Energy

SDG&E ‘Forgets’ to Tell Us that Key Reason for High Price of Natural Gas Is Their Owner’s Export of Huge Amounts of It

January 13, 2023 by Source

By Craig Rose / Op-Ed San Diego Union-Tribune / Jan. 12, 2023

It’s easy to get lost in the explanations for the soaring natural gas prices causing enormous hardships for so many people in our region. Even before this surge, nearly 25 percent of us couldn’t pay our utility bills on time.

Most explanations for high retail natural gas prices focus on the soaring wholesale cost of the commodity caused by “market factors,” but a key factor is often omitted.

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$1 Million Available to Assist SDG&E Customers With High Bills

January 11, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Public Service Announcement

Following recent news of natural gas prices skyrocketing and local utility bills going up, San Diego Gas & Electric announced Tuesday it is making $1 million in customer assistance funding available for those experiencing financial hardship.

The assistance will be disbursed through the Neighbor-to-Neighbor program, which provides up to $300 in one-time grants to help offset past-due bills

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As You Pay Your ‘Doubled’ SDG&E Bill for January, Remember the City Council Members Who Voted to Approve the Contract

January 5, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

As you pay your January SDG&E bill, remember those San Diego City Council members who voted back in 2021 to approve their contract. Why?

Because San Diego Gas & Electric just announced that its customers can expect their energy bill to more than double this January. It implemented new natural gas and electric rates on Jan. 1. SDG&E says the increase reflects the rising costs of providing reliable energy services.

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Can Power of Ocean Waves Help California’s Energy Grids?

December 28, 2022 by Source

Ocean energy could take its place alongside solar and wind in helping to decarbonize the power grid

By Brooke Staggs / Orange County Register / December 27, 2022

If you’ve ever gone surfing or felt seasick or simply watched as the ocean crashed onto shore, you know the power that waves hold. The potentially world-changing question is, can that power be harnessed in a cost-effective way to produce clean, reliable electricity?

Solar and wind dominate discussions about renewable energy.

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Bill McKinnon: New Fusion Breakthrough Is Glorious But Decades Away — In Meantime Let’s Use the Sun We Already Have

December 14, 2022 by Source

The Fusion Breakthrough Suggests That Maybe Someday We’ll Have a Second Sun

By Bill McKibben / The New Yorker – Reader Supported News / Dec. 13, 2022

In the meantime, we need to use the sun we’ve already got. On Tuesday, the Department of Energy is expected to announce a breakthrough in fusion energy [it did]: — scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have succeeded for the first time in making their complex and expensive machinery produce more power than it uses, if only for an instant.

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New Orleans Nuclear Utility Up To No Good — Again

September 1, 2022 by Michael Steinberg

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News  September 2022

In downtown New Orleans, Entergy Corporation’s highrise headquarters looms ominously  over mere mortals in the French Quarter and on Bourbon Street.

On August 2 the Baton Rouge Louisiana Advocate reported, “Louisiana Public Service Commission Suing Federal Energy Commission.”  (FERC). The Advocate explained that the lawsuit alleged that FERC ” is slow walking a decision regarding Entergy’s Grand Gulf nuclear plant.”

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Keeping the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant Open Is a Dangerous Waste of Effort and Money

August 17, 2022 by Source

By Michael Hiltzik / Los Angeles Times / Aug. 16, 2022

The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant lies on the coast near San Luis Obispo within 20 miles of four active earthquake faults.

The faults were apparently unknown to the plant’s owner, Pacific Gas & Electric, which certified during the construction period that no such faults existed within that distance. Unit 2 was built in accordance with flawed blueprints.

There have been efforts to close the plant for years, gaining intensity as PG&E’s atrocious safety record came to light.

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No Nukes Is Good Nukes

July 26, 2022 by Michael Steinberg

Will the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant Ever Shut Down?

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

We thought it was a done deal. The Diablo Canyon nuke plant, the last operating one in the state, located on the central coast near San Luis Obispo, was due to permanently close, one nuclear reactor in 2024, the second the following year.

In 2016, even owner Pacific Gas & Electric agreed to the deal.

But, as the Doors predicted Back in the Daze, “The future’s uncertain and the. end is always near.”

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Follow Governor Newsom — Not Legislators — on Gas Tax Relief

June 23, 2022 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

President Biden called for a three-month gas tax holiday from federal fees at the pump.

It not only landed with a thud, it couldn’t even pass muster with Speaker Pelosi. A puny 18-cent savings per gallon for a three-months comes to less than a $10-a-month savings (unless you are a diesel trucker).

And whatever happened to the $400 dollar gas cards for California residents that Governor Newsom proposed in his budget?

At least, it had some sense to it.

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50 Year Old Nuke Plant Bites the Dust

June 3, 2022 by Michael Steinberg

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

On May 20 Michigan newspaper The Holland Sentinel reported,”Pallisades Nuclear Plant Shuts Down 10 Days Early.”

The plant was scheduled to close for good on May 31, but, The Sentinel reported, plant owners “made a conservative decision” to pull the plug 10 days early due to “control rod seal” problem.

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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.)

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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:

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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.”

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‘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.

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How Big Oil Lies to You

January 12, 2022 by Source

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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,

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‘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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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