Why Diablo Destruction Deal Will Fail 1

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  1. All my good wishes to your cause Mr. Shellenberger, but my gut says the deal will fly despite your impassioned concern and legitimate reasons because the long FUD-fed public Don’t Care. _If they see that the media Doesn’t Care, They Won’t Care._ If the media, which has always hammered the public that they’re on THEIR side looking after them, cheers the passing of the last nuke so will the public. I can’t distill it down better than that. Sorry & Good Luck to us all.

  2. Shame on PG&E for even entertaining such a backwards move. People in CA need to wake up and realize that this plant is vital to the grid and CA air. The state will NOT benefit from this.

  3. The California PUC is already in hot water over the back room deal to close SONGS. So this deal will get more scrutiny. At least one would expect.

    But this is California. Logic is an alien concept.

    I don’t think the parties care about CO2 any more than Angela Merkel.

    Hope DC can be saved.

  4. “Already 100 people had signed up to attend our Friday 3:45 pm protest of NRDC and PG&E headquarters in San Francisco. We expect those numbers to increase significantly between now and then. On Saturday we will protest IBEW 1245 at its headquarters in Vacaville.”

    This is exactly what needs to happen. We won’t be heard by anyone, esp. the media, if we only complain about these things in our own echo chamber. No, we need more. I believe there needs to be protests at the NRDC’s offices in NYC and Washington DC (which has a large ANS section, so those reading this better do something) at the least. This is not just about Diablo Caynon, it’s about correctly recognizing (both in the media, in the markets, and in the laws) the contribution nuclear power makes to our clean power sources.

    We will never have the chance to tell the world the benefits of nuclear power if we don’t start talking louder…much much louder.

  5. I recognize PG&E’s position. I explained my rationale in a previously posted article.

    I recognize FOE’s and NRDC’s position as Rod has also kindly posted an article I wrote regarding the FOE’s anti-nuclear legal strategies some time ago.

    I recognize their positions regarding the closure of Diablo Canyon. That doesn’t mean I agree. This deal is not good for the CA economy, the people who work at Diablo Canyon, the people who work in CA, the environment as well as us the taxpayers who will be forced to pay more in subsidies for additional wind and solar capacity to replace Diablo Canyon. The ratepayers of CA will also be subjected to natural gas price swings in the future once the new natural gas plant or plants are built as is happening in SoCal after SONGS was shuttered.

    However, I will never understand the IBEW joining in on this deal to close down Diablo Canyon.

    This deal hurts their membership. This deal will not provide guarantees that the IBEW “safely” renegotiates their new contract with PG&E over the long term as it appears they are in the midst of working towards. This deal will take money out of the wallets of their membership. Since the plan is to now shut down Diablo Canyon, only those upgrades necessary to keep the reactor running until 2025 and as required to appease the NRC are going to be implemented. That means the workforce will be slowly whittled away to the necessary core group required to run the plant to meet the NRC operational requirements. IOW IBEW will lose members and membership dues from Diablo Canyon and that process will begin once this closure plan is agreed upon.

    The IBEW 1245 website doesn’t even have a comment posted on this deal. It does have articles buried on their website regarding their business manager Tom Dalzell appearing to be in the fight by having meetings with state officials and providing tours of Diablo Canyon.

    But there is no discussion on their main website on this agreement and the IBEW’s part in it and why this will be a good deal in the long run for their members. I would have thought that such a major issue would be front and center on their website.

    So why no public statements from the IBEW 1245 leadership?


    Again, I do not have any information other than that which is publically available through the various websites. But this deal reeks of some back door discussions between Mr. Dalzell, the leadership group of the IBEW 1245 and PG&E. To what end though? What is going on with the leadership of the IBEW by appearing to support the campaign to keep Diablo Canyon open but then at the same time be in closed door discussions regarding the planned shuttering of the plant?

    If I were a member of the IBEW I would feel like I had just been stabbed in the back by my own leadership. Mr. Dalzell would have to do some pretty fast talking to explain why I should vote for him again to be the leader of IBEW 1245 if I were a due paying member.

    The other major question I have is in regards to the Coalition of California Utility Employees (CUE). This is the first I have heard of this group. A short time spent researching has turned up very little in the way of who is running this group other then Patrick Lavin who is listed as the principal officer, or where they receive their funding since they are listed as a 501(c) tax exempt group. It appears though that through Mr. Lavin there are connections between IBEW 1245 and CUE. CUE was also involved in the SONGS closure as well. So from my perspective, the rank and file of IBEW as well as other non-represented utility workers might have been sold a pile of something if they are being told CUE is working in their best interests.

    1. Perhaps the IBEW leadership believes that, longer term, they are better off getting on the renewable/natural gas bandwagon.

      The Service Employees International Union is all in on open borders even though such a policy directly harms its low skilled members.

      Perhaps, like the Sierra Club position supporting immigration, the IBEW, SEIU leadership was given cash incentives to see things differently.

    2. @Bill Rogers

      You brought up an intriguing point by asking about CUE.

      Here is a copy of their 2014 IRS form 990.

      There are only two members who have voting rights – Tom Dalzell and Patrick Lavin. Both report spending ~ 10 hours per week on the group but receiving no compensation. The group spent $125,000 more than it received. It only lists three expense categories, legal fees of more than $635 K and lobbying expenses of $131 K and “other” of $82 K (Of note, that “other” number is just a hair less than the 10% of line 25 ($852 K) that would require itemizing the expenses).


