Roger H.: A Draft Reply to G. Newsom on Diablo

Was certainly hoping that more folks might chime in on this as its pretty important...

Below is a first draft.  Note that the 7 points are in bold as is the comment area for each. 

Any suggestion appreciated.  This will go out as a stand alone piece on a blog by sunday - so additions go towards a direct response to Newsom as well as something groups - say NFC might want to hold as well.

I've sent a message back to Cindy who received the message from Newsom suggesting that we reply back through her, since she got the message.  We've already heard that the World Business Academy and others will be filing a lawsuit.  It would be nice to know the list of legal challenges.  The question of who would also be of interest when responding back to Mr. Flip flop (gavin) would be valuable... 

If comments get much bigger it might be appropriate to do summarize each major area and then post the larger list in a specially designed fan folding model. (javascript and blogs add-ons for webs for posting designers) 

In addition, one of the confusing aspects of the hearing was the various comments being made that the EIR vs. a DEIR were being suggested as well as what kind of timeline it would take, or impacts it might have.  We know for sure that there should be a very clear discussion about how the staff approached the exemption process and its this critical shift in tactics that needs to be addressed besides the seven points.  I believe that the Sierra Club made a valiant attempt to do so in their presentation, but this is where immediate legal relief should be sought, considering just how unclear their process was in terms of dealing with any requests from the meeting act regulations etc.  This was referred to during the hearings when it was mentioned that the public was only given four days to address the staff's formal opinion.  

Of special concern for me was after listening to Yee's and Newsom's comments at the very end with their socalled need to balance the interests of the public trust or however he framed it.  Its quite clear that this is why PG&E, the unions and SLO county was weighing in with so much strategic force.  And its an area that really needs a very clear and carefully worded response to as well. 

That being said.  Here's what I started to put together - with the goal of breaking the subject areas down and then making comments under each of his SEVEN points. 

Gavin wrote this, or his staff.  There really does need to be a collective response back to him, especially with his claim where he says:

"Those who called for an EIR review have not been able to explain what it would accomplish above and beyond these concessions."

The above claim that was then placed into a seven point position piece needs to be responded to!  Even a group discussion process here would be quite interesting to develop - and spread around for review/comments on. 

Here's what I would put out as a first pass.

1. The closure of California’s last nuclear plant in 2025 at the latest.

Comments on Claim Number 1

a. An organized closure with a much shorter extended lease. 

b. A closure that reflects the current view that we are dealing with a private company that could easily buck state policy if it were to move out of state, or be merged with a larger entity which is a long term agenda of the U.S. electric industry. 
c. state officials that understand that PG&E's corporate culture should be treated as a criminal just as individuals are in this society that break the law.
d. California's government is being divided and conquered by PG&E - as claimed during SLC hearings that it allowing the state water board which was taken over by the nuclear industry under Snegger and Brown to waiver original environmental impacts due to its OTC system out to 2025.  
e.  Please share with us where you have a guarantee that PG&E will close PG&E by 2025.  What you do have is an MOU that the SLC's is not party to that could be reversed by the CPUC an agency that has failed to protect the public and could easily find that the economic agreement of an additional $2 billion Diablo rates being demanded by PG&E above what it has already recovered be enough to scuttle the agreement.  In addition, as part of the legal case over San Onofre rates, governor Brown could very well be acting outside the law since he, as well as the CPUC are refusing to share emails between themselves.  Whether it is the CPUC, the recent scandal over the Assembly's Speakers Slush fund, or the medical pay to Play scandal shows that California is currently plagued with scandals.  
f. The SLC has no such detailed ex parte regulations as required by the CPUC. Please submit a detailed report on the conversations you, staff or other commissioners have had with all parties and how long said discussions took to do.  As mentioned in your comments at the end of your presentation, you mentioned that you had extensive conversations with Stewart Brand who is very likely not registered as a lobbyist but should be.  

