Check out the recent energy crisis crippling California: Smoke from fires caused by an extended drought is blocking the sunlight needed to power solar panels.
But, at the same time, a tropical storm Rain and clouds are born, which also hinders the generation of solar energy. Shouldn’t the storm put out the fires?
It turns out that renewable energy is not only unreliable; It’s totally confusing.
What else can go wrong in the Golden State? In a word, a lot. California is experiencing an energy disaster that is almost of its own making. Bad policies (including decades of dirty forest management) have exacerbated the impact of severe drought, while green obsession has stripped away the kinds of back-up solutions necessary to switch to renewable energy.
The amazing thing is that policy makers here in the United States will learn nothing from California’s troubles. In fact, on a trip to the Golden State just days before officials warned citizens of the impending power outage, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told The Interviewer, “California is in the lead and can show the rest of the nation how it’s being done.”
Let’s sincerely hope not.
This is what California is actually showing the nation:
- Renewable energy from solar and wind is unreliable and must be stopped again by established nuclear or fossil fuel facilities;
- Energy independence is energy security;
- Enforcing a rapid transition to renewable energy could put lives and economies at risk.
We should have learned the same lessons from Europe’s ongoing energy crisis, which began before Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and which stems from many of the same “green rush” mistakes made on the West Coast. But the climate fanatics in the Biden White House were not impressed.
Granholm visited California shortly before Gov. Newsom asked residents to raise the temperature to 78 degrees and refrain from charging their electric vehicles (EVs) between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. The electric vehicles that, as it happened, the state Recently It will be the only type of car sold in California by 2035.
Granholm felt positively dizzy about what she saw. “I love the fact that California is unabashedly bold [green] Energy policy,” she said excitedly, adding, “California audacity… shaped our willingness in the federal government to move farther and faster. “
One wonders which part of California energy solutions Granholm likes. Do homeowners pay? 88% more For more electricity than Americans anywhere else? Or that industrial users charge 99 percent more than their competitors in other countries?
You might be envious that Californians pay 43 percent more than the national average for gasoline today, or that natural gas costs for home heating in Los Angeles. 23% more than it is in the rest of the country.
Californians certainly aren’t happy with these comparisons. Especially the low-income population, for whom the costs of basic items such as rent and energy make up a larger than average share of their monthly budget.
Nor can they be happy that officials threaten blackouts when temperatures reach 115 degrees in parts of the state; People can die.
Granholm, like Democrats elsewhere, talks a lot about energy “equity.” But there is nothing fair in paying for inflated electricity costs to provide left-wing politicians with elegant climate credentials.
Why is California in its current solution?
Start with the obvious, on the supply side. Golden State prides itself on some of The largest oil and gas reserves in the country But he chose not to produce it for environmental reasons. California oil reserves 5th place In the United States, but California imports about 1.4 million barrels of oil per day, while producing only 400,000 barrels per day.
The state’s climate warriors, while shutting down domestic production, also prevented the construction of new pipelines. Although the country has chosen to import 70 percent of the oil it consumes, there are no pipelines available to access the commodity (perhaps at lower prices) from other countries. Of course, shipping oil by truck or rail is not acceptable for environmental reasons.
Ironically, the state import oil From countries like Ecuador, Iraq and Saudi Arabia – countries with more permissive ecosystems than the US
Also, the state has shut down natural gas and nuclear power plants, even though the latter are zero-emissions and are supposed to help California reach its zero-carbon goal for 2045.
In response to the recent crisis, officials decided to bring several gas-powered generators online and give Diablo Canyon, an important nuclear plant that is the state’s largest source of electricity, a moratorium. It was due to close by 2025. But the Democratic-run state legislature acknowledged in a rare moment of clarity that turning off the lights and air conditioning in the middle of a record heat wave could finally wake abused voters from their slumber.
Diablo Canyon not only saves 9% of the state’s electricityIt also generates 15 percent of California’s clean energy.
Officials are rushing to supply California with electricity, forcing the switch not only to electric vehicles but also to electrical appliances. Simply put, the infrastructure needed to accommodate the massive expansion of demand is simply not in place. There have indeed been occasional blackouts over the past two years in moments of stress. As demand from electric vehicles increases, this outage is likely to increase.
In comments that go against electric vehicle mandates, the Western States Petroleum Association wrote in the current situationElectrification of the transportation sector will increase demand by about 300,000 GWh statewide. This translates into a doubling of electricity demand.
Our nation may choose to transition to renewable energy, despite the small impact our efforts may have on Earth’s climate. (The actions of China and India will prove much more important.) But taking such a step in haste and without sufficient emergency not only sacrifices one of our greatest geopolitical advantages but threatens our economy – yes – lives.
Let California not be our guide.
Liz Beck is a former partner of the main Wall Street firm Wertheim & Company. Follow her on Twitter @lizpeek.