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Diablo Canyon extension and renewables investment is a win for climate action and a win for California

September 1, 2022 Work Area: Advanced Nuclear

California lawmakers voted early this morning to keep open the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, California’s largest single source of carbon-free energy, while at the same time investing $1 billion to accelerate wind, solar, storage, and other renewable energy sources. Clean Air Task Force issued the following statement from its president, Armond Cohen:  

“The California legislature’s decision to keep Diablo Canyon open and to triple down on its commitment to renewables at the same time is a win for climate action, a win for California, and a win for the broader effort to reckon with the realities of decarbonization and grid resilience. As climate change wreaks havoc in California and beyond, and as the state works to achieve its ambitious emissions reduction goals while meeting demand for reliable, affordable energy, keeping open its largest source of carbon-free energy is crucial foundation and accelerant. We commend Governor Newsom and the California lawmakers who recognized this reality, as well as the many advocates who stood up for a carbon-free California.” 

The California legislature voted overwhelmingly in both houses to extend the life of the Diablo Canyon to at least 2030, and to authorize the plant to seek a renewed 20- year license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which could allow the plant to operate to 2045 pending further state approval. The decision not to close California’s last nuclear power plant comes as governments around the world reckon with the need to decarbonize their economies while meeting growing energy demand and increasing energy independence amidst escalating geopolitical tensions.  

Cohen continued: 

“California has long played a leading role in U.S. and global climate action, and its pragmatic decision today to advance all forms of zero carbon energy should solidify that leadership and serve as inspiration for governments around the world. Nuclear energy, along with wind, solar, storage, and other zero-carbon energy sources can play a critical role in reconciling the staggering climate challenge with the need for energy independence, reliability, and resilience. The world’s 5th largest economy has now recognized that, and it’s time others around the world follow suit.” 

Cohen penned an op-ed for Capitol Weekly and co-signed a letter urging Governor Newsom and California lawmakers to keep Diablo Canyon open.  

Press Contact

Troy Shaheen, Communications Director, U.S., [email protected], +1 845-750-1189

About Clean Air Task Force 

Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a global nonprofit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. With 25 years of internationally recognized expertise on climate policy and a fierce commitment to exploring all potential solutions, CATF is a pragmatic, non-ideological advocacy group with the bold ideas needed to address climate change. CATF has offices in Boston, Washington D.C., and Brussels, with staff working virtually around the world. Visit and follow @cleanaircatf.

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