Pacific Gas and Electric company of California announced on June 21, 2016 that it will not renew licenses for its two nuclear reactors at Diablo Canyon, about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, set to expire by 2025. This is being hailed as a landmark because, unlike other U.S. closures which reverted to more polluting sources of energy, the Diablo Canyon agreement will replace the nuclear energy with renewable sources and energy efficiency. Further, the agreement, which included the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245 and the Coalition of California Utility Employees, pledges incentives to retain employees until 2025, retraining of employees for the decommissioning process, and severance payments when their employment ends. See the IBEW Letter to Members here . But James Hansen, amongst other greens and scientists, have lobbied to keep the plant open; see “If Diablo Canyon does close, America will have lost 14 reactors since 2013, but is it a good idea?” in Vox.
“Green Skills Training and Certification” was the topic of the opening Plenary session of the Training Conference of the National Electrical Trade Council (NETCO) in Vancouver on June 4 . The Green Skills session related to electrical vehicle infrastructure technology, photovoltaic solar energy technologies, and advanced energy‐conserving lighting system controls. NETCO is a joint partnership of the Canadian Electrical Contractors Association (CECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) of Canada, and is associated with The electrical training ALLIANCE™ of the U.S. Another IBEW initiative was highlighted in a May report from the Don Vial Center on the Green Economy at U of California, Berkeley. Training for the Future II: Progress to Date describes the Utility Pre-Craft Trainee (UPCT) program, a model program for entry-level disadvantaged workers in Los Angeles, jointly operated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and IBEW Local 18. Since 2011, trainees “earn-and-learn” by working full time weatherizing homes and small businesses while learning skills and preparing for civil service exams in the utility. The first Training for the Future report from 2013 is also available.