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PG&E: Profits> Marine life 

The three-person State Lands Commission (State Controller, Finance Director, and Lieutenant Governor) conducted what they called a “public hearing,” during which its Chair, Alan Gordon, sitting in for State Controller John Chiang, repeatedly interrupted members of the public who had traveled great distances to participate, trying to tell them what they could and could not say, making the apparently false claim (which he later tried to weasel out of when it became apparent that it would make a mockery of the whole public hearing pretense) that PG&E’s application for a seismic permit to blast out much or all of our scenic central coast’s wild sea life and fishing economy, to supposedly learn what everyone already knows: that its Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant sits on earthquake faults, was a done deal. 

When concerned members of the Chumash community tried to warn the commission that PG&E had not adequately notified their tribe, as required by law, of this pending, catastrophic, environmental attack on their lands and lives, the bored, contemptuous ‘Chair’ invited PG&E to interrupt the ‘public comment’ and set them straight.

After all 50 concerned Central Coast citizens testifying at the video conference set up at the Inn at Morro Bay on Monday morning, expressed outrage at PG&E’s utterly economically insane, environmentally evil proposal, this three-member clown board, with an obviously strained and, for them difficult attempt at pretend legitimacy, cloaked in scarcely concealed contempt for all public input, displayed a level of arrogance which could only befit a band of baboon-brained bureaucrats. These three clowns completely disregarded every serious Central Coast citizen concern, and did what their chief clown had originally claimed was already done. They approved PG&E’s proposal.

What does this all mean to the Central Coast? Utter calamity!

Some background.

Some say PG&E—not known for unstintingly upstanding corporate citizenship, environmental ethics, or integrity—is a white collar corporate criminal whose $10 million, overpaid, duplicitous ex-CEO, Peter Darbee, should be prosecuted for its long history of misconduct leading up to the  San Bruno gas pipeline explosion murder of eight.

They point to PG&E’s:

Fifty million dollar raid on its captive ratepayer pocketbooks to finance its failed Proposition 16; unscrupulous political propaganda campaign, properly called out by the Sierra Club as an improper attempt to mislead voters, simultaneously coupled with its audaciously arrogant four billion dollar complicit CPUC rate increase demand; its 2010 misguided attempt to misuse its government granted monopoly to deny to the public and to its customers choice on alternate energy supply; its routinely reckless cut and slash attacks on Cambria’s fragile, endangered Monterey Pine tree forest; its  undercover cloak and dagger operation to discredit critics of its new electromagnetic wave emitting meter reading system, when two years ago management used false names to infiltrate and secretly monitor online groups who questioned its new electromagnetic metering; its phony claim, last year,  that it could not find its own key records showing its San Bruno excessive gas pipeline pressure would likely lead to multiple deaths; to exposing the Mojave Desert Hinkley farming community to PG&E’s concealed toxic three mile-long polluting plume of cancer causing chromium, which has been contaminating the ground water for years, causing a catastrophic, unending, human environmental health disaster.

While I wouldn’t go so far as to urge that PG&E’s ex-CEO Darbee should be prosecuted for murder as one of our Supreme Court’s famously claimed “corporate persons,” it is certainly true that PG&E has repeatedly proven that it deserves its hard earned, well-established reputation for deception, dishonesty, and always environmentally irresponsible behavior, followed by endless excuses every time its incredibly incompetent, grossly negligent, corporate misconduct causes serious injury, damage, and death.

Former residents of Fukishima, Japan, like Chieko Shiina, now weep at the way their government regulators deliberately misled the public with the false corporate claim that nuclear power production, always a fantasy dream, now clearly a reality nightmare, could ever be clean or safe.

Short of thermonuclear war, like Fukishima, PG&E’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant presents the biggest threat to our land and sea, one that, with either PG&E or one of its corporate successors at the helm, aided and abetted by its state regulatory sponsors, will eventually render our California scenic Central Coast permanently uninhabitable.

Their environmental impact report indicates that PG&E’s proposed huge underwater cannon blasts could seriously injure our sea’s precious wildlife. We should not be experimenting with torture deafening of our marine mammals.

Before PG&E can claim no serious risk, its CEO and top management team need to confirm the validity of their “it could be done safely” claims  by getting into the waters with the threatened marine mammals off our coast, presumably protected by the marine mammal, and other environmental, pretend protection acts, to take some test blasts up close, to clearly hear what whales can hear at a considerable distance of many miles, to see for themselves how their underwater ears take it. 

The State Lands Commission had a choice to go on record as being complicit with PG&E’s profit-motivated attempt to drive out and destroy all marine mammal life in the Point Buchon State Marine Reserve, or not.    Treating the Central Coast, its wildlife, and its economy with contempt, it chose to reject the “or not,” and run with the “oh boy, let’s destroy.”

Granting a permit of this nature to an entity with PG&E’s history,  should give both the State Lands Commission and the public pause,  should give rise to grave concern, and be a matter of serious discussion and debate.

To protect the public, the people, the wildlife, and the lands of the California Central Coast, the only further permit that should be considered is one to begin the shut-down and dismantling process on this hazardous nuclear power plant, and the disengagement of its disingenuous corporate owner and lifelong environmentalist.

Roger Cleary is a retired Cambria resident. Send comments via Managing Editor Ashley Schwellenbach at aschwellenbach@newtimesslo.com.

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