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« Uranium Mining in the United States | Main | Bill Gates And Other Billionaires Backing A Nuclear Renaissance »

Without nuke power, climate change threat grows

Environmentalists are undermining their own goals by shutting down zero carbon energy plants.

The announcement last month that California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric company, plans to close the state’s last nuclear power station sent shock waves through America’s electric utility industry and should send a chilling message to anyone worried about the warming of the planet due to greenhouse gas emissions.

Over the last several years, utilities around the nation have announced the closure of a number of small, aging nuclear reactors. Many where plagued by high operating costs and required significant safety upgrades. Low natural gas prices and competition from heavily subsidized wind and solar generators have made them increasingly unprofitable to operate.

Diablo is different. It is a large plant with a stellar safety record and low operating costs. PG&E CEO Tony Earley acknowledged after the announcement that continuing to operate the reactor would be the cheapest way to meet the state’s clean energy and climate goals. But the plant in the end succumbed to decades of regulatory harassment by environmental groups, hostility from the state’s hegemonic Democratic political establishment, and a raft of mandates, regulations, and subsidies designed by those parties to tilt California’s electricity market toward renewable energy and away from nuclear power.



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