A ‘David vs. Goliath’ tale of how a small environmental group helped close the San Onofre nuclear power plant via KPCC

When Southern California Edison made the surprise announcement last week that it would shut down San Onofre, nuclear foes were jubilant.

While there have been many activists working for decades to close to the plant, there was one small environmental group, Friends of the Earth, that was especially key to its demise.

“This is David versus Goliath,” said Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth.

It was the petition that his group filed with federal regulators that eventually toppled Goliath.

The majority owner of San Onofre, Southern California Edison, is part of Edison International, a $15 billion dollar company with over 16,000 employees.

Friends of the Earth has an operating budget of about $6 million dollars, and about 30 employees.
It’s work Friends of the Earth started doing in 1969, when the group was founded in San Francisco. One of its first goals was to shut down the then brand new San Onofre nuclear plant.

Now, 43 years later, it finally succeeded.

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