  6. The politicians, PG&E officials, and many so-called environmentalists won’t be around 9 years from now to live with the consequences. This is a “feel good” illusion to make everyone happy. In the same Google search on the Diablo Canyon shutdown, a link came up regarding the natural gas shortage in Southern California and high potential for electrical blackouts. Everyone is fooling themselves to think that sufficient cost-effective renewables will be found along with the natural gas back-up power plants for the 65 to 75% of the time the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing strongly enough. This is a kick-the-can down the road measure. New England suffers from the same myopia.

  7. I do feel stabbed in the back as a retired member of Local 1245 and a shop steward in their Steam Generation Department for 17 years.

    Though I didn’t work at Diablo Canyon, this is somewhat par for the course of Local 1245. The heart of Local 1245’s far-to-close-relationship with PG&E management is to “protect” the core money earner for the corporation, which is not generation but the grid and that section of Local 1245 members working in the Electric Dept (which handles all transmission, distribution and general grid operations and maintenance)

    The general outline of Local 1245’s collaborationist relationship with PG&E is the unwritten but openly acknowledged quid-pro-quo by the both parties to support each other when one comes under ‘attack’ by the PUC or any section of the public. Thus, PG&E refused to oppose the Local’s successful attempt to preserve Cal-OSHA 2 decades ago when Republicans tried to gut it (and this was a victory for working people in the state) and likewise the Local always supports any increase to ratepayers made by PG&E for rate increases.

    There are at least 1000 IBEW jobs that will be lost when or if Diablo closes.

    And this goes beyond the issue of the unions incestuous relationship with this Fortune 500 company to the detriment of the membership, but goes to issue of how nuclear power can be not only saved, but expanded, in a system run by corporation for investor profit and not needs of the public generally and ratepayers specifically. Corporations have only one duty: to turn a profit for their investors.

    And as more and more capital goes toward speculator investments, then real, physical production gets the short straw, as profitability is much lower than it is when pushing papers around an office, which is about all the productivity there is in a speculative market. It was this desire by the banks and backers of utilities that pushed deregulation in the first place in the late 1980s and created the awful situation we are in. PG&E’s investors can get a bigger bang for their buck by closing Diablo than by keeping it open because all the tax incentives…and loans from banks…will provide all the incentive needed. It is, very much, the natural evolution of speculatory capitalism.

    We need a true national pro-energy system in the U.S., with ratepayer, worker and union input and control, and total transparency that can put forward a pro-science and pro-energy building policy. Energy is too important to leave in the hands of the speculators…and PG&E.

    1. Perhaps the grid should be nationalized and generators with contracted customers use the grid much as interstate truckers use the interstate highway system.

      But this has major problems as well.

      1. Yes..the heart and soul of any utility is the distribution of power, not it’s generation, at least not in a deregulated environment. Generation has to be brought in as well and a truly national energy investment policy, akin to what the French did in the 3 decades following WWII ought to be implemented.

  8. Rod – thanks for the post and thanks to all the commenters. Slightly sideways to this discussion – Gordon McDowell has just released a batch of videos that should help to draw attention to nuclear, Mothers For Nuclear, and Save Diablo Canyon on social media. The clips are listed at thoriumremix.com/2016/. The Mothers For Nuclear clips are listed at the bottom of the page. Eric G. Meyer has been tweeting with them at twitter.com/EricGMeyer. Let everyone know!

    Gordon has a lot of 30 second clips from the Thorium Remix 2016 documentary available as well, all listed on that same page. I expect he’ll add a comment here as well, pointing you to the clips. Use them often!

  9. As a PG&E customer, my real problem with nuclear power in California is the fact that there is so little of it– and its not growing. But polls have shown that a majority of Californians are not in favor of increasing the number of nuclear power plants in the state.

    Solar and wind produce about 12% of the in states electricity while Diablo produces almost 9% of the states electricity. Good ole greenhouse gas polluting natural gas produces more than 62% of the in state electricity.

    But I predict that nuclear power will return to California and grow to dominate both electricity production and transportation fuels– in the form of carbon neutral synthetic fuels produced by floating nuclear power plants that are centrally mass produced and then deployed into the vast territorial waters of some of America’s remote uninhabited islands in the Pacific.


    1. >>> fuels produced by floating nuclear power plants that are centrally mass produced and then deployed into the vast territorial waters of some of America’s remote uninhabited islands in the Pacific. <<

      One thing we DON'T want to do is give the impression that nuclear power is SO dangerous that you have to do this to keep the neighborhood safe!!

      1. I’m far more concerned about mass producing hundreds and even thousands of ocean nuclear power plants in order to save the world’s environment while also growing the US economy– than I am about trying to make people love the relatively tiny number of nuclear power plants near their neighborhoods in the US.

        I still think its possible to triple or even quadruple terrestrial nuclear power plants in the US at existing sites. But commercial nuclear power plants still only provides about 8% of America’s total energy needs– when nuclear power should be providing at least 80% of US energy needs.

        Its suddenly dawned on the Chinese just how strategically and economically important Ocean Nuclear power plants are going to be in the near future. So the US can’t afford to be left behind in Ocean Nuclear technology!

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