California is choosing natural gas over Diablo Canyon’s clean energy
- Jun 3, 2021 7:50 pm GMT
By Jameson McBride and Ted Nordhaus
June 03, 2021
Faced with a recall election this year, Gov. Gavin Newsom is scrambling to ensure the lights will stay on this summer.
Rolling blackouts during a heat wave last August sent a clear warning: Utilities didn’t have enough power to meet periods of high demand. The pending 2025 closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, one of the state’s largest sources of clean electricity, will only make the situation worse.
In response to last year’s blackouts, the State Water Resources Control Board has quietly extended waivers to natural gas plants on the California coast that had been scheduled to close because they use ocean water for cooling, exempting them from a ban on the practice the board established in 2010, when Newsom was its chairman.
These plants are among the dirtiest in the state and disproportionately impact low-income communities of color. Allowing them to continue to operate blows a hole in the state’s climate goals.
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