June 6 marks the “shot heard round the world”

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - June 6 marks the 20th anniversary of Sacramento voters going to the polls to shut down Rancho Seco, a nuclear power plant operated by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) about 25 miles southeast of the city.

It was the first and only time voters shut down a nuclear power plant – but it has been called the “shot heard round the world” since it echoes to this day.

Votes against nuclear power continue to this day. Since the historic Rancho Seco shutdown vote, more than two-dozen states have legislated or passed referenda requiring that utilities meet a specific target – usually ranging 15-25 percent of the electricity supply – for sustainable energy resources by a specific date.

Power that will be available from these “renewable portfolio standards” (RPS) sources is now routinely cited as a reason not to pursue more nuclear reactors.

Additionally, more 900 elected mayors of cities including Denver, Chicago, Portland, Austin, and Salt Lake City have signed the Mayor’s Initiative on Climate Change to use sustainable energy resources to power their jurisdictions to prosperity.


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