Comments on Claim Number 2

2. A signed and written agreement that the lost power of Diablo Canyon can only be replaced by a combination of renewable energy and energy efficiencies

a.  Lt Governor Newsom - are you stating for the record that your agency has received an agreement to such affect, or are you referring to the MOU between PG&E and the six parties? 
b. We applaud this, but as presented, why is PG&E waiting until 2018 and 2020 to begin submitting replacement power plans?  
c. Wouldn't this actually be required in any case since the state has mandated this requirement elsewhere?
d. Have you considered the fact that holding onto such a large baseload source is actually retarding faster development of power?
e. The state of California has a major political confrontation concerning how to proceed with solar

i.  PG&E and the other state's IOU's are clearly opposed to solar rooftop and are actively seeking redress via its allies within the CPUC as recently pointed out in a recent interview with PG&E's president at the EEI national convention. 
ii.  Recent reports state that up to 75% of the state's electric needs could come from solar rooftop power.
iii. The recent MOU agreement actively is skewed towards allowing large baseload - central solar stations to play a dominant role that would undermine the potential for far more independent jobs that could be used to build out rooftop.
iv. It is now documented that solar rooftop can be tied to a homeowners hot water heater as a battery to store heat during its peak production time.  

Comments on Claim Number 3
3. The written public acknowledgement, for the first time, by a major utility corporation that renewable energy is more cost efficient than nuclear power.
a. On the face of it, this is worth celebrating. But it is clearly way too long in coming.  We are all now paying dearly due to our privatized energy policy conflict. 
b. In 1992 the majority of the world's Nobel Peace Prize winners signed a petition stating that we had 20 years to address climate change issues.  The United States as a whole and specifically the energy industry made sure that the public fail to understand what that urgency meant. The world's private energy lobbyists continue to do everything in their power to keep the general public uneducated about the growing impacts coming.  

Comments on Claim Number 4
4. The written public acknowledgement, for the first time, by a major utility corporation that the era of baseload power is over, and that renewable sources can carry the weight of energy production.

You didn't read the MOU very well, or the position paper done by FOE.  In the position paper, FOE openly urgest PG&E to use large centralized solar concentrating stations in the central valley as a prominent part of its replacement plan.  It should be noted that the largest central concentrating station in the country that is in California was saved from bankruptcy, but also incurred major damages recently -  It could very well be a matter of corporate arson to cover its failure to operate at the levels promised by designers.  
b. Yes, there are reports that

Comments on Claim Number 5

5. A signed and written agreement that PG&E will provide 55% of its entire energy sales through renewable sources, from 2031.

a. As shown by Climate Change experts, the recent COP agreements are far too little and far too late.  National and International agreements were clearly hardly more than window dressing.  California's leadership in advancing change is applauded.
b. However, California also has before it - whether it is a symptom of climate change or part of 100/1000 year environmental cycles, has now over built its human activity beyond the carrying capacity of the land, failing to stop excessive development that is now being demonstrated with growing pressures on our limited water supplies.  
i.  Recent tree ring studies shows that the state of California has suffered two 100 year plus droughts in the last 1,200 years
ii. The Netherlands now has a 500 year planning mandate to protect itself from unusual flooding events. 
iii. California has no long term plan to such an extent to address 100 or 1,000 year drought cycles.
iv. If California is actually moving into a large drought cycle it will mean far more catastrophic issues than the state has ever faced.
c. The environmental community was almost unilaterally opposed to Gov. Brown's solutions that include going back to big dams and more movement of water around the state that is also one of the larger users of energy.   
d. Agribusiness in California has long been a major reason for the collapse of the state, primarily due to the massive abuse of the central valley lands that at the top of the list includes the destruction of it soils and the rapid depletion of subsurface waters via mono-crop exploitation for profit that is now under major threat because it is unable to 
e. The largest source of ghg in California is transportation. At present the state of California has no political agreement or an education plan in place to address the continued addiction to fossil fuel driven cars. 
f.  This failure to educate the public on transit impacts means that the state may be setting itself up for major crisis if it is to shift fully away from fossil fuel cars. 
g. The United States has intentionally had its political history of how our energy policies have been privatized.
i.  The result of large monopoly companies have inordinate control over how energy policies are developed has many impacts
ii.  California activists have been pushing for solar & Wind development for over 30 years but have been stymied by IOU's and fossil fuel interests they represent.
iii.  These interests are profit driven where those monies, in the case of IOU's have long been pushing for large baseload systems, while at the same time pushing to break away from its grid and pipeline responsibilities.  
iv.  Large baseload agendas by private interests have not been countered as the next wave of centralized control is being rolled out and it is this 10 year delay that will give PG&E the time to further exploit their agenda at the expense of small independent sources.
h. centralized power no matter what the source will undermine solar rooftop development that could shift resources back to the general public and away from profit motivated systems.
i.  Micro grid development must be the primary plan for California to make local communities self sufficient 
j. The state's aging grid system should be phased out.  take this (PG&E is a heroin dealer) out! :)  
k. Central solar development is clearly impacting sensitive desert environmental habitat that should not be disturbed

