Governor Gavin Newsom has taken a firm stance on “green energy,” however his move to close down California’s only nuclear powerplant says otherwise. As lieutenant governor in 2016, Newsom had his eyes set on closing the Diablo Canyon Power Plant.
Ordering a full environmental impact review and stating that he didn’t see the site being open another ten years. Now fast forward to 2020, Gov. Newsom is on his way to closing down the last nuclear plant in California. This closure would cost the PG&E nearly $4 billion, and $1 billion would be left for customers to pay.
While we can all agree that renewable energy is the ideal way to power our daily lives, we are a far stretch from it being able to take over the energy market completely. Solar power has no way to store power efficiently, wind power only works when the breeze is strong enough, and hydropower on its own isn’t necessarily environmentally friendly in its own right.
So what happens once California’s final nuclear power plant closes? Well, PG&E will have to rely on fossil fuels once again to generate enough power to run the cities we live in. To top it all off, PG&E’s miserable safety record only means more concerns for the environment.
The plan to shut down the Diablo Canyon Power Plant has more downsides than anything. Not only are they trying to push up the closure, but they are also looking to expedite the decommissioning process. With a company like PG&E’s track record for safety, one can only imagine the environmental effects a rushed process could have. Not only that, but closing down the plant will most likely drive thousands of workers from the area due to unemployment.
PG&E has no other option but to pursue fossil fuel energy replacement due to the unrealistic expectations of green energy technology being a suitable replacement for the energy demand in the short term. This fact alone goes against everything Newsom supposedly believes in with regard to energy policy.
Furthermore, PG&E may have to look outside the state for more energy substitutes for nuclear power. All of this will, in turn, raise already outrageous prices for the consumer, whereas pursuing responsible nuclear energy practices will not only provide clean energy, but decrease costs for customers in California and provide more jobs.
But alas, that doesn’t seem to be what Democrats in California aims to do. They’d much rather continue driving the wedge between the upper and lower class to eradicate the middle class, causing harmful monetary and employment effects disproportionately affecting the working class.