In a new report just released A California Investment firm release a report that shows nuclear power having received over $8 billion in federal subsidies. The report has an insidious agenda, the support of solar energy in California and couldn’t of come at a better time. You can read the supporting story at the above link or also just download it here.
The report does fail to mention several less known subsidies that have taken place as well. Probably the biggest scandal of all was the $2.2 billion secret loan that Reagan ordered for Diablo Canyon after the 1981 discovery of that the company had installed its seismic supports backwards. PG&E would have clearly had to abandon Diablo Canyon at that point as it could no longer find funders anywhere in the world… They even tried Japan! It was this secret loan that saved them and their precious Diablo Canyon.
But that isn’t where the subsidies stopped. After the California Public Utilities Commission agreed to ratebase all $5.8 billion in construction costs, the state’s electric rates went through the ceiling nearly doubling in 5 years. Which in turn set off a full scale rebellion of major energy users, that in turn led to Governor Pete Wilson’s great idea of deregulating the state’s electric market. Wilson’s plan ended up giving PG&E, SCE and SDG&E $28 billion to cover these poor folks “Stranded Costs” that were mostly caught up in the massive construction and financing costs of San Onofre an Diablo Canyon.
In 1998, activists got an initiative on the state ballot to try and stop the $28 billion give away, but PG&E and friends spent over $40 million of our money to convince the public that the handout was a good thing. We lost. To show their loyalty to California, they then spent nearly every penny of the money on out of state investments that they would lose all of during the energy crisis of 2001.
And of course, in the middle of that crisis we would also learn that these same companies had gone to the federal government to kill many renewable energy programs in the state. As seen in a rare, honest investigative piece by PG&E’s local media subsidiary the SF Chronicle.
In addition, just a few days ago, Business Week wrote a story on why the electric Grid as we know it will soon be gone. Why solar and distributed energy.
And guess who they talked to about the fears of such change? PG&E of course!