Energy

SDG&E Wants to Raise Its Rates Even More

May 20, 2022 by Source

San Diego Gas and Electric — which already charges its customers the highest electrical rate in the country — now wants to raise gas and electric bills even more — by almost 9 percent. This would begin in 2024 if state regulators authorize a proposed four-year spending plan submitted this week by the utility.

That means a typical residential customer would see their utility bills jump around $18 per month, according to the utility. (SDG&E defines “typical residential customer” as a user of 400 kwh hours of electricity and 24 therms of gas per month.)

Read the full article → 1 comment

Expanding Nuclear Power to Fight Climate Change Would Be Insanity

May 17, 2022 by Source

by Sarah Mosko/ Times of San Diego / May 17, 2022

Former nuclear regulatory top dogs from the United States, France, Germany and Great Britain recently issued a joint statement opposing expansion of nuclear power as a strategy to combat climate change. Why? There’s not a single good reason to build new nuclear plants.

Here are ten solid reasons not to.

1. Nuclear is too slow. The new generation of proposed commercial nuclear plants, so called Advanced and Small Modular Reactors, is decades away in designing and building.

Read the full article → 19 comments

Biden’s Nuclear Boondoggle Threatens to Unravel Decades of Progress

May 3, 2022 by Michael Steinberg


By Michael Steinberg
The names and faces and political parties in power may change, but the shill game remains the same: waste incredible fortunes on dangerous discredited boondoggles.

Nuclear power came into being as a reaction to the public’s horror after the US’s use of nuclear bombs to devastate Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In reaction to this the government instituted the “Atoms for Peace program, most notably encouraging electric companies to build large nuclear power plants with huge subsidies that would produce electricity promised to be “too cheap to meter.”

Read the full article → 0 comments

Mr. President, Nukes Are Not ‘Clean’ Energy

April 21, 2022 by Source

In arguably one of the worse decisions of the Biden administration, the Energy Department announced Tuesday, April 19, that it was launching a program to provide up to $6 billion in grants to U.S. nuclear plants to help them keep operating.

All in the name of “clean energy.”

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement:

“U.S. nuclear power plants contribute more than half of our carbon-free electricity, and President Biden is committed to keeping these plants active to reach our clean energy goals.”

Read the full article → 4 comments

SDG&E’s Parent, Sempra, to Pay Investors Largest Dividend Ever

April 14, 2022 by Source

by Camille von Kaenel / inewsource / April 13, 2022

Sempra Energy, the parent company of San Diego Gas & Electric, is paying out its highest profits ever to its investors this month.

The upcoming payout to investors on Friday comes on the heels of a massive spike in bills for many SDG&E customers, who already shoulder the highest per-unit electric prices in the country. SDG&E executives blamed inf

Read the full article → 1 comment

Russian Attacks and Ukraine’s Nuclear Plants

April 4, 2022 by Michael Steinberg

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working for a nuclear free world.

Russian Attacks on Ukraine Nuclear Plants Continue

As Russia’s war against Ukraine enters a second month, so too has its game of chicken against Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. One of the first actions of the February action was the Russian Army’s takeover of the devastated Chernobyl nuclear power station, as detailed in last month’s edition.

Read the full article → 0 comments

War in Ukraine Threatens Nuke Plants

March 1, 2022 by Michael Steinberg

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry, in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world.

On February 26 the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that “Russian forces have taken control of” the Chernobyl nuclear plant site of the 1986 nuclear catastrophe, when the now former Soviet Union owned and operated the facility.

Read the full article → 1 comment

With Highest Rates in the Country, SDG&E’s Parent Company Sempra Raked in $2.6 Billion Last Year; Critics React

February 28, 2022 by Staff

On Friday, Feb. 25, SDG&E’s parent company, Sempra Energy, reported $2.6 billion in adjusted earnings for 2021.

It’s not a stretch to say that San Diegans – with the highest electrical rates in the country – have been generously helping the energy giant make its profits.

Sempra’s adjusted earnings of $2.6 billion for 2021 include income from all its companies. SDG&E’s earnings for 2021 were reported as $819 million.

The local CBS affiliate asked Alan Gin, a professor of economics at the University of San Diego, to take a look at Sempra’s recent earnings report. His response:

“Well, I think consumers are probably going to be unhappy because they’re paying these increased rates, the highest in the nation actually. And, yet, the company is taking that and then giving it out as dividends to their shareholders, and they’re also using it to repurchase stock, which is benefiting the shareholders as opposed to the customers.”

