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Sierra Club Statement on Public Utilities Commission Decision to Replace San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Sierra Club Statement on Public Utilities Commission Decision to Repla...

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Sierra Club Statement on Public Utilities Commission Decision to Replace San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

Issued By
February 12, 2014

Los Angeles, CA - Today, the Sierra Club's My Generation Campaign released the following statement in response to the Public Utilities Commission of California's proposed decision to authorize new clean energy projects in the wake of the retirement of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.  The Commission has considered what energy sources might be needed since the nuclear plant retired last year. Today's proposed decision, if approved next month by the Commission, authorizes SCE and SDG&E to construct new clean energy resources to replace the plant. However, the decision also gives the utilities the option of proposing gas-fired power plants, at later date. New dirty power plants would add new air pollution to one of the most polluted regions in the country, while making climate disruption worse. In the CPUC proceeding, Sierra Club is represented by Earthjustice.

Evan Gillespie of the Sierra Club's My Generation Campaign issued the following statement in response to the proposed decision:

" Today's proposed decision is a step in the right direction. The Public Utilities Commission's proposal includes new commitments to clean energy development, and Commissioner Florio's proposal affirms that California can replace the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station with 100% clean energy.


"However, the proposed decision also needlessly leaves the door open for utilities to propose the construction of new gas-fired plants in the future, which would constitute replacing a carbon-free energy resource with new fossil fuels. The Commission severely discounted the benefits of carbon-free solutions like improved transmission, demand response, distributed generation, and energy storage for meeting local energy needs.  The decision should be modified to incorporate these important solutions and ensure that the San Onofre plant is replaced with 100% clean energy. The San Onofre retirement should not be used as a foot-in-the-door for building more fossil fuel power plants.

"With today's decision, SCE and SDG&E are now authorized to replace the San Onofre station entirely with clean energy, if they so choose. Thousands of Californians have commented in support of replacing the San Onofre plant with clean energy, and polls show majorities of Southland residents support a clean energy solution. The Commission must act to ensure that the retirement of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating station is a chance to move forward on clean energy, not backslide on fossil fuels and climate disruption."


Stakeholders now have 20 days to draft reply comments, followed by a 5 day period to draft a short response to comments from other stakeholders. Given this timeline, a vote on this proposal is expected at the March 13 Commission voting meeting.

In January, the Sierra Club released a poll showing that a majority of electric customers in Orange and San Diego Counties preferred that the nuclear station be replaced by clean energy instead of gas-fired power plants. Last week, the Sierra Club released a video with actress Amy Smart and other celebrities urging a clean energy solution.

Also in January, nearly 30 cleantech companies wrote to Governor Brown to urge him to utilize the state's booming clean tech industry to replace San Onofre.

In late December, more than 70 volunteers, mostly from the Inland Empire, a region which already has some of the dirtiest air in California and suffers from pollution from gas-fired power plants, bused overnight to the protest at the Public Utilities Commission office in San Francisco, due to the lack of any public hearings in Southern California. Volunteer groups in Southern California have protested plans to expand gas-fired plants over the last year, speaking out against increased air pollution and reliance on fossil fuels with rallies, online actions, and meetings with state officials and lawmakers. More than 20,000 Californians have sent comments to the PUC, urging them to avoid new polluting power plants as part of the replacement strategy for San Onofre.

About My Generation

The Sierra Club's My Generation Campaign is a statewide effort to ensure that every Californian is able to enjoy the access and benefits that come from the use of affordable, local clean renewable sources of energy, thereby reducing our overall reliance on dangerous fossil


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This document was issued by Sierra Club and was initially posted at It was distributed, unedited and unaltered, by noodls on 2014-02-12 18:59:53. The original document issuer is solely responsible for the accuracy of the information contained therein.

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