California lawmakers fold in budget spat, approve Gavin Newsom’s $400M loan to Diablo Canyon (The Sacramento Bee)

“California lawmakers agreed to loan Pacific Gas & Electric Co. an additional $400 million to extend the life of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, ceding to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s push for the loan after initially refusing to pay in a public budget spat.

Legislative leaders questioned the necessity and cost-effectiveness of keeping the plant open, initially rejecting the loan out of concern that taxpayers and PG&E ratepayers could end up footing the bill for substantial parts of $1.4 billion in loans.

But the budget deal released over the weekend after weeks of negotiations between the governor and lawmakers includes the $400 million allotment, along with a requirement for the Department of Water Resources to report on how the money will be spent and unpaid balances.

‘The final budget deal with the Governor represents a total capitulation to PG&E and its shareholders,’ Utility Reform Network attorney Matthew Freedman wrote. ‘This $400 million will never be paid back to the general fund, forcing taxpayers to absorb the costs.'”

Read the full article from The Sacramento Bee by clicking here.

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