California Edison announced on Friday, June 11, 2013 that it will permanently close the San Onofre nuclear plant.
Southern California Edison took out full-page ads in local newspapers warning customers that shutting down the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station may result in “significant” costs that the plant’s designers and insurers won’t pay for. Whether ratepayers are on the hook for those costs is a decision for state regulators. And last week Edison made that argument in hearings.
The ad, which appeared in the OC Register and the LA Times, emphasized the way Edison operates in California. It explained how regulations set rates, allows utilities to recoup actual costs, and limits profit to that which comes from invested capital.
“We thought it was important to make sure our customers know about how the utility business works, and why there is such a thing as ‘cost recovery,’” Southern California Edison President Ron Litzinger said, “so that context can be considered as we go through San Onofre-related regulatory proceedings.”
This Feb. 12, 2009 photo shows buildings at the old Rocketdyne facility, the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, in the Simi Valley area near Los Angeles.
A coalition of watchdog groups has filed suit against the state’s toxic regulators and the Boeing Corporation over cleanup at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. They’re seeking to stop demolition debris from the decommissioned site from going to landfills and recycling facilities.
Nuclear research and rocket testing have contaminated much of the Santa Susana site in Simi Valley. Boeing, NASA and the Department of Energy are slated to clean it up.
In Area IV, near where a partial nuclear meltdown and other serious incidents occurred, Boeing has been demolishing structures with the permission of the state Department of Toxic Substances Control and sending concrete, metal and other debris to landfills and recycling facilities.
Consumer Watchdog, the Committee to Bridge the Gap and environmental groups are asking a Sacramento judge to stop demolitions immediately. They argue lax oversight has enabled Boeing to use disposal sites not licensed to handle low-level radioactive material. Among their support material is an executive order signed by then-Gov. Gray Davis more than a decade ago prohibiting disposal of radioactive material in landfills.
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Tesla's Model S has been unexpectedly popular in southern California, says SoCal Edison's EV readiness leader, Ed Kjaer.
Southern California Edison on Tuesday issued its first report on how the growth in the use of electric vehicles in its territory has affected its grid, and the news — at least according to the investor-owned utility — is good.
Despite initial fears that the popularity of the plug-in vehicles might overtax the utility's grid, that has not yet happened.
It's a remarkable finding given that fully 10 percent of the nation's electric vehicle stock plugs in somewhere in So Cal Edison's territory.
The conclusions were contained in a white paper titled “Charged Up: Southern California Edison’s Key Learnings about Electric Vehicles, Our Customers and Grid Reliability" (it's embedded below). Among the key findings:
- Edison has made nearly 400 upgrades to circuits in its system since 2010, but the additional power demands of electric vehicles required only 1 percent of those upgrades.
- Edison's grid managed to avoid undue burdens on its system attributable to electric vehicle recharging because vehicle owners used automated timers that randomized the time of recharging, preventing a large number of vehicles from trying to recharge simultaneously and averting power-load spikes.
- Electric vehicle users' behavior was consistent and predictable.
Watchdog groups have accused Boeing Corporation of sending radioactive waste from the Santa Susana Field Laboratory in Ventura County to landfills that aren’t certified to handle it – and they allege that the state’s Department of Toxic Substances Control has condoned the practice.
The groups said the waste is going to city landfills in Lancaster and Azuza, and recycling plants in Simi Valley, Sun Valley, and Ventura, creating an imminent health threat for people in the surrounding neighborhoods.
The allegations, made by a coalition including Consumer Watchdog, Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, Committee to Bridge the Gap, and the Southern California Federation of Scientists, intensify a long-running dispute about how federal authorities and a private company are cleaning up the former testing site - and whether toxic regulators are doing enough to protect the environment and public health.
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Protestors stage a demonstration against fracking in California outside of the Hiram W. Johnson State Office Building on May 30, 2013 in San Francisco, California.
Federal land managers will launch two new studies about the risks of using hydraulic fracturing to produce oil and gas in California.
Fracking, as it’s called, injects pressurized water, chemicals, and grit into deep layers of rock to force oil and gas to the surface. The Bureau of Land Management is starting an environmental impact analysis of the practice in Monterey, San Benito and Fresno counties.
The environmental impact study, to be conducted out of the BLM's Hollister field office, will cover leasing potential and risks for 280,000 acres of public lands and another 440,000 acres of split-estate lands.
Some oil companies are aggressively pursuing fracking in the Monterey Shale in central California. Two environmental groups -- the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity -- sued the BLM earlier this year when it considered selling leases in that region without doing a study. Now those groups say they’re pleased with this first step.