Comments on Claim Number 6

6. A signed and written agreement from PG&E that it will implement a fair employee retirement, redeployment and retraining program for its Diablo Canyon workforce of 1,500 men and women, to protect those workers and their families from unemployment and hardship.

a.  This is a bait and switch tactic that fails to look at the bigger picture.  Many times the number Diablo Canyon employees could be put to work building solar systems within SLO.  
b.  Proponents of the EIR have no quarrel with the Union or those that worked at Diablo Canyon. 

Comments on Claim Number 7

7. A signed and written agreement from PG&E to backfill lost Diablo Canyon revenues to the county of San Luis Obispo, to minimize the impact on the public services like schools that we all so deeply cherish.

a.  Proponents of the EIR have no quarrel with the serious concerns of the SLO county School district's concern over loss of income.
d.  Proponents have the EIR do acknowledge that SLO county had reason to be concerned about the loss of property taxes
e.  However, if the SLC is to be fair and balanced - those monies paid to SLO are coming from ratepayers from across PG&E's entire region and should be distributed across the entire area.  This points to the problem of inequitable baseload systems that shift money from where most of it is raised that apparently was not addressed by the SLC as part of its Public Trust duties for all California, not just SLO county.   
f.  Because of the inequities of baseload distribution, SLO County should be given a special program that would shift its reliance on money extracted from across PG&E's territory that immediately starts a local solar bank that can then be used to hire workers to move into good paying solar rooftop development. 
g.  In addition, to rapidly replace large energy user demand especially the state of California's transfer of water over from North to South,  the state should do as the country of India is doing - building solar panels over the entire peripheral canal to reduce evaporation losses of water as well as a primary source of power to push the water over the Mt. before it hits SoCal. 
h.  Large Agricultural power users all should have mandates to develop onsite solar that include mechanism to reduce water evaporation - and the absolute end of antiquated irrigation activities that should have been mandated towards drip irrigation only!

In general.  California is facing as mentioned the condition of serious problem with Carrying Capacity issues, which are now showing up as health issues - if you will - this concept to move to executive summary

C. Strategic plan to redesign all transit needs based on how severe the climate change impacts grow that could include the displacement of all citizens in the state.  

Once upon a time during WWII California became a world leader in the construction of troop carrying and military ships, being able to construct a single 700 foot long ship in about a single day due to mass construction models.  Today, China has taken that model and demonstrated that using the latest state of the art fabrication techniques can construct a 30 story hotel in less than 20 days.

Californians and the world don't know what they could be facing if we are moving into an extended drought combined with global pressures there are just too many people in the state who are consuming way too many resources that might not be there in a matter of years that could force migratory pressures never seen since the great depression.  

As long as state officials continue to fail to understand or plan for such a severe water emergency, that allows the real estate industry to extract large amounts of capital into private hands as seen by the massively expanding agenda where property values no longer reflect anything other than the growing tax crisis at the local level combined with banking and profit agendas that are driving the rental market into bankruptcy.  It may not be common knowledge but the very same speculative forces that drove the price of gas and oil through the ceiling in 2001, and then the housing bubble in 2008 are in