Environmentalists Suing to Shut Down Power Plant Providing 9% of State’s Power

You would think that, given the cost of living and the exodus already underway from the Golden State, nobody would be trying to make California more expensive than it already is.

But this is California, a state where Jerry “Governor Moonbeam” Brown can be considered a relative political moderate in the whole scheme of things because he occasionally kept an eye on the state budget.

So of course somebody’s trying to make it more expensive — and not only that, that somebody is a group of environmentalists looking to shut down nearly 10 percent of the state’s energy production. And not only that, that energy comes from one of the cleanest, most reliable sources of energy we have.

Welcome to California, as they say.

According to a Wednesday report from The Associated Press, an environmentalist group called Friends of the Earth is suing the U.S. Department of Energy over its decision to award funds to keep California’s last remaining nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, open.

The DOE awarded $1 billion to keep the plant open past its planned 2025 closure date after Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said shuttering Diablo Canyon, which provides 9 percent of the state’s power, would leave California vulnerable to blackouts, according to regional conservative outlet The Center Square.

“As we experienced during the record heat wave last September, climate change-driven extreme events are causing unprecedented stress on our power grid — the Diablo Canyon Power Plant is important to support energy reliability as we accelerate progress towards achieving our clean energy and climate goals,” Newsom said in a 2023 statement.

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In 2022, Newsom signed a bill to allocate $1.4 billion in loans to keep Diablo Canyon, located in San Luis Obispo, to extend its service life to 2030.

“Climate change is causing unprecedented stress on California’s energy system and I appreciate the Legislature’s action to maintain energy reliability as the state accelerates the transition to clean energy,” Newsom said at the time.

The move came after the state announced earlier in the year that it would ban sales of gas-powered cars by 2035; just days afterwards the California Independent System Operator, the non-profit organization which manages most of California’s energy grid, put the Golden State on notice that the stress charging electric vehicles would put on the grid would simply be too much to close a source of reliable, carbon-free energy generation.

CISO pleaded with EV owners to not charge their cars during “flex alerts” because it was “likely to strain the grid with increased energy demands, especially over the [Labor Day] holiday weekend.”

In January, the Biden administration chipped in $1.1 billion to extend the plant’s service life. So, naturally, the environmentalists sued, because reality doesn’t have to matter when you’re a privileged ideologue.

“The environmental impacts from extending the lifespan of this aging power plant at this point in time have not been adequately addressed or disclosed to the public,” the group’s lawsuit said.

While a safety assessment concluded there weren’t risks to keeping the nearly 40-year-old plant alive, Friends of the Earth called that “grossly deficient.”

“[Pacific Gas Electric] has long said the twin-domed plant is safe, an assessment endorsed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,” the AP noted.

In Case You Missed It:  Fifteenth Anniversary of The Conservative Papers

So, just to get this straight: A non-carbon-based source of energy generation that provides roughly a tenth of a state’s electricity is going to stay open thanks to government spending. This is in a state where, according to EnergySage, residents already pay an average of $3,060 a year on their electricity bill — 34 percent higher than the national average.

The state is hemorrhaging residents and revenue thanks, in part, to the cost of living — making that 2035 EV mandate more unlikely than ever, especially if there are rolling blackouts due to lack of electricity.

Friends of the Earth should be doing a coordinated group dance at Burning Man to celebrate this development. Instead, they’re suing. Why? Because nuclear is super-duper evil — even if it’s safe and clean.

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Enviros may invoke the specter of Chernobyl or Three-Mile Island, but outliers like that have been sorted. The real issue is that they want scarcity. They desperately want us all to do without. That’s why wind, solar and other renewables — despite the fact that they can’t reasonably provide for our energy needs — are the only types of electricity generation these types of radicals will accept. If we could do away with the grid, period, that would be even better!

Americans shouldn’t have to listen to the piffle. Neither should the courts — and one hopes this suit is tossed as soon as feasible.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

In Case You Missed It:  Fifteenth Anniversary of The Conservative Papers

Source material can be found at this site.

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