Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Wednesday that mandates that PG&E payout over $85 million dollars to help mitigate the closing of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant.
In January, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved the closure of the nuclear power plant but rejected a proposed settlement in which PG&E would dole out $85 million to local government agencies as compensation for lost tax revenue. The CPUC decision upheld a ruling against the settlement by Peter V. Allen, an administrative law judge who said the compensation package hinged on a PG&E rate hike which would require ratepayers to pay for services that are funded by taxpayers.
Central Coast lawmakers Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) and Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) responded to the CPUC decision by co-authoring SB 1090. The bill, which Brown has now signed into law, amends the Public Utilities Act and requires the CPUC to approve the $85 million settlement.
Additionally, the legislation requires the CPUC to approve a $350 million PG&E employee retention plan, as initially written into the settlement agreement. The CPUC had approved a smaller employee retention package of $222 million.
PG&E spokesman Blair Jones previously said the bill would result in an increase of about .2 percent to the average customer’s monthly bill. The increase would be removed from rates in 2026, Jones said.
After the governor signed SB 1090 into law, both Monning and Cunningham released statements applauding the move.
“I am extremely pleased that Governor Brown has signed SB 1090, especially given what this will mean to the community, the Diablo Canyon workforce and the future of the region,” Monning said. “By fully implementing the joint proposal under the legislation, the region will have stability and security as the transition to the closure of Diablo Canyon moves forward.”
Cuningham said the governor’s signature on the bill is a major victory for the Central Coast.
“This law will help cushion the blow to our local economy. It will bring transitionary support for the families, jobs, government organizations and schools that rely on Diablo Canyon,” Cunningham said. “I am proud to have worked with Senator Monning to build a broad coalition of bipartisan support, and I am grateful to the governor for signing it into law.”
Separately, in Washington, D.C., lawmakers have approved a bill with a clause directing the federal Department of Energy to study potential public and private funding sources for municipalities affected by the decommissioning of nuclear power plants. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the legislation.