FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 21, 2022
170+ Organizations Sign Letter Opposing Subsidies to Delay Closure of Diablo Canyon Power Plant
WASHINGTON, D.C.// June 21, 2022//
Over 170 organizations, including Beyond Nuclear, North American Water Office, Food & Water Watch, Institute for Policy Studies Climate Policy Program, Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS), Center for Biological Diversity, International Marine Mammal Project of Earth Island Institute, Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) and more sent a letter to Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm opposing the misuse of the Department of Energy’s Civil Nuclear Credit program (CNC) to dismantle the fossil-free phaseout and just transition plan for the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.
The CNC was created by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to mitigate potential greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) increases due to the closure of unprofitable nuclear reactors that operate in competitive electricity markets. The letter explains how applying the CNC program to Diablo Canyon would violate the letter and intent of the law. The nuclear power plant is not eligible for funds under the CNC program because it does not meet the basic requirements of the IIJA, nor those of the CNC program guidance DOE published to implement the program.
The letter highlights climate, economic, environmental justice, and power supply concerns with abandonment of the just transition agreement dictating the planned closure of Diablo Canyon’s nuclear reactors in 2024 and 2025.
Over 50 organizations from the State of California signed onto the letter, including San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, SoCal 350 Climate Action, Tri-Valley CAREs, Physicians for Social Responsibility/Sacramento, San Francisco Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility, Oceanic Preservation Society, Electric Vehicle Association of CA Central Coast, Californians for Energy Choice, Parents Against Santa Susana Field Lab and more.
Tim Judson, NIRS executive director said, “Diablo Canyon’s planned phaseout and just transition accelerates California’s climate and renewable energy goals, supports Diablo workers and local communities, and promotes economic and environmental justice. Misusing the CNC program to unravel that progress would betray President Biden’s commitments to climate and environmental justice.” He added, “The Diablo Canyon phaseout plan which California is implementing is a just transition model DOE should promote instead of seeking to preempt it. The basis for the plan shows how phasing out nuclear power plants along with fossil fuel generation can help accelerate emissions reductions, the growth of the renewable energy economy, and a just and equitable transition for workers and communities. Is DOE afraid to let that happen while it is spending billions of dollars to promote the idea that we need to invest in overly expensive, failure-prone nuclear power plants?”
The letter addresses concerns that closing Diablo Canyon would slow and impede California’s energy transition, stating that these fears are unfounded since the closure agreement includes a firm commitment by PG&E to meet California’s GHG reduction targets and to exceed the state’s renewable energy standard. That commitment is reinforced by CPUC orders requiring more than 20,000 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy and electricity storage by the time Diablo Canyon closes in 2025, as well as state legislation enacted in 2018 requiring that the retirement of Diablo Canyon not result in increases in GHG emissions.
Hannah Smay with NIRS said, “It would be nonsense for DOE to consider expending such a large share of the $6 billion appropriation for the CNC program merely to extend the operation of one nuclear power plant, especially for what has been suggested as only a short duration of a few years.”
The coalition urges Secretary Granholm to uphold the Biden administration’s commitment to environmental justice and climate action and honor the agreement to close Diablo Canyon. The letter states, “Bailing out old nuclear power plants is not the way to spark the energy transition we need to save the climate, create good jobs, build a strong economy, and advance environmental justice.”
Read the letter and list of 179 organizations here.Diablo-Canyon_sign-on_2022-06 (1)
The Nuclear Information and Resource Service is an organization devoted to the just energy transition from nuclear to clean, renewable energy sources and advocates for a nuclear-free, carbon-free future. They are located near Washington DC in Takoma Park, Maryland.
Contact Hannah Smay via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (208) 340-0531