The Big War on Clean Energy

Elon Musk. You know him. He’s a real-life version of Tony Stark. Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist. He’s sending people into space, revolutionizing travel with the Hyperloop and self-driving electric cars, I’m not driving. Are you serious? Wait, the foot is off the pedal! I’m not driving! No! and saving the Earth by powering homes with solar panels and batteries.

SolarCity is now the largest solar service provider in the US. So why is he trying to set back clean energy by shutting down California’s largest source of it? Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant located near San Luis Obispo produces about 20 percent of California’s clean electricity. But Tesla is on the record saying the shutdown “is well-reasoned, and factually, legally and technically sound.” What gives? Diablo provides enough electricity for three million electric cars.

Tesla makes electric cars. You’d think that Mr. climate hero would be a huge supporter. Every time a nuclear plant is shut down it is replaced almost entirely by fossil fuels and emissions go up. Every time. Reliability is a key factor in competition. So that would be a deciding factor in who wins what launches. It doesn’t become less important.

It becomes more important. In 2016 anti-nuclear groups said they would replace Diablo Canyon with clean energy. Environmental Progress founder, Michael Shellenberger, debunked those claims in the New York Times. Now these same groups all but acknowledged that Diablo Canyon will be replaced by fossil fuels. He’s completely passionate to really rid the world of this addiction to fossil fuel. That was something that he talked about from the very first sentence, first conversation that we had. The closure of Diablo and the replacement by natural gas would increase emissions by the equivalent of adding million cars to the road. Musk and Tesla aren’t even pretending they could replace Diablo Canyon.

They are using this as an opportunity to sell solar panels and batteries. You’re a supervillain. That’s what a supervillain does. Yeah. Elon’s various projects are creating a vision for the future, but by actively advocating for the closure of Diablo Canyon, he’s putting that future in danger. .

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