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Bill would require PG&E to study economic impact of Diablo Canyon closure

Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.
Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. Tribune

State Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, has introduced a bill that would require PG&E to submit to the California Public Utilities Commission an assessment of the adverse economic impacts that could affect San Luis Obispo County if Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant were to shut down temporarily or permanently.

“The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is a major employer and taxpayer in San Luis Obispo County, and no one can say with any certainty if it will continue to operate in the long term,” Monning said.

“The region’s economy is reliant on the plant, and it is critical that we have information about the potential adverse economic impacts that could occur if Diablo Canyon closes either temporarily or permanently. Additionally, this information can be used to develop a regional economic mitigation strategy.”

Diablo Canyon has approximately 1,483 employees, and PG&E is the largest property taxpayer in San Luis Obispo County, paying more than $25 million in 2014, with much of this attributable to its plant operations. It is estimated that the San Luis Coastal Unified School District will receive more than $10 million of its operating budget from taxes paid by PG&E, amounting to 16 percent of its operating revenue.

Currently, Unit 1 of Diablo Canyon is licensed to operate until November 2024, and Unit 2 is licensed to operate until August 2025.

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