Ten Central Coast groups are pushing for local cities and agencies to receive an $85 million settlement for Diablo Canyon’s closure, despite a judge’s recommendation against the plan early this month.
The chambers of commerce for Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, Atascadero, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, the Santa Maria Valley and Templeton, plus the Economic Vitality Corporation and Visit SLO County, wrote a joint letter to the California Public Utilities Commission this week, asking it to support the settlement agreement that would help local communities affected by the nuclear power plant’s closure in 2025.
Administrative law Judge Peter Allen, who over the past year heard testimony and received public comment on the proposal to shutter Diablo Canyon, recommended on Nov. 7 that the commission reject the settlement portion of PG&E’s application, saying ratepayers should not be expected to foot the bill.
In their letter, the groups wrote that changing the agreement — the product of months of work between PG&E and affected local agencies — would negatively impact the county.
“The (judge’s) Proposed Decision guts many elements of the Joint Proposal and threatens to plunge our region — and most critically, our schools — into an economic tailspin,” the letter reads.
The letter says removing the settlement from the closure proposal would hurt public safety, the economy, the environment and the people of SLO County.
The groups also asked that the commission reconsider the proposal to chop funding for PG&E’s proposed employee retention and retraining program.
“The Proposed Employee Program provides the necessary incentives to effectively retain top-notch talent who can operate the plant reliably and safely,” it reads. “We ask that you err on the side of caution and approve the resources to retain these essential employees.”
PG&E also released a statement on Monday, saying it would join with labor, community and environmental groups to strongly advocate for the approval of the closure application as it was originally proposed at state hearings this week.
“The DCPP joint proposal represents the most appropriate and responsible path forward for our customers, employees, the local community and the environment. The agreement supports our state’s clean energy vision and ensures an orderly transition from nuclear power to other greenhouse gas-free resources, while supporting our local plant workers and neighbors,” said Nick Stavropoulos, president and chief operating officer of PG&E.