Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major Energy and Environmental News and Commentary affecting the Nuclear Industry.

Monday, October 3, 2016

James Hansen Courage Awards for California's Anti-Corruption Fighters

Environmental Progress
Dear Michele,
I'm very happy to announce that this Thursday, October 6, Dr. James Hansen will award three remarkable individuals with Environmental Progress' James Hansen Courage Award for their efforts fighting for reform of the deeply corrupt California Public Utilities Commission.
(You can do your part to reform the CPUC by signing this crucial petition.)
Dr. Hansen will speak at a 12 noon award ceremony in San Francisco, which will take place immediately after a meeting by the Commission to consider PG&E's attempt to rush through a rate hike in exchange for prematurely closing Diablo Canyon, California's last nuclear plant.
The Award will be given to Assembly Member Michael Gatto and two San Diego-based attorneys, Michael Aguirre and Maria Christina Severson.
Attorneys Michael Aguirre and Maria Severson exposed corruption at the agency when they brought to light secret emails that show how the Commission forced the closure of San Onofre nuclear plant by awarding its operator $3.3 billion, an offer it couldn't refuse.
"We are honored to be included in the growing army of reformers striving to restore the California Public Utilities Commission to its mission of protecting the public," said Severson. "We continue the march forward in good company."
Assemblymember Gatto showed independence and determination in seeking sweeping reforms of the Commission despite powerful forces arrayed against him.
“I’m deeply honored to receive the James Hansen Courage Award from Environmental Progress on the hard work to reform the CPUC,” said Gatto. “The fight for CPUC reform is not over, and I remain committed to continuing the efforts that are sorely needed to bring transparency to the process, help keep rates low, and ensure the safety of Californians.”
The James Hansen Courage Award is named after the former NASA climate scientist and Science Advisor to Environmental Progress, which created the award “to honor those individuals and organizations who have shown great courage in advocating for the public and environmental interest against powerful forces and difficult circumstances.”
Hansen has for 30 years overcome censorship and harassment from powerful institutions to help bring greater attention to climate change and its solution.
There is an ongoing criminal investigation of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in response to the dirty politics and secret deal surrounding the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. The result was higher emissions, more dependence on natural gas, and higher electricity prices.
 "I hope the award being given by Environmental Progress in my name helps shine a greater light on their work — and the continuing need for legislative reform at the CPUC," said Hansen. "While we may not agree on many questions including the role of nuclear energy in reducing carbon emissions, we can all agree that good public policies require democratic institutions accountable to the public and not special interests. These individuals showed exemplary courage and should be guiding lights for other people and institutions operating in service of public, including environmental, concerns."
WHAT: Dr. James Hansen to Present Awards for Efforts to Reform California Public Utilities Commission
WHO: Dr. James Hansen; Consumer advocates Michael Aguirre and Maria Christina Severson; Assemblymember Mike Gatto; Environmental Progress President Michael Shellenberger
WHEN: After CPUC meeting, Thursday, October 6, 2016 (likely 12:00 pm)
WHERE: Steps of the CPUC at 505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA.
RSVP Here: http://cleanupcalifornia.eventbrite.com
CONTACT: ERIC MEYER, ENGAGEMENT DIRECTOR, 218-384-1645, eric@environmentalprogress.org

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