Community Opposes Seismic Testing

From above, the coastline off San Luis Obispo County looks peaceful. Morro Bay stretches out like a classic California postcard, brimming with sea life and showing off its picturesque sunsets. This stretch of sea, however, has been the subject of intense debate over the past several months – and equally passionate collaboration.

When it comes to ocean policy, conservationists, fishermen, agency staff, tribes, county supervisors and the media don’t always see eye to eye. But the risky consequences of high energy seismic testing at Diablo Canyon, a nuclear power plant parked right on the central coast of California, have had a remarkable unifying effect.

Brought together by deep concerns over a controversial project proposed by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), these unlikely bedfellows have spoken with one voice to oppose the use of powerful air cannons –that would have unavoidable, long term impacts to ocean wildlife—to produce 3D images of subterranean faults off of San Luis Obispo County.

Today the California Coastal Commission validated those concerns. In a unanimous vote that followed more than five hours of public comment and discussion, charged by a packed room of more than 200 people, a thoughtful and deliberate Commission denied PG&E’s permit and shut down the proposed project.

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