On Friday June 7, 2013, Ted Craver, chairman and CEO of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison, announced the permanent closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, located between Los Angeles and San Diego, which had been offline since January 2012. The Sierra Club’s No Nukes Activist Team, who campaigned tirelessly to decommission this nuclear power plant, was elated by this action. Leslie March, the Retire the Old Nukes Taskforce leader explained how this campaign began. “Closing San Onofre is the best example of grassroots politics at its best,” she said. “It started with the concern of everyday people that they were living near a time-bomb; then fueled by community concerns, the movement grew to a tsunami of its own as thousands of people joined into the fight.”
The Sierra Club’s campaign to close this power plant was invigorated in May 2012 at a national summit for Sierra Club nuclear activists in Washington, DC. This summit was a rejuvenation, celebrating Sierra Club’s work to move beyond risky nuclear power and preparing to continue the work. It brought an opportunity for the California activists to meet and learn from national technical experts and veteran organizers from across the United States. The networking opportunities at this event resulted in building communication between national experts, community groups, statewide utility experts, and the Sierra Club. After the summit, the Sierra Club’s No Nukes Activist Team began ramping up their campaign efforts to close down the San Onofre power plant.
In their campaign efforts, the Activist Team supported community groups led by San Clemente Green and the Los Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club. They also sent out action alerts to California Sierra Club members, which targeted the California Public Utility Commission. Through these online actions, Sierra Club members worked with the Los Angeles City Council and other local governments to get them to pass resolutions calling for the closure of the plant. Additionally, the Team was there in April when the Los Angeles City Council formally opposed reopening the plant.