What the California Coastal Commission told PG&E and Supervisor Gibson about their 3D high-intensity seismic test off the Central Coast that resulted in a 10 to nothing vote against it, why California and America were watching, and why PG&E and Gibson shouldn’t even think about coming back to reapply next year — even though Gibson said he’s ‘digging in’.
For Supervisor Bruce Gibson, political life outside the bubble of San Luis Obispo County is much different than within. He found that out on November 14 in Santa Monica when the California Coastal Commission voted 10 to zero to deny PG&E a permit to conduct a 3D high-energy seismic test in Estero Bay near Diablo Canyon – the same test supported with conditions by the County Board of Supervisor 5 to nothing on October 30.
The stark contrast between the Commissioners’ robust comments against the seismic test and the Board’s comments supporting the test is clear evidence of the serious disconnect between SLO County government’s perception of reality and actual reality according the rest of the state, if not the the world.
Amazingly, a combined total of about 225 people spoke during public comment at the Coastal Commission hearing and Board of Supervisors meeting. Not one spoke in support of the test. This rejection of the test apparently fell on deaf ears because at the November 20 Board of Supervisors meeting following the Commission’s unanimous thumping, not a word about the test was mentioned by the Board in public. Gibson gave no report, and not one of the supervisors dared ask for one. In other words, there was no self-reflection on the agenda; it was business as usual in San Luis Obispo County.
The Coastal Commission’s decision was far-reaching. In the broadest perspective, it was a precedent-setting denial of what would have become a springboard to a precedent-setting opening up of the entire U.S. coastline – west, east and south — to 3D seismic testing in state waters. Opening up the U.S. coastline to high-energy seismic exploration and an elevated threat to endangered species of marine life and mammals would have sounded a global alarm to international whaling and oceanic organizations. Before the Commission acted, PG&E’s vessels were only days from blasting the bay and estuary.
Immediately after the Commission’s decision, against a backdrop of joyous cheers, public celebration, and media coverage by LA stations KABC, KCBS, KNBC, KTLA, KCAL and KNX-AM radio, as well as the LA Times and Associated Press, Gibson was interviewed with PG&E’s Blair Jones by KSBY’s Cameron Polom, and began walking back several of his previously absolute positions, at least on camera. The italics are The ROCK’s:
“The technical experts on this found that using high-energy seismic surveys could reveal, possibly, information that would be important in assessing the earthquake risk. My concern had always been, are we doing it right? Because there certainly were a whole lot of marine impacts and if we were going to even think about doing that we needed to have the sense that this was being conducted at the very highest state of the art,” said Gibson, shading his analysis with dashes of doubt, perhaps for the first time. “The Commission wasn’t convinced. They weren’t convinced of the necessity of the information.”
While PG&E’s omnipresent spokesperson Jones struck a measured tone in his remarks to KSBY, Gibson tried to reclaim lost ground, becoming the aggressor in his comments, far more than Jones, as if it was Gibson driving PG&E’s project rather than PG&E, and that has appeared to be the case on numerous occasions.
“I would say that the need to assess the earthquake risk remains,” Gibson persisted on the issue of public safety, “and so with the information that has been collected and those surveys that are not part of the Coastal Commission’s purview, we’re going to go forward and we’re going to dig in because we really need to know what the risk of earthquakes is to Diablo Canyon.”
Though they disagree on the survey vessel, both Supervisor Gibson and PG&E have vigorously pursued the high-energy test while acknowledging that the damage to marine life would be, according to the EIR, “significant and unavoidable.” Gibson has been so determined to utilize a larger oil industry vessel, rather than PG&E’s smaller former-industry vessel that was picked, that he was opposed to the test taking place this year. He was confident that independent review – selected by him – would confirm that his ship provided the “best available technology” and PG&E would return in 2013 for the test. But that strategy backfired as he was lumped in with the opposition that included flat-out opponents of the test in any form, at any time, ever. He put his boat before the test and gambled that the test would return next year with his boat, and he lost. The Commission found the impacts of the survey overwhelmingly significant – and totally avoidable.
Gibson’s opposition to the test as proposed may have confused a few commissioners; his testimony was used against him, against the test, and seemingly against all high-intensity seismic tests in the Commission’s jurisdiction. Gibson’s gamble came up snake eyes.
