Diablo alone bleeds at least a billion dollars per year. Running it through a planned 2025 shutdown would lose the company $7 billion more than an immediate closure.

PG&E's bankruptcy case will be decided this summer. Diablo One will shut for refueling in the fall. So their conjoined future will be decided between now and the November election.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has an iron grip on the outcome. Widely seen as future presidential timber, Newsom has angrily called PG&E everything from incompetent to "in peril of not existing."

However, Newsom has ignored a major petition to have Diablo inspected. He's waffled on the proposed takeover. He's ignored PG&E's exit fee. He's been starkly silent on the future of the state's last two nukes.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Harvey Wasserman Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Harvey is a lifelong activist who speaks, writes and organizes widely on energy, the environment, election protection, social justice, grass-roots politics and natural healing, personal and planetary.He hosts "California Solartopia" at KPFK-Pacifica and "Green Power & Wellness" (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Will 9 GOP governors put Romney in the White House?

Four Ways Ohio Republicans are Already Stealing the 2012 Election

Toll of U.S. Sailors Devastated by Fukushima Radiation Continues to Climb

Is Fukushima now ten Chernobyls into the sea?

Humankind's Most Dangerous Moment: Fukushima Fuel Pool at Unit 4. "This is an Issue of Human Survival."

Japan's Quake Could Have Irradiated the Entire US

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend