The Opportunity Cost of Shutting Down Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

For nearly 35 years, Diablo Canyon Power Plant has pumped just over 2.0 gigawatts of electricity onto California’s power grid. Unlike hydroelectric power, which has good years and bad depending on rainfall, or solar and wind power which depends on sunshine and wind, Diablo Canyon’s nuclear reactors generate this electricity 24 hours per day, 365 days a year.

But Diablo Canyon’s days are numbered. In January 2018 California’s Public Utility Commission voted to shut it down. Barring legislation to countermand this decision, by 2025 Diablo Canyon will cease operations, making California a nuclear free state. Is this a good idea?

Anti-nuclear environmental groups, as reported at the time in the Los Angeles Times, “hailed the decision, which was expected after 17 months of filings and debate, but also were concerned about what type of energy sources would be used to replace Diablo’s electricity.”

Good question. Especially since environmental groups are the groups one might expect to be most concerned about “greenhouse gas,” and the only way wind and solar power can operate is by having natural gas power plants to spin into action every time the wind falters or the sun goes down.

The alternative to natural gas backup is to overbuild wind and solar farms and store the excess energy with batteries. An interesting comparison would be to see what battery storage capacity would be required to replace the power Diablo generates during off peak hours of 12 hours per day.

The following chart projects a $12 billion […] Read More

Why Not Nuclear Power to Mitigate Climate Change?

AUDIO: A discussion of nuclear power, especially asking the question: why aren’t climate change activists in favor of nuclear power? – 8 minutes on KNRS FM 105.9 Salt Lake City – Edward Ring on The Rod Arquette Show.

Edward Ring is a contributing editor and senior fellow with the California Policy Center, which he co-founded in 2013 and served as its first president. He is also a senior fellow with the Center for American Greatness, and a regular contributor to the California Globe. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Forbes, and other media outlets.

Why Don’t Climate Activists Support Nuclear Power?

For several days in mid-April, downtown London was paralyzed by thousands of “climate activists” who were protesting the failure of the U.K. government to act swiftly enough to combat climate change. In mid-March, thousands of students across the United States staged school “walkouts” to demand action on climate change.

These protests are ongoing, but there is little underlying logic to them. The primary sources of anthropogenic CO2 are no longer Western nations, which in sum are only responsible for about 30 percent of global emissions. The biggest single culprit, if you want to call it that, is China, responsible for 28 percent of global emissions, nearly twice as much as the U.S., and literally 28 times as much as the U.K. Rapidly industrializing India, responsible for 6 percent of global CO2 emissions, is on track to become the most populous nation on earth. The chances that China and India will sacrifice their national future in order to reduce CO2 emissions is zero. The same holds for every emerging nation, including the demographic heavyweights Brazil, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, along with all the rest.

The logic of these protestors also fails when it comes to the science of climate change, although to even suggest this is heresy. So rather than point out that moderate warming might actually be beneficial to the planet, or that extreme weather is actually more highly correlated with a cooling planet, let’s accept all the popular wisdom with respect to “climate science.” So […] Read More

Californian Exceptionalism

The golden state is aptly named. The state of riches and opportunity. California is High Sierra and endless ocean shores, redwoods, saguaro, rice, cotton, alfalfa, snow melt and seasonal squalls, rolling hills of oak and granite cliffs, breathtaking vistas and vast, varied terrain. California is rich in beauty, rich in natural wonders, rich in resources.

California’s people are a reflection and embodiment of the golden state, they are as varied as the landscape, and drawn from around the world, Californians have both created and sought this destination of dreamers. From Silicon Valley to Hollywood, from those who rushed to find the Mother Lode or worked to harvest the timber, the oil, the fruit of the land, the bounty of the sea, California’s people do its natural riches justice.

California is indeed unique, a teeming nation unto its own, drawing peoples from all the nations of the world. California is a geographically isolated region over a quarter-million square kilometers in area, located on the temperate western shore of North America, separated from the world by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Rocky Mountains to the east, high desert to the south and dense forests to the north. And California’s people are equally exceptional.

From making movies to inventing megabits or engineering life, California’s contribution to global culture and economic development is impossible to overstate. California is Athens, California is Leonardo da Vinci, William Shakespeare, Friedrich Krupp. California culture and California technology are the vanguard of the world. This is California’s […] Read More