In recommending denial of a Coastal permit for PG&E, the staff report succinctly stated its opinion of underwater seismic testing in general and specifically as it relates to the Commission’s mission: “The key Coastal Act issue of concern is this project’s significant and unavoidable impacts to marine resources. Seismic surveys are among the very loudest anthropogenic underwater sound sources (Richardson et al. 1995). The proposed conduct of high-energy seismic survey has the potential to adversely affect marine resources and the biological productivity of coastal waters by causing the disturbance, injury and loss of marine organisms.”
This bold, forward-thinking analysis held up under pressure from PG&E and a chain of federal and state agencies, such as the lead agency, the State Lands Commission, previously approving the test.
Even though the Coastal Commission denied PG&E a permit, seismic testing and its deadly impacts continue to gain national attention. There is still a seismic test planned off the coast from the presently out-of-operation San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant in San Diego County, and next March the Coastal Commission will hear the Navy’s proposal to conduct training exercises off the coast of Southern California that will produce lethal levels of damage to marine life. High-energy seismic tests for oil and gas, conducted largely out of range of the public and media — and without Environmental Impact Reports — have been taking place off of Alaska and Washington on the west coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, off the east coast, and around the world for years.
Meanwhile, a near-continuous flow of low-profile low-energy seismic surveys (LESS) near Diablo Canyon, intentionally using outdated Negative Declaration permits not reviewed by the Coastal Commission, have already seriously impacted the fish catch off the Central Coast, and produced mammal deaths in Morro Bay that still have not been explained and may be a violation to be investigated.
With PG&E and the oil industry so heavily invested in the technology, seismic noise remains a very loud issue that shows no signs of going completely silent anytime soon.
Following are Commissioners’ key comments explaining their positions on PG&E’s proposed high-energy seismic test. The finality in almost all of their comments is unmistakable:
•“Because the technology exists we don’t (necessarily) need to use it… There comes a time when a test is just a test and it doesn’t need to be done.” — Dayna Bochco
•“This 3D test is not going to tell you (if Diablo Canyon is safe), and if it’s not going to tell you, then why am I doing this to the ocean?” — Dayna Bochco
• “This test is not necessary for the public welfare. In essence, (for) public welfare it’s necessary we don’t do this…” —Dayna Bochco
• “I’m especially dismayed at this dismal lack of information presented for us to adequately evaluate the impacts to critical endangered animals, including sea otters, the gray whale, porpoise, to spiritual and cultural resources, such as the artifacts and tribal remains in submerged ancient Chumash tribal lands, and to what they called grandfather dolphins, and to the fishing.” — Esther Sanchez
• “Monitoring is not mitigation.” — Esther Sanchez
• “It appears that PG&E is proposing a (project) highly dangerous to life, human and animal, in order to address public safety issues, and that they are doing it in denial that there will be no impacts, therefore no real mitigation is necessary, except, of course, to stop the work after how much destruction is unknown…” — Esther Sanchez
• “It (the survey) just never made sense to me… The guy (Fred Collins) from the Chumash Indians, he had me right out of the gate. When he said you have to care about us all, care about every living thing, I’m right there.” — William Burke Jr.
• “(I kept trying to ask PG&E) about what it is exactly that this testing will contribute to the state of knowledge that we don’t already know or suspect. I have not heard an answer, I have not heard anyone say that no matter how good these 3D images are that we will be one inch closer to understanding, let alone being able to forecast whether, when and how great a magnitude an earthquake could hit in that area…” — Jana Zimmer
• “These tests are not going to do us any good in terms of protecting the public welfare, and on the other side of that, the impacts to the marine environment are really clear and I think have been understated…” — Jana Zimmer
• “I’ve just not been convinced that the benefits of this work justify the potential risks or costs to our environment and to the unknown, the unforeseen and unintended consequences that may exist. We simply don’t have the skills or the abilities to monitor the outcomes that we would be triggering by doing this. If we were to embrace this technology what we’re really doing is opening the door – and this isn’t just a Box 4 issue, this is the coast of California, or even the west coast of the U.S. And when we open that door just a crack, it opens all the way… It’s not a difficult choice today to decide we don’t want to be opening this technology up.” — Steve Kinsey
• “We don’t need to have that information at all, and the damage that was going to happen to the marine mammal population is absolutely unacceptable. I don’t buy the public safety argument at all, because if you (PG&E) did the study and you found the fault line right underneath the plant, are you closing the plant? We (the Commissioners) don’t know those answers…” — Martha McClure
• “It’s up to PG&E whether or not they want to reapply. I personally would be hard-pressed to see a way they would get over the hump (and get to the override and permitted)…” — James Wickett
• “The realization that whatever came out of these studies if they went forward wasn’t going to change anything that was really happening at that plant, really cemented in my mind that the risks that we were taking and where we were going didn’t justify the end.” — Brian Brennan
• “Even though the staff did a fabulous job with the staff report, some of you brought up things that hadn’t been considered – all of the other folks who are coastal-dependent whose incomes are based on what goes on in our oceans… Certainly, with a project like this they can’t mitigate the loss to you.” — Connie Stewart
• “I’m struck by the fact that we just put all these MPAs (Marine Protected Areas) together and everyone who spent so much time on them. We’re now getting the baseline data for the MPAs, and what would this (test) do to all these base-line studies? If we really are going to stand for something like MPAs, I think everyone here has said there will be an impact to those areas. If we can’t even protect them a year after we get them then what are we really trying to say here?” — Connie Stewart
• “For those of you who do live in the shadow of a nuclear plant, I’m struck by how much all of you are saying that marine wildlife outweighs your fears about (seismic) uncertainty. That was really powerful. You know, I have touched a whale, too, and I know it’s a powerful thing…” — Connie Stewart
• “The issue before us is simply, has PG&E provided enough information to convince us that the study should go over, and I am hearing a resounding no, they have not provided enough information for this study to go forward.” — Mary Shellenberger
Following are additional relevant excerpts from Commissioners’ comments prior to voting on staff’s recommendations to deny a permit to PG&E:
DAYNA BOCHCO: This seismic testing is not consistent with the Coastal Act sections 302.30, 302.31 and its significant and unavoidable impacts to marine resources… (The staff report did a very good job of giving us substantial evidence that the level of impacts that PG&E was projecting under their analysis were underestimated. I saw that in many different areas. The unpredictability of mammals coming through (the test area). In the July 2012 Northeast Pacific Seismic Study where so many more whales went by than they ever predicted and they didn’t see them until it was too late to do Level A impacts. Those kinds of things we have to come to expect. Even though they might not happen we’ve got to take them into account. The staff analysis levels were much more protective of marine life and probably more realistic… It was very clear (from the staff report) that the harbor porpoise, being such a specific special creature in this one area, and because of the unknown incidents of what has happened to it recently, shows that they could potentially reach that biological removal level, and that’s just something that if it happened, it’s done. So in balancing the risk versus the benefits, I think those are really, really big and likely risks… As far as (PG&E’s mitigation efforts), unfortunately they’re just not adequate… The weather conditions, the sea conditions were underestimated. The fact that at night you can’t see as a marine observer. The fact that a lot of these (measures) are the kind of mitigation that you do just to see just to assess what’s going to happen, and so maybe the next test you make will benefit from that, but this test won’t. These animals are going to be impacted. And again since we’re not even applying for Level A taking, it seems to me it’s still likely that Level A is going to take place, and that again is an enormous risk versus benefit… Many people in this room, myself included, were participants in the Marine Protected Area research and meetings. It was a very difficult, long drawn-out process for Californians… It would be a tragedy really to take away the ability to measure what we have set forth just so recently. I also feel obligated to the fishermen in this room and those they represent that there should be something going on where someone is analyzing the decline in the fish in this area. I saw many exhibits in the staff report showing that it is steadily going down. This idea that perhaps the low intensity seismic tests are part of that, it’s important to know that, and I think something should be done about that, but that, of course, is not a part of our application at the moment. I appreciate that PG&E feels a lot of pressure from the fact that there exists this technology that they haven’t used offshore. I appreciate that there are several agencies that seem to be pushing them in that direction, but I must say those agencies are not designed to protect the coast, and that’s what we’re here to do. And, because the technology exists we don’t (necessarily) need to use it; it’s nice to know it exists, it’s nice to know that if everything else to do is possible and doesn’t turn out with something you critically need to know then perhaps you go and you look at that particular technology…There comes a time when a test is just a test and it doesn’t need to be done. Does this high-intensity 3D test in this one area Box 4 need to be done?… (PG&E) did convince me that there is a target there seven or eight miles below the ocean (floor) that would give them some more information about the Hosgri fault and how it dips down and goes maybe under not plant, maybe not; how it connects up to the other faults, maybe not. But again when I ask the final question, the hard question of: If you find out the worst case that the Hosgri fault is going to do this, all of those things (faults connecting) happen under this 3D test, you see it, would it make a difference, would the plant be unsafe? And there answer was: It is highly unlikely. ‘We have so much data on this information we feel that we can judge it from what we have.’ And they feel that the plant is safe…This 3D test is not going to tell you, and if it’s not going to tell you, then why am I doing this to the ocean? So when you talk about the second prong of the test, which I know the staff report didn’t go to, but I will go there, and if the rest of the Commission agrees with me, I hope they go there with me. It’s that we make a finding that this test is not necessary for the public welfare. In essence, (for) public welfare it’s necessary we don’t do this, and that if during all of the studies they have with the SSHAC and with NRC, and with everyone’s who testing – Fukushima has made an impression – if they find out there is just no way in the world they can judge this plant safe without this one test, then you come back, but I wouldn’t suggest they come back next year with just a few bits more information. I really do understand what PG&E is saying in that regard… I don’t think that we can get the information that would make us all feel safe or even prove to the scientists that the plant will be safe (by) doing this (test).
