The Case for Closing Diablo Canyon – Lt. Gov. Newsom – 2015

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From the Memory Hole

“I just don’t see that this plant is going to survive beyond 24, 2025…. And there is a compelling argument as to why it shouldn’t.” – Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom – 2015

By Mary Beth Brangan & James Heddle – EON

That Was Then. This is now – Newsom has his eye on the presidency and needs nuclear industry support.

Back in December of 2015, the California Land Commission met to decide whether or not to extend PG&E’s 2 leases on the land the plant occupies. One 49-year lease issued in 1969 by the commission was set to expire on Aug. 17, 2018, and another 49-year lease in May 31, 2019.

In his then role as Lt. Gov., Gavin Newsom was a member of the State Lands Commission and he gave a speech, in which he said in part,

“…there’s this lease, which is not insignificant. Turns out perhaps very significant, if it’s not extended 18 and 19. So it gives this body enormous amount of influence, perhaps over the ultimate determination of its fate and future. And as a consequence, it’s a very serious discussion.

“This is the last remaining plant of its type in the state of California. It services an extraordinary need in terms of its a total output. It has a huge economic impact on the region, more broadly, the state, and one could argue the nation. So it’s not an insignificant question that we’re being asked….”

Mr. Newsom went on to opine, “I just don’t see that this plant is going to survive beyond 24, 2025. I don’t see that. Now I absolutely may be wrong, but that’s the punditry. And there is a compelling argument as to why it shouldn’t.”

He accurately observed, “With all of the questions of seismic instability, questions that seem to arise every few years -another fault is discovered, another fault is discovered, another question mark about its safety and its potential capacity to survive an earthquake…. . We’ve discovered quakes with proximity with in some cases less than a thousand feet from critical infrastructure [of] this plant, within certainly a few miles of other discoveries. There’s a huge population density in and around the area, over half a million people in 50 square miles.”

By denying the lease extensions, Newsom pointed out, the body was in a position at that time to shutdown Diablo within months with a single action.

Despite voicing these valid concerns, fast forward to June of 2016: just a week after the Joint Agreement to shutdown Diablo by 2025 had been reached, the California Land Commissioners – including Newsom – voted unanimously to approve two land lease extensions that would allow the Diablo Canyon Power Plant to keep running until 2025 in support of the Agreement.