Category Archives: Energy

Should we favor oil companies over pure water during this extended drought?

  State Sen. Fran Pavley thinks not.
“I cannot gamble when our groundwater may be polluted because of a lack of oversight,”  she explains.
So committed to pure drinking water is she that — in an uncharacteristic move — she broke with Gov. Brown’s state budget plans last month when she opposed $3.5 million in funding of an energy company regulatory agency known for looking the other way at fracking violations.
The state budget conference committee was considering this issue this week and has not yet released information on its recommendation, but Pavley will be available to discuss the potential outcome following a Legislative Update on Saturday when she speaks at the Malibu Democratic Club Second Saturday Series.
Instead of allocating the funds to the much maligned Conservation Department’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), which has plans to use the money for 23 “experts and other technicians,” Pavley wants legislation earmarking the money for the State Water Resources Control Board.
When Former State Sen. Tom Hayden spoke at the Dem Club series last April, he criticized DOGGR as “look –the-other-way agency,” and said that although reforms were being made, “ . . . there is no reason the agency should exist and I doubt how effective the reforms can be.”
The Malibu Dem Club’s Second Saturday Series featuring Pavley will be 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Malibu Public Library, 23519 Civic Center Way.  The talk is free of charge and open to the community.
Pavley also will provide information on her the more stringent climate change standards she is adding to her landmark bill, SB 32, in effect since 2006, which required the state to drop greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.  This year’s supplement to that bill aims to curb such gas pollution 80% below the 1990 levels by 2050, and 40% below that standard by 2030.
In other environmental news, Pavley will describe progress on a plan to invigorate cougars in the Santa Monica Mountains. Pavley was among several local lawmakers and heads of conservation agencies to help find funding for a $1.2 million Cougar and wildlife crossing of the 101 Freeway.  The underpass, at the Liberty Canyon site of the 101 Freeway, will be a safe way for male Mountain Lions from the Simi Hills and Los Padres National Forest to make their way into the mountains surrounding Malibu where they will be able to mate with felines from a different gene pool.
Pavley also will provide details of traffic safety measures scheduled for PCH as a result of a $235,250 safety corridor grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.  To obtain the grant, Pavley worked closely with Malibu City Councilmembers as well as Congressman Ted Lieu, and Assemblymember Richard Bloom. Grant goals include speed reduction, safer pedestrian crossings, public education on bicycle laws, and DUI detection.

Malibu Warned of Diablo Canyon Dangers

Page 1 article reprinted from the May 14, 2015 edition of the Malibu Times

Diablo Canyon nuclear plant
in SLO County ranked by NRC
officials most likely in nation
to be hit by quake bigger than
it is designed to withstand

By Jimy Tallal

Special to the Malibu Times  (All photos by Kevin Lynn — provided independently not published in Malibu Times)

As the crow flies, Malibu is only about 120 miles from the state’s only remaining nuclear power plant, Diablo Can;yon, on the coast of Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo County.  What happens in the event the plant is hit by a tsunami or has an accident similar to Three-Mile Island or Chernobyl?  More than 50 people showed up to find out what the experts had to say at Saturday’s Malibu Democratic Club speaker series, and they say the results in Malibu might not be pretty.

Harvey IMG_3029
Harvey Wasserman

“It’s about time, especially following the Fukushima disaster, that we take another look at our own coastal nuclear power plant,” Malibu Democratic Club President Ann Doneen wrote in an email.

Following the March 11, 2011 Fukushima earthquake, Coneen said Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) officials marked Diablo Canyon as the most likely in the nation to be hit by an earthquake stronger that it was designed to withstand.  Paul Frey of Mendocino County, spoke at the event on Saturday and examined the health, economic and agricultural effects of a disaster at Diablo Canyon, and also looked at where radiation would be carried by prevailing winds and ocean currents.  Using maps developed by the Monterey Naval Research Laboratory and the UC Santa Barbara Ocean physics Laboratory as well as studying the aftermath of Chernobyl, he was able to show that the radiation cloud would mostly head south to Malibu and beyond.”The entire L.A. Basin is a natural dust trap that would also trap nuclear radiation,” Frey said.  ‘And the economic damage to California would be off the scale.”

A number of new earthquake faults in and around the Diablo Canyon plant have been indentified that were unknown when the plant was designed and built prior to when it started up in 1985.  For that reason alone, some experts say the plant is violating federal law by continuing to operate.

ralph talks
“This is important,” said retired Federal Judge Ralph Erickson. “We need to do something about this!”

According to a report in the L.A. Times, “New geological research shows that the Ventura fault is capable of producing earthquakes as large as magnitude 8 as well as severe tsunamis.  The fault runs through downtown Ventura, connecting to fault lines in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Santa Barbara . . . Previously, researchers didn’t think California earthquakes could produce tsunamis, since the San Andreas fault is so far inland.”

Doneen said that in July 2013, Dr. Michael Peck, former senior resident inspector of the NRC, tried for a second time to officially call for a shutdown of the Diablo Canyon reactors.  He cited the Hosgri fault discovered in in 1971 only 3.56 miles offshore, the Shroeline fault discovered in 2008 less than 1,000 feet from the ocean water intake structure and two smaller faults.  The NRC never released or ruled on his “differing professional opinion” document.

Harvey Wasserman, senior advisor to the Nuclear Information and Resource Service and one of the original anti-nuclear activists who coined the phrase “No Nukes,” also spoke at Saturday’s event.  He maintained that if Diablo Canyon applied for state and federal construction permits today on the same site, it would never be allowed.  In addition, he contends that over 30 years of aging has caused a weakening of the structure.

The Mothers for Peace nonprofit organization in San Luis Obispo, headed by Linda Seeley, The room  IMG_2990has been using every legal means at its disposal to get the Diablo Canyon plant stopped or closed down since 1973.  Their attorney in Washington, D.C. has filed against the relicensing of the plant based on statute limitations, seismic safety and high-level radioactive wast storage.  The plant’s current license expires in 2024 and 2025 (Units 1 and 2) and Pacific Gas and Electric has already applied to extend those licenses for 20 years behyond that.

Since the plant still operates under an exemption that allows them to “suck up 2.5 billion gallons of ocean water per day, killing all of the sea life, and then discharging it back into the ocean 20 degrees hotter, devastating the ocean floor around Diablo Canyon,” Seeley said.  Mothers for Peace is organizing a letter-writing campaign to the California Water Board to force them to build cooling towers.

“Since it won’t be economically feasible for them to build ooling towers, we hope they throw in the towel and withdraw their application for relicensing,” Seeley said.  “It’ll also cost them a bundle to make post-Fukushima changes now required by the NRC.”

Some participants IMG_3050-1

Special thanks to Malibu Democratic Club Member Myla Reson for
producing this special event.