Environmentalists sue to block funding for Diablo Canyon

PG&E has been awarded over $1 billion from the federal government to keep Diablo Canyon running.

Environmentalists are trying to stop the federal government from funding Diablo Canyon, the last nuclear plant in California. 

An environmental group filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Energy Department over the $1.1 billion it is sending to keep Diablo Canyon open. 


The backstory: Diablo Canyon, located in San Luis Obispo County, was initially supposed to be shut down by PG&E by 2025, but California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state shifted course and requested the plant to stay open longer. 

  • Following that decision, the Biden administration allocated $1.1 billion through the civil nuclear credit program to PG&E to help keep the plant running. 

The big picture: Environmental group Friends of the Earth filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy on Tuesday, claiming the $1.1 billion award to PG&E was based on outdated and flawed analysis that did not adequately address the risk of earthquakes. 

  • The lawsuit argues that since the Department of Energy adopted an environmental analysis, the government’s actions were “grossly deficient to satisfy” obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act. 
  • “DOE’s attempt to repackage these prior NEPA documents as its own ‘Final Environmental Impact Statement’ fails to satisfy the basic requirements for adoption under NEPA, which are intended to help agencies avoid unnecessary duplicative work – not enable them to sidestep the mandate to take a hard look at the environmental impacts of the current action under review, disclose those impacts to the public, consider alternatives that could reduce and/or mitigate those impacts, and provide the public with a meaningful old opportunity for notice and comment so that the decisionmakers can render informed and thoughtful decisions,” the lawsuit reads. 
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