SLO County supervisors argue over Diablo Canyon extension

March 28, 2024


San Luis Obispo County supervisors voted 3-2 on Tuesday for a resolution that supports a 20-year extension of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant following a heated discussion in which supervisors Bruce Gibson and Dawn Ortiz-Legg took shots at one another.

After agreeing to shut down the nuclear power plant in 2025, PG&E received backing from both federal and state officials earlier this year to extend the operating life of Diablo Canyon through 2030, with a goal of providing Californians electric reliability. The nuclear plant provides nearly 10 percent of California’s electric power.

Ortiz-Legg, who used to work for PG&E, recently proposed the resolution seeking a 20-year extension, noting she believes in climate change and supports clean energy.

“I didn’t say it, the Biden administration said it, ‘It is clean energy,’ ” Ortiz-Legg said.”We must recognize our energy goals by supporting 20 more years.”

While Gibson said he supported keeping the plant open until 2025, he called Ortiz-Legg’s resolution premature, saying, “timing matters.” He said he had serious concerns with safety and financing.

“It is premature and disrespectful of so may people who have put a lot of work into it,” Gibson said. “PG&E is interested in a 20-year extension. That is a change to that deal.”

Ortiz-Legg shot down Gibson’s allegation, saying PG&E’s application to the Nuclear regulatory Commission requires a 20-year request.

“Don’t make up things in regards to a story,” Ortiz-Legg said.

“I’m not,” Bruce snapped. “Supervisor, you are not going to provoke me into a heated debate.”

Bruce said a 20-year extension puts into risk the current five-year deal and funds for the county.

“Those sounds like threats,” Ortiz-Legg responded. “We are not trying to do something that is not part of the law. This is not doing anybody a favor. To try to make it look like someone is trying to pull something is very disappointing.”

Supervisor Jimmy Paulding said he supported the five-year extension and would likely support a 20-year extension, but needed a cost benefit analysis first. He then said he planned to make a modified motion.

The board then voted 3-2 in support of the Ortiz-Legg’s resolution, with Gibson and Paulding dissenting.


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did that accomplish anything?

Ortiz-Legg is running unopposed this year. That will not be the case next time as Little Jimmy and Gibson will run a SLO Progressive candidate with big $ against her.

No. Ortiz-Legg won’t seek another term. She’s already telling people this is her last hurrah.

This is amazing. I would never ever have expected DO-L to ever hold the same position on any issue that I do. Did she forget her instructions or something? Even little Jimmy managed to remember his instructions.

I tend to wonder if any of the people so very positive that Diablo is “clean” energy know what PLUTONIUM is? Or the ones who think it is “safe” know what size event the 13 fault lines in the immediate vicinity are capable of generating? I would take a wild guess that they haven’t a clue. But ya know, MONEY. That’s what is important.

obispan address the Policies, events and arguments, not the person.

I suggest thinking beyond what constitues clean energy. PG&E is a business; it’s clear that in the name of lowering costs, many people in northern California lost their lives and homes; this is the same company taking care of the nuclear reactors in Diablo Canyon. I simply don’t trust PG&E. The other issue is finances. We’re financially propping up PG&E, which is a top-heavy company that gives their execs bonuses while at the same time going into bankruptcy. It’s to the point where no matter what the level of mismanagement that PG&E employs, either their customers or the gobernment is going to bail them out. It’s scary to think this is going to go on for another 20 years. Really… has the PUC ever turned down a rate increase for PG&E?

Yes the plant will continue to be safe as it is continuously monitored and the cost benefit to stay open is much greater than ghastly cost to build out in the ocean or where ever. Don’t forget the new lines that will be needed everywhere, the undergrounding, the rate increases and guess who will pay for the duplicity. We need to live within what exist today before we exploit more because we may learn how to use less?