INDIAN WELLS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In a unanimous Sunday morning vote, hundreds of members of the California Republican Party agreed to work to end the stateâ€™s 31-year ban on the construction of new nuclear power plants. The official vote was taken at the California Republican Partyâ€™s semiannual convention which featured appearances by presidential candidate U.S. Senator John McCain, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the governors of Texas, Florida, Utah, and Minnesota.
The pro-nuclear power resolution, authored by California State Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine), was unanimously approved the day before by the state Partyâ€™s Initiatives Committee. The resolution places the full weight of the party of more than 5.3 million voters behind a ballot initiative to overturn Californiaâ€™s obsolete ban on the construction of new, safe, clean, and reliable nuclear power plants. The initiative is known as the California Energy Independence and Zero Carbon Dioxide Emission Electrical Generation Act of 2008.
The formal ballot title of the initiative was assigned last week by the Attorney General: â€œNuclear Energy. Removal of Prohibitions on the Construction of Nuclear Power Plants.â€
Assemblyman DeVore and his group, Power For California, are now gathering the 433,971 signatures needed to place the initiative on the June 2008 ballot.
After the vote Mr. DeVore said, â€œIâ€™m delighted with the unanimous support of the California Republican Party in favor of building modern nuclear power plants. The only way we can meet Californiaâ€™s ambitious mandate to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent in 13 years is if we allow the construction of new nuclear power plants.â€
A recent opinion poll in California showed likely voters to be in favor of building nuclear power plants to meet Californiaâ€™s growing energy needs by a margin of 52 percent to 42 percent.
Hot temperatures last week strained the California power grid, causing a Stage One Emergency Alert as well as several major power outages.
â€œOur own power was out for about 11 hours at our home on Labor Day,â€ DeVore remarked, â€œIt was 103 outside and miserable inside. This was a powerful reminder that reliable, affordable, and clean electricity is a basic necessity of modern life.â€
California State Assemblyman Chuck DeVore represents about 450,000 people in coastal Orange County. He recently retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard. He was an aerospace and defense executive before being elected in 2004.