ESTHER SANCHEZ: I do find that our Coastal Commission staff is particularly qualified to address underwater acoustic projects including the project before us, so I disagree with PG&E’s statement that our staff is not capable of analyzing the relevant public safety issues… PG&E seems to be expediting this application despite having a mound of studies they’ve just completed. The record is silent as to whether they have either not had the opportunity to analyze these studies or are not providing the results of those studies to our staff nor to the public. I’m especially dismayed at this dismal lack of information presented for us to adequately evaluate the impacts to critical endangered animals, including sea otters, the gray whale, porpoises, to spiritual and cultural resources, such as the artifacts and tribal remains in submerged ancient Chumash tribal lands, and to what they called ‘grandfather dolphins,’ and to the fishing industry… There were certain points made today by PG&E, the first one being with regards to how to mitigate impacts. The statement was: ‘Stopping the work mitigates the impacts’… ‘Stopping the work mitigates the impacts.’ That is without any review, without any decision as to how much damage or destruction happens before it stops; and then to say that there’s nothing they have to do to mitigate those impacts. And I do disagree that monitoring is mitigation; monitoring is not mitigation. I also disagree with the claims process that was proposed for the fishing industry. How will something like that work when you have a standing position that there either are no impacts or significant impacts? So there would not have been any kind of mitigation for the fishing industry… There was mentioned ‘shareholders’ during the presentation (but they) did not mention the tremendous monetary impacts to the ratepayers. Evidence was presented via testimony that air guns silence whales, at closer ranger hearing loss and injury. This particular area is core habitat of harbor porpoises which are acutely sensitive to manmade noise. If the animals don’t leave, the injury will increase significantly… The area is part of the MPA network and this area is particularly critical to the MPA statewide. I was also persuaded by the testimony of Dr. Bruce Gibson, Supervisor Bruce Gibson, who testified as to the lack of state-of-the-art processes including the ship being used. It appears that PG&E is proposing a (project) highly dangerous to life, human and animal, in order to address public safety issues, and that they are doing it in denial that there will be no impacts, therefore no real mitigation is necessary, except, of course, to stop the work, after how much destruction is unknown… Applying the Coastal Act’s Coastal-Dependent Industry Industrial Development Override Policy, I find the proposal does not meet any of the three tasks of that policy… There’s just not enough information provided to staff and to us, either, through the staff report or during testimony. So insufficient information, no independent review, and not legally required. There was also testimony that there were also impacts to highly endangered gray whale, that they were left out, and the Northern elephant seals.
WILLIAM BURKE JR.: It (the survey) just never made sense to me… PG&E will be back here in a year for their relicensing, and I think the chances of stopping it… if I had to bet on it, I would bet they’d get relicensed. I don’t think there’s any other place to go than the motion that’s on the floor… The guy (Fred Collins) from the Chumash Indians, he had me right out of the gate. When he said you have to care about us all, care about every living thing, I’m right there.