Read the full article → 2 comments

Local Engineer in Response to SDG&E’s $3.8 Billion Project: ‘Poles Don’t Cause Fires – It’s the Wires’

February 9, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

One of the reasons SDG&E says its bill are so high, is that the utility company had to take mitigation efforts to prevent their power system from igniting fires in San Diego’s back country.

SDG&E is spending $3.8 Billion on “hardening” their system in East San Diego County. They’ve replaced wood poles with steel and buried lines underground.

Yet, Bill Powers, an engineer with power system experience, interviewed by CBS8, called SDG&E’s $3-billion project – “a boondoggle.” Powers said:

“Poles don’t cause the fires. It’s the wires that hit each other and touch tree limbs and that type of thing.”

Read the full article → 7 comments

Questions on SDG&E: Which Council Members Voted for Contract? Who’s the CPUC? How Much Do SDG&E Execs Make?

February 9, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

With heartburn coming to San Diegans in every bill from SDG&E, and with the confirmation that for some reason San Diegans pay the highest electricity rates in the country, numerous questions have been raised about all of this. For instance.

Which San Diego city council members voted for the SDG&E contract for 10 years, a contract pushed by Mayor Todd Gloria?

If the California Public Utilities Commission approves and sets rates, just who are they?

And just how much do the execs of SDG&E and its owner Sempra make?

The answer to the first is quick and easy; San Diego City Councilmembers who voted for the contract with SDG&E were:

Read the full article → 2 comments

Federal Agency Confirms San Diegans Paying Highest Electricity Rates in Country

February 4, 2022 by Staff

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has confirmed that San Diegans are paying the highest electricity rates than any other city in the country.

San Diegans paid an average of 36.5 cents per kilowatt-hour last December. In comparison, Los Angeles residents paid 34% less (24 cents) and Riverside County paid even less, 23.8 cents per kWh.

San Diego even passed Hawaii, which is not even on the mainland. Hawaii’s average rate was almost 3 cents less per kilowatt-hour than San Diego’s rates.

Edward Lopez, Executive Director of Utility Consumers’ Action Network (UCAN) told CBS8

“The price per kilowatt is the highest in the country. San Diego is even out-passing Hawaii.”

Read the full article → 3 comments

‘How Was Your SDG&E Bill?’ – Open Thread

January 28, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

On initial perusal, our current SDG&E bill is a whopping 100% increase from our December bill! And we’re being told next month’s bill will be even higher.

So, how’s your SDG&E bill?

This is an open thread – which means we’re asking readers to give us thoughts and feedback in the comments section to this post.

Read the full article → 16 comments

How Big Oil Lies to You

January 12, 2022 by Source

Read the full article → 4 comments

NRC Fails to Penalize Nuke Plant for Failure to Prevent Flooding from Hurricane Ida

November 30, 2021 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News for December 2021

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear industry in the US and beyond, and supports the efforts of those working for a nuclear free future.

On November 2 the Associated Press reported, “Millstone nuclear plant failed to prevent flooding during Ida.”

Hurricane Ida hit New Orleans in August with 150 mile per hour winds,

Read the full article → 0 comments

‘Concrete Cancer’ Spreading at Seabrook Nuclear Plant

November 2, 2021 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world.

Concrete Cancer Spreading in New England Nuclear Plant

On October 5 Boston TV station WBZ reported “Concrete Cracking at Seabrook Nuclear Plant” in New Hampshire. The 36 year old nuke plant has been developing fissures in its structures for some time.

Read the full article → 2 comments

The Oil Spill is Bad. So is the Deadly Contamination You Can’t See or Smell

October 20, 2021 by Source

by Bart Ziegler, PhD / Voice of OC / Oct. 20, 2021

On the topic of environmental disasters, could you imagine trying to deal with contamination from a far deadlier kind of waste that you can’t see or smell and that remains toxic for hundreds of thousands of years?

As details of the Orange County oil spill continue to unfold, globs of tar are washing onto San Onofre State Beach beneath the shadow of a shuttered nuclear power plant where Southern California Edison is storing 3.6 million pounds of radioactive waste 100 feet from the ocean.

Reporting on the oil spill has us drawing comparisons and thinking about the state of nuclear waste safety.

