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PG&E asks for $1.5 billion dollars more to decommission the Diablo Canyon Power Plant

Posted at 11:51 PM, Aug 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-08 10:21:07-04

PG&E is asking the California Public Utilities Commission for more money to help in the decommissioning of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

We knew closing Diablo Canyon was going to be expensive, but now PG&E is asking for almost $1.5 billion more to close it down, and some of the costs could be passed down to ratepayers.

Representatives from the Public Utilities Commission and PG&E addressed local customers and then took public comment.

It was the first opportunity for PG&E to present its case to the Public Utilities Commission.

PG&E is estimating a cost of close to $5 billion, a billion and a half more than previous estimates.

The commission will ultimately determine how much of that additional cost will be added to customer's bill

"The ultimate decision made by the P.U.C. will determine, how much is collected from customers, when, and how those funds are spent," said Tom Jones, director of strategic initiatives, PG&E.

Residents in San Luis Obispo County are not only concerned about the increased cost, but PG&E's involvement and safety during the process.

"They have a history of not spending our rate payer money for safety. Like they did before they left it to the taxpayers and the ratepayers to have to clean up their mess again," says San Luis Obispo County resident, Peg Pinard.

Jones says PG&E has to detail the costs of the closure," the application is pretty complex, it details costs for over $4.8 billion dollars, and we line that out. We hope it's successful with the utilities commission."

Residents were able to share their thoughts on closing the power plant, and the concerns were wide ranging, but some common themes were safety, economic impact, and how the funding may increase their bills.

Jones says the meetings tonight and tomorrow morning is part of the process to make sure the closure is carried out with as little economic and employment impact as possible to the local area.

He says spending more money now could mean less of an impact moving forward.

There will be another set of public information and a chance for more public comment at 10 and 11 a.m. Thursday morning.