- Senate Bill 100 - "California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program: emissions of greenhouse gases" - was signed into law by Governor Brown today, but it will have a minimal effect on greenhouse gases.
Why? The bill provides no support for nuclear energy, the most potent weapon for fighting climate change, in California environmental policy through 2030.
Though nuclear is included (obliquely) after 2030 with the phrase "zero-carbon resources", it will be too late to save Diablo Canyon Power Plant - and of course, that was the point. Within two decades after shutting down Diablo Canyon,
the failure of renewables to live up to their promise - again - will force the recommissioning of the plant, at a cost to California ratepayers in the $billions.
Together with pseudo-environmental organizations on their payroll, oil and gas interests (including Governor Brown
) have opposed Diablo Canyon for a simple reason: carbon-free nuclear electricity has the potential to put them out of business in Caliifornia.
With the market for gasoline threatened, the world's most lucrative industry has been migrating its profit stream to natural gas. By promoting their other fossil fuel, while eliminating nuclear and making token gestures to "renewables"
they might be able to dominate electricity generation - the energy which will power electric vehicles of the future.
That was the idea, anyway. But as wildfires ravage California and hurricanes batter the East Coast, the imperative of climate change is sinking in - and fossil fuel companies find themselves squarely in the sights of energized
environmentalists who are committed to doing something about it.
Here, Assemblymembers Brian Dahle and Jordan Cunningham describe in plain terms the "hidden costs" of renewable energy, and why preventing the shutdown of Diablo Canyon should be an economic and environmental priority.
"Like hydropower, there is no science supporting the lack of inclusion of nuclear power in the RPS [Renewable Portfolio] standard."
- Assemblymember and Physicist Jordan Cunningham