Governor Newsom tries to split the baby on nuclear weapons and electricity | Tim speaks | Tim Hunt
It’s been interesting to watch His Highness Governor Gavin Newsom try to dance on the head of a pin as he embraces and pushes all-green policies while simultaneously trying to avoid another summer of brownouts because the cannot produce enough reliable green energy.
The state grid operator has urged operators to do no maintenance this week so that maximum capacity is available as temperatures soar this week after an unusually cool summer, especially here in the Bay Area. .
Newsom has proposed to the Legislature to loan Pacific Gas and Electric Co. $1.4 billion to keep the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant operating for another 10 years. It had been planned to close in 2025. The loan can be canceled. The proposal is one of several climate-related measures Newsom hopes to push through the Legislative Assembly before the end of session for the year in three weeks. Diablo Canyon produces about 8% of the state’s electricity and 15% of its “clean energy”.
People who don’t have an irrational fear of nuclear energy have recognized for years that it would be the foundation of a green energy system. It’s 24/7, unlike solar and wind. The state’s headlong rush to green power has already forced the government to extend the life of four natural gas-fired power plants designed to provide electricity at peak times and when green power is in short supply. . It also conveniently allowed the continued operation of wood chip burning mills as the dead trees in the Sierra Nevada need to be cleared and it was a win-win approach.
Newsom appears to be learning a lesson from former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s German policy. Merkel said Germany would shut down its nuclear power plants, a move neighboring France has not even considered. During this shutdown, the demand for electricity was exceeding capacity, so the factories were burning wood chips, yes wood chips.
It was then that she tied her company’s energy future to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. When the Germans responded to the invasion of Ukraine by halting construction of the pipeline, she tightened a noose around her neck. Merkel has retired and it’s up to her successor to face up to her horrific decisions. Germany has retired three of its six nuclear power plants and now plans to continue operating the remaining plants given the Russian situation.
Newsom’s list for the Legislative Assembly this month also includes accelerated greenhouse gas reductions, new interim targets to achieve 100% clean energy and safety zones around new oil wells and gas. It also proposes exempting the continued operation of Diablo Canyon from environmental review, an idea that has been rejected by some prominent environmental groups.
Stay tuned to see how much political capital the governor who wants to be president will spend this month.
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