Take corrosion, for instance.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Investing in More Nuclear Power Is Not the Solution to Climate Crisis in Southern California

September 8, 2021 by Source

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has been turned into a nuclear waste dump for the foreseeable future.

By Sarah Mosko / Times of San Diego / September 4, 2021

If you live in Orange or San Diego County, hopefully you’re aware that San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has been turned into a nuclear waste dump for the foreseeable future. If you live on planet earth, you’re wise to be tracking domestic and foreign moves to increase reliance on nuclear energy.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Hurricane Ida Forces Two Nuclear Plants in Louisiana to Shut Down or Reduce Power

September 3, 2021 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News August 2021

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear industry, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world.

On August 29, 2021, 16 years to the day when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and environs, Hurricane Ida made landfall twice as a Category 4 storm. Its 150 mph winds raced through the Crescent City, and up cancer alley, by Baton Rouge, an area replete with petrochemical facilities whose surrounding African American populations have high rates of serious health care problems in the best of times.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Japan Goes Nuclear During Olympics

August 4, 2021 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry, in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world.

Japan Goes Nuclear During Olympics

As Covid cases in Tokyo hit a record daily high of 4000+ (and rising) on July 31 , another perspective on the Covid Olympics appeared in a July 26 Reuters article, “Japan goes nuclear in bid to stay cool during Olympics.”

The article reported, “Japan has rebooted extra power plants, including a long dormant nuclear plant, and has taken other steps to avoid a power crisis as temperatures rise” as does the need for cooling, especially Tokyo,” where the games began on July 23.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Nuclear Plant Shutdown During Another Power Crisis in Texas

July 6, 2021 by Michael Steinberg

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free future.

Nuclear Plant Shutdown During Another Power Crisis in Texas

Previously Nuclear Shutdown News reported on a nuclear plant shutdown in Texas last winter while arctic air descended on the Lone Star state, leaving millions without electricity, heat or water for weeks, and causing 200 deaths. Other state sources of electrical power, also overwhelmed by the frigid weather, also failed, but the shutdown of a 1000+ Megawatt reactor at the South Texas nuclear plant aggravated the crisis.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Rally at City Hall to Demand Council Reject Proposed SDG&E Franchise Agreement – Friday, June 4

June 4, 2021 by Source

Today, Friday – with the sun directly overhead at noon – a coalition of different groups will be rallying to demand San Diego City Councilmembers reject the proposed SDG&G franchise agreement. The Council has a final vote on the 10-year contract on Tuesday, June 8. The initial vote in May approved the agreement, but a second vote is required.

The rally will be at City Hall, 202 C Street in downtown San Diego. The groups – which include public interest, racial justice, and environmental organizations – state:

The proposed franchise agreement would shackle residents and businesses in San Diego with the highest rates in the

Read the full article → 0 comments

Legacy of Fukushima Disaster Haunts Olympics

June 2, 2021 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News for June 2021

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world.

Legacy Of Fukushima Disaster Haunts Olympics

On March 25 CNN reported that the Olympic torch for this summer’s Olympic games in Japan was lit and then circulated by runners in Fukushima Prefecture, site of the March 20ll nuclear disaster.

Some of the runners were survivors of the catastrophe themselves, and some of those had lost family members back then.

The date of this event , almost 10 years to the day after the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami, followed by the meltdown of three nuclear reactors

Read the full article → 1 comment

3 San Diego City Councilmembers Outline Plan for ‘Energy Independence’

May 28, 2021 by Source

Three San Diego City Councilmembers have just released a joint statement about an “energy independence plan,” in response to the Council’s approval of Mayor Gloria’s push to renew franchise agreements with SDG&E on Tuesday, May 25. Two of the three opposed the approval.

Councilmembers Sean Elo-Rivera, Joe LaCava, and Monica Montgomery Steppe call for the creation of an “Energy Independence Fund” which would help pay “to exit our agreement with SDG&E” and “allow for energy independence.” The three also propose a “public power feasibility study” as”the next step toward developing alternatives to investor-owned utilities and will provide an analysis of the viability of municipalization for the City of San Diego.” LaCava and Montgomery Steppe voted against Gloria’s proposal.

Here is their statement:

Read the full article → 1 comment

Challenges Seek to Overturn Council Vote on SDG&E Franchise Agreements

May 28, 2021 by Source

By Rob Nikolewskia / San Diego Union-Tribune / May 28, 2021

A pair of challenges have been made to the new franchise agreement between the city of San Diego and San Diego Gas & Electric, seeking to overturn the City Council’s 6-3 vote to approve the deal that will see the utility continue providing electric and gas service for the city for up to 20 years.

