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Re: Diablo is a marine life killer


The Mothers for Peace representative's letter ("Diablo is a marine life killer," Dec. 24, 2020) is fraught with the usual misleading information. For example. The affected area is about 4 acres of an ocean comprising some 62.8 million square miles, so the negative effect of Diablo's thermal discharge is vastly exaggerated. I suppose that the sacrifice of the lives of billions of living beings is technically correct if you include amoebas and other microscopic beings.

Another falsehood constantly promoted by the anti-nuclear crowd is that PG&E unilaterally decided to shut down Diablo Canyon for financial reasons and that therefore any economic and environmental consequences are all PG&E's fault. That is not true. PG&E fully intended to seek renewal of its license and even invested in substantial upgrades in anticipation. But when the water board imposed the requirement to cease direct discharge into the ocean, the only viable alternative was cooling towers, and these are prohibitively expensive, so PG&E had no choice but to abandon all hope for renewal. So responsibility for the severe consequences to our community, including the loss of hundreds of millions in local tax revenue along with 1,500 high paying jobs, and the forced relocation of significantly more than a thousand of our neighbors and their families, falls squarely upon the water board, the likes of the Mothers for Peace and Sierra Club, and the governor and the 90 percent-plus of all Democratic legislators who took money from oil and gas interests to see to it that the closure happened. Remember to thank them the next time you see them.

The final whopper propagated by the same crowd is that Diablo Canyon's production will be replaced by renewables. That is impossible. We receive our power from PG&E, and it is a fact that renewables only amount to a small percentage of PG&E's total capacity, which should give you some idea of how much faith PG&E has in renewables. Yet PG&E is currently claiming that 37 percent of its production is renewable, when in reality this production is almost all natural gas. This happens because community choice aggregates purchase renewable energy credits based on out-of-state renewable production. Because these sources already exist, there is no net reduction in carbon emissions. These credits presented to PG&E allow it to claim its natural gas production as renewable energy, even though its actual production still produces carbon emissions that stay right here in California. The 44 percent of its capacity that is currently nuclear will also be mostly natural gas, which is great news for frackers.

So there you have it. Believe it or not.

Mark Henry

San Luis Obispo

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