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DeVore goes nuclear with initiative

Assemblyman Chuck DeVore filed an initiative with the Attorney General's Office on Wednesday to repeal California's decades-long ban on new nuclear power plants.

Calling his measure "Power for California," DeVore's initiative comes after he introduced legislation in 2007 to do the same. That bill failed in its first Assembly committee hearing in April.

The Orange County Republican said he is aiming to collect the half-million signatures he needs to place the measure on the June ballot.

California has two active nuclear power plants, PG& E's Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant and the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station owned jointly by Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric. The state has had a ban on building new plants since 1976.

DeVore is promoting the initiative as a way to meet the state's growing power needs.

But the conservative Republican lawmaker also is appropriating the language of the state's environmental community, saying the measure is a way for the state to meet "ambitious greenhouse gas reduction mandates" passed by the Legislature last year.

DeVore himself voted against AB 32, the 2006 measure which requires California to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020.

In the release announcing his nuclear effort, DeVore even cites the support of Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

"The leading candidates for president, including Democratic Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as most of the Republican field, have publicly called for nuclear power to be considered part of our national energy solution," DeVore said in a statement.

See the full text of the initiative here.