JANA ZIMMER: The comment had been made that the staff was pushed and rushed to try to come up with this staff recommendation, that it had to go forward now, and that – then I was told in my ex parte and other commissioners were also – that PG&E wants an up or down vote, doesn’t want to be told to come back to improve the analysis or provide additional (information), and I can understand that. With regard to the other prongs of the override, I don’t want the Commission to appear to be playing loosely with the football either and to give an applicant a false impression that if they just come back in another year with a few million dollars more worth of consulting fees and tests and so forth that everything will be fine, because my bottom line on this is that it’s going to take a lot to convince me that second test in particular, the public welfare test, can be met for this type of proposal. There can come a day that everyone agrees that the applicant has come up with the best possible survey and the best possible technology, and there can come a day when everyone can agree, I think, that the impacts are mitigated to the maximum extent feasible, even though we will continue to conclude that there will be significant impacts, but I haven’t been able to get around in my mind this public welfare test…(I kept trying to ask PG&E) about what it is exactly that this testing will contribute to the state of knowledge that we don’t already know or suspect. I have not heard an answer, I have not heard anyone say that no matter how good these images are – 3D, whatever formation it is – that we will be one inch closer to understanding, let alone being able to forecast whether, when and how great a magnitude an earthquake could hit in that area… (PG&E told me regarding retrofitting the plant), ‘That’s not where we would go with that (test) information’… The message was, ‘well, we’re not really going to do anything, and we’re not going to expect the NRC to do anything differently, because we’re going to be taking a position that the risk level is the same.’… It’s not between their (her grandchildren’s) immediate safety or the people of San Luis Obispo County right now, and the impacts to marine mammals… We’re down to this claim of these tests being capable of reducing some uncertainty about what the magnitude could be… because I think ultimately we’re going to get into that realm of earthquake prediction or earthquake forecasting which has been a complete failure throughout time… How can a (3D imaging) photograph tell me what the stress level is on a given fault? So I came to the conclusion we’re where we started and that these tests are not going to do us any good in terms of protecting the public welfare, and on the other side of that, the impacts to the marine environment are really clear and I think have been understated… Here we have the core issue being deferred to the very last agency to consider the application, and I think that’s really unfortunate. I wish that even though they had no legal obligation under CEQA to consider impacts to environmental resources that these other agencies that are so supportive of this particular test would have considered them… I’m not going to say that I could never be convinced, but I haven’t been given any information that I would call evidence that I could rely on today to say yes, these 3D images will move us forward in making these communities safer.
STEVE KINSEY: I appreciate the spiritual acknowledgement of our connection within the web of life, all in all, and our tremendous affection as coastal residents for the ocean we live beside… I’m going to try to encourage our Commission to even think beyond the specific action we are taking today, along with our staff and PG&E. The reality for me is that I’ve just not been convinced that the benefits of this work justify the potential risks or costs to our environment and to the unknown, the unforeseen and unintended consequences that may exist. We simply don’t have the skills or the abilities to monitor the outcomes that we would be triggering by doing this. If we were to embrace this technology what we’re really doing is opening the door. And this isn’t just a Box 4 issue, this is the coast of California, or even the west coast of the U.S. – and when we open that door just a crack, it opens all the way. What we’re doing is we would be signaling that want to continue this idea that we can mask what are essentially political decisions with CYA scientific information. I really feel that we as a people, not we as a Commission, we as a people need to think again. In fact, in many respects, I think that we opened the door 50 years ago to this nuclear generation technology as a way of generating power supply. You know, if there’s anything that Californians love as much as our coast it’s consumption, and so I don’t really blame PG&E; they are a reflection of our society, and we as a society, not they as a corporation or anything else, need to take responsibility for our future, and this is the first step in that direction, by saying that we need to have every single bit of information in order to be able to say we’re relieved. If fact, if I think about it, if we were to allow these tests to go forward I don’t think the room would be less filled the year that they come back for relicensing. I think it would still be just as full and the information would be set aside… We’re going to have tough choices to make (in the future about nuclear power), but it’s not a difficult choice today to decide we don’t want to be opening this technology up. Where I want to push our Commission, and even encourage San Luis Obispo County and PG&E, is that I really don’t think it’s a matter of ‘they just haven’t got it right, they don’t have the right boat, they don’t have the right test regime, that a bunch of scientific panelists can come together and come up we a better, less impacting (method),’ I think we ought to just say, use the available information, the substantial information, that has been gained since the plant was first designed, and let’s make our decisions with what we have available to us going forward so that we’re not in this room or another room like this a year from now trying to dice and slice whether or not it’s the least impacting to the environment and it can go forward.
