Open Letter to the L.A. Times Editorial Board - Clean Coalition
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Open Letter to the L.A. Times Editorial Board

California’s economy is driven by vision and innovation, and these coveted attributes should be driving the San Onofre replacement strategy.

Craig Lewis

Letter to the editor: In San Onofre’s closure, a better way forward

Re: “The best way to replace San Onofre’s power,” Opinion, Feb. 13

The shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear plant has created an opportunity to build a smarter, more efficient, and more reliable power system in California.

While theLos Angeles Timeseditorial board (“The best way to replace San Onofre’s power”, February 13) rightly acknowledges that San Onofre’s abrupt shutdown will impact the ability to meet California’s established climate and energy goals, the current California Public Utility Commission’s ruling gives electric utility monopolies too much leeway in determining whether to build new natural gas plants. State regulators, not investor-owned utilities, must be the ones to set a vision for California’s power system.

Yet, state regulators are punting. The California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which manages the state’s power grid, has not even considered a San Onofre replacement scenario that does not rely on new natural gas generation. Just last week, this same agency was forced to issue a statewide energy alert due to apparent natural gas shortages. Other parts of the country were held hostage to record-level electricity and natural gas prices for similar reasons. Why should California add to its already large dependence on natural gas?

The use of preferred resources – such as demand response, renewable generation, and energy storage – to replace San Onofre is technically possible and economically viable. For example, CAISO has yet to even model the vast potential of demand response to reduce energy consumption at times of high demand. Apresentation I delivered to the to the California Energy Commissionon February 11 makes clear the opportunity to replace San Onofre with preferred resources.

California’s economy is driven by vision and innovation, and these coveted attributes should be driving the San Onofre replacement strategy.

Craig Lewis
Executive Director of the Clean Coalition.

Craig Lewis

Founder and Executive Director

Craig founded the Clean Coalition in 2009 and has over 30 years of experience in policy and technology innovation, including the proliferation of Solar Microgrids and Community Microgrids. Prior to founding the Clean Coalition, Craig held numerous positions in the wireless, semiconductor, banking, and renewable energy industries. Previously VP of Government Relations at GreenVolts, he was the first to successfully navigate a solar project through California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard solicitation process. Craig was energy policy lead on Steve Westly’s 2006 California gubernatorial campaign. His resume includes senior government relations, corporate development, and marketing positions at leading wireless, semiconductor, and banking companies such as Qualcomm, Ericsson, and Barclays Bank. Craig received an MBA and MSEE from the University of Southern California and a BSEE from the University of California, Berkeley.