Normal Heights resident and environmental advocate Jay Powell says a provision in the new agreement violates the city charter and the local law firm of Aguirre & Severson has reiterated its complaint that the council should not have held the meeting in the first place, alleging a violation of the state’s open meetings laws.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Sempra Greased the Skids for Gloria and Council Democrats to Approve SDG&E Franchise Agreement

May 27, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

On Tuesday, a “super-majority” of members of the San Diego City Council voted to approve Mayor Gloria’s proposed franchise agreement with SDG&E.

Councilmembers Jennifer Campbell, Stephen Whitburn, Chris Cate, Raul Campillo, Marni von Wilpert and Sean Elo-Rivera voted in favor while Joe LaCava, Vivian Moreno and Monica Montgomery’ Steppe voted no. Campbell, Whitburn, Campillo and von Wilpert are Democrats and Cate is the lone Republican on the Council.

Curious as to whether SDG&E or its parent company, Sempra, gave campaign contributions to any of these Democrats, I dug around some. Didn’t have to go far. Matt Potter over at the San Diego Reader answered most of my questions in his December 21, 2020 piece, entitled, “Sempra’s last-minute money fueled anti-Bry hit campaign,” with a sub-head of “Tortured trail of Democrats’ campaign cash leads to SDG&E’s back door”.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Majority of City Council Goes With the SDG&E Deal

May 26, 2021 by Source

Vote came after utility made additional commitments to city

By Rob Nikolewski / San Diego Union-Tribune / May 26, 2021

It was a close vote and required some additional financial concessions and commitments by San Diego Gas & Electric but the San Diego City Council on Tuesday approved a new electric and gas franchise agreement with the utility that can run as long as 20 years.

After a grueling session in which the outcome at times appeared uncertain, the council voted for a new deal on a 6-3 vote, just barely meeting the required two-thirds supermajority’ needed per the City Charter to finalize a new franchise agreement.

Read the full article → 2 comments

City Council Must Go Bold and Not Take SDG&E’s Franchise Deal

May 25, 2021 by Source

By Bill Powers / Times of San Diego / May 23, 2021

We live in a period of unprecedented climate upheaval and economic inequality. Amidst this tumult, San Diego’s energy future is being decided. Will our city’s longtime energy provider, San Diego Gas & Electric, receive a pass to continue with business-as-usual for another generation, or will the city insist on terms that meet the challenges of our times?

SDG&E charges us the highest utility rates in the continental United States, while actively undermining city efforts to deal with the climate crisis. San Diego is also in litigation with the utility over its failure to abide by the terms of its existing franchise agreements.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Today, San Diego City Council Takes on Gloria’s Potential 20-Year Franchise Agreement With SDG&E

May 25, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Today, the San Diego City Council considers Mayor Gloria’s potential 20-year franchise agreement with SDG&E. This potential does not sit well with a whole lot of San Diegans.

Specifically, opponents of the deal are not at all happy with a provision that allows SDG&E to recover some of the payments the utility is proposing to make if the deal does not run its full term.

Read the full article → 0 comments

San Diego City Council Should Deny SDG&E Franchise Agreements and Demand Public Power

May 24, 2021 by Source

By Craig D. Rose / San Diego Union-Tribune Op-Ed / May 21, 2021

While still early in its term, San Diego’s City Council will take a final exam next Tuesday. The test will include just one question:

Will you protect the citizens of San Diego against a utility intent on charging us the highest utility rates in the continental United States, while the same company undermines efforts to deal with the climate crisis?

For the balance of this article, see link inside.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Gloria Wants to Take the City for a Ride on the SDG&E Train

May 21, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

In San Diego’s continuing saga over who gets to be the franchise holder for the city’s electric and gas utilities, it is staggeringly clear now that Mayor Todd Gloria really wants SDG&E to stay. Gloria is pushing the city to get on board the SDG&E train for a ride.

He and City Attorney Mara Elliott have concluded “multiple rounds” of negotiations with SDG&E, formed a tentative agreement, and he is beginning to talk with the councilmembers about a new contract. Gloria claims his new deal is “certainly an improvement over the existing franchise agreement….” That’s not saying much.

Nothing is for certain. Gloria needs a “super-majority” of votes from the Council, six of the nine members.

Read the full article → 7 comments