MARTHA McCLURE: We can’t predict. You can see (on the slide) the number of earthquakes that have happened last week, yesterday, and in the last hour that are happening all over California, and we know that that happens… (Diablo Canyon) needs to be fixed, not studied to death. Because I really think this study was an attempt to try to push the can down the road, and I’m thinking that we don’t need to have that information at all, and the damage that was going to happen to the marine mammal population is absolutely unacceptable. I don’t buy the public safety argument at all, because if you (PG&E) did the study and you found the fault line right underneath the plant, are you closing the plant? We (the Commissioners) don’t know those answers, so, for me, I want to see PG&E turn a corner, I want to see PG&E take the $64 million and start putting it toward solar power or some other kind of modern choice of (power generation) and then that can assist in the consumption of [in] California’s urge or need to have power, but at least let’s start taking it and putting it in that direction rather than pretending that these plants have a lifetime that we should continue to support… I believe that it’s time to close these plants, and it’s time to fix these plants and move towards solar power and alternative energy.
JAMES WICKETT: Although this issue might have been incredibly obvious for 99.5% of the audience here as to the right thing to do… obviously the folks from the Chumash Nation helped catalyze that and really set the tone and backed by everyone else, it’s been really uplifting in a way to be here today… I also want to make an observation about the Commission: It’s really neat that this Coastal Commission has not been overtaken by industry. Think about that. It’s pretty amazing. We’re all here just like you’re here. We should take a moment and kind of appreciate that that’s one thing that’s really working in this state… It’s not just the first condition that wasn’t met – ‘and if you kind of do a little fix to that, we can come back and do this another time.’ For me it’s all three parts of the override that don’t make it, and I just don’t see a scenario where PG&E could get valuable data and do the override on any of the three points… (Regarding) adverse environmental effects, there’s a possibility of closing down the plant versus destroying the marine life that surrounds it. If you want to reduce environmental effects, you might even be thinking about killing two birds with one stone there. For me though, it’s up to PG&E whether or not they want to reapply, I personally would be hard-pressed to see a way they would get over the hump… To me, it’s so important that people in California start moving away from nuclear energy and away from decentralized energy sources. I don’t know where the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association was today on charging the good people of California $65 million, but I’d like to see some of those tax groups stepping up here and saying, wait a minute, we can probably buy 30,000 people solar arrays on their houses for the money we’re spending just doing this test! And the test is just a test for information! Think about when we start figuring how to get rid of the nuclear waste… I would be hard-pressed to get how an applicant could get to the override on any of the three criteria.
BRIAN BRENNAN: While their plan has somewhat of a history, I think the realization that whatever came out of these studies if they went forward wasn’t going to change anything that was really happening at that plant really cemented in my mind that the risks that we were taking and where we were going didn’t justify the end.
CONNIE STEWART: This Coastal Act really does protect us from this kind of an impact. Overrides are very difficult to meet, and I don’t even think they got close to meeting the first one. It would be very difficult to convince me that they met the second one, or they could meet the second one, as other Commissioners have said… I thought the testimony was incredible. Even though the staff did a fabulous job with the staff report, some of you brought up things that hadn’t been considered – all of the other folks who are coastal-dependent whose incomes are based on what goes on in our oceans… Certainly, with a project like this they can’t mitigate the loss to you. I’m struck by the fact that we just put all these MPAs (Marine Protected Areas) together and everyone who spent so much time on them. We’re now getting the baseline data for the MPAs, and what would this (test) do to all these baseline studies? If we really are going to stand for something like MPAs, even though I recognize that they’re not actually booming in those areas, I think everyone here has said there will be an impact to those areas. If we can’t even protect them a year after we get them then what are we really trying to say here?… For those of you who do live in the shadow of a nuclear plant, I’m struck by how much all of you are saying that marine wildlife outweighs your fears about (seismic) uncertainty. That was really powerful. You know, I have touched a whale, too, and I know it’s a powerful thing… You (PG&E) made it easy for us by saying you want an up or down vote today, and when the Governor vetoed the bill (AB 42) that really sends a message to everybody that we have the Coastal Act, and it’s really easy to make the call on this side of the room.
MARY SHELLENBERGER: There’s lots of reasons why we shouldn’t have nuclear power plants on our coast, that’s the question we should be solving. As Coastal Commissioners that’s not within our jurisdiction. Many Commissioners have done just what I did, they stated their own personal opinions about what should be happening on the coast, and the issue before us is simply, has PG&E provided enough information to convince us that the study should go over, and I am hearing a resounding no, they have not provided enough information for this study to go forward. Having said that, we are not telling them to go back and do anything in particular. That’s PG&E’s decision, to take the decision here; and we’re not saying you can’t ever do it, we’re just saying the onus is on you to convince us, to bring enough information that we believe it should go forward.