Our state is going to be in big trouble, thanks to California politicians and activists quadrupling down on stupid.
The first thing Sacramento did is set up Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant for closure by way of insisting that PG&E cool the water that cools the reactor down before releasing it back to the ocean. This mandate constitutes a nearly impossible task and it would have cost billions of dollars.
The second attack involved blowing apart the franchise model of the utility sector, which allowed the utilities to spread costs and risk among tens of millions of residents and businesses. At the same time, they demolished the vertical integration of the utilities serving to strand their assets. That is, the state allowed local communities to form their own energy co-op, and the co-ops refuse to buy energy that had been developed to serve these very same communities. This will result in the balkanization of our energy supplies, something the Public Utilities Commission has described as energy disintegration.
The third attack has to do with holding the utilities accountable for all the costs associated with the devastating fires and related catastrophes throughout the state, irrespective of the role of the state and federal governments, and environmental advocacy groups, who did nothing to manage, let alone serve to reduce, fuel loads.
The final blow? The plan to decarbonize California. Specifically, the powers that be are waging war on the oil and gas industry as it pertains to both production and consumption. That is, the state and local governments are doing everything within their power to prevent oil and gas operations from producing and transporting the energy we need and rely on each and every day, including for the production of electricity.
At the same time, there are two moves afoot to prevent the use of natural gas as a fuel source for both residences and businesses. The first move is to prohibit natural gas hookups in new construction. The second is to require all homes and businesses to eliminate the use of natural gas while requiring all appliances to be replaced with electric appliances.
Complicating matters further, while the state is in the process of mandating that electricity should be the only power source available for all intents and purposes, the utilities are planning to shut off our power during red-flag warning episodes because they can’t afford footing 100 percent of the liability for future wildfires. Moreover, the utilities are facing bankruptcy because their shareholders can’t afford the liability exposure of these recent catastrophes.
All of these things taken together means that taxpayers and ratepayers — who are one and the same, mind you — will be left holding the bag. Lost in all this? Any sort of plan to deal with the consequences of all of the above. Even the state’s Public Utility Commission has admitted there is no plan going forward.
With respect to the goal to decarbonize California, this is nothing more than virtue-signaling in a sensory deprivation booth that doubles as an echo chamber. California does not and never will produce all the energy it consumes. It relies not only on imported oil and gas, but electricity that is produced and shared among 11 Western states and Canada. All these watts go into the same pool, and some of them are still being produced by coal and natural gas. Furthermore, the one thing the greens won’t produce is a map that will detail how much farmland that will need to be sacrificed on the altar of wind and energy farms. Neither will they do the math to demonstrate where we can build 3.5 million new homes, via state mandate, and still have land left over for wind and solar.