“In the face of impending power blackouts, the California State Assembly and Senate did abrupt turns toward sanity and voted to extend the operating life of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. “This is a victory of pro-civilization values, including love of humanity and reason, over the forces of pro-scarcity nihilism,” tweeted Michael Shellenberger, founder of the pro-nuclear power activist group Environmental Progress.
Due to pressure from anti-nuclear activists, California’s Public Utility Commission voted 5-0 in 2018 to shut down both of the Diablo Canyon reactors by 2025. The new legislation reverses this ill-advised decision and extends their operating life by at least another five years. The Diablo Canyon reactors generate enough electricity to supply power for 3 million of the Golden State’s 13 million households.
Growing dependence on unreliable wind and solar power generation led not only to rolling blackouts in California in 2020 but also increased the price of electricity for California’s consumers. Shutting down Diablo Canyon’s reactors is counterproductive for those people who are concerned about the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on climate change. A point made, according to the New York Times, by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein in a letter sent to California state legislators: “The alternative to the closure of the reactors at Diablo Canyon will most likely be additional natural gas generation, which would reverse progress on emissions reductions and worsen air quality,” she wrote.”