Biden gives PG&E $1 billion to keep the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant open for another 30 years
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WASHINGTON — US Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and US Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., have requested a 30-year extension on ratepayer funding for the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant that’s been a target of state and local opposition for nearly three decades.
In a letter Thursday to the California Assembly and Senate, Pascrell and Warren said that the plant must be allowed to keep making electricity for another 30 years after current rates are expected to drop. Currently, the plant receives about $1 billion annually through a 30-year ratepayer subsidy.
“It would be difficult to imagine a nuclear power plant that provides even more secure electricity to the people of the Bay Area,” Pascrell said in a statement Friday. “When that plant next goes dark, we will all pay the consequences, and California will no longer be able to blame the rest of the country for having a broken power grid.”
“We have to invest in a system that’s not only safe when it matters most, but is also reliable, affordable and able to last decades without interruption,” Warren continued. “We can do that only if the Diablo Canyon plant is allowed to continue making electricity for another 30 years after current rates are expected to fall.”
The letter was spearheaded by a group of Democratic lawmakers, but not enough of them signed it.
The plant’s owner, San Diego Gas and Electric Co., wants the extension to keep paying the ratepayers of the nearly 40 other states that use the plant to generate electricity, though it is not asking for permission from the federal government.
The state currently is not opposed to the extension.
“We understand the state can help the plant and the ratepayers and we wish their decision was in the best interests of ratepayers and the state,” spokesman Mark Fabiani said in a statement.
Warren and Pascrell said the company is now making financial projections that