What was in your wallet?
That is, until a tsunami of progressive policies overwhelmed our nation’s economy. Or have you not noticed what has been happening to the price of gas, food, energy and housing lately?
It is called inflation, my friends, and we haven’t seen anything this bad in decades. Meanwhile, Democrats in Washington and here in California are continuing to spend us into oblivion while suppressing economic output.
Our economy broke down via a lockdown, and now the Dems are doubling down. This includes measures that are driving up the cost of fuel by way of canceling critical infrastructure projects such as fuel pipelines. This drives up the cost of everything because everything you use gets delivered somewhere along the way by a diesel truck!
Joyce Dudley, the Santa Barbara County district attorney, has a consumer protection division in her department. Instead of focusing on the private sector, maybe Ms. Dudley should do right and take a gander at the price-gouging practices of local government?
Take, for instance, the city of Santa Barbara’s ban on natural gas hookups for new construction, along with Santa Barbara County’s resource recovery facility and its proposed project-labor agreement for construction projects, along with ExxonMobil’s proposal to truck oil to the North County until the Plains pipeline gets fixed. How about some forthright disclosures to taxpayers and ratepayers concerning the same?
With respect to natural gas, it is the cleanest burning fuel we have out there. It is abundant, affordable and safe for the environment.
The goal of becoming greenhouse-gas free in the light of current electricity shortages is bad enough, but unnecessarily creating even more demand on the grid by the forced conversion of home appliances from natural gas is simply virtual signaling stuck on stupid. Electricity prices are going up while reliable electricity production becomes scarce.
Regarding the county’s newfangled waste-to-energy plant, where do I begin?
First of all, the county is misleading consumers. This plant, officially called the ReSource Center, didn’t cost $130 million.
It cost $230 million with interest, and you are paying every penny of that through increased trash rates.
There were plenty of affordable alternatives, but the county Board of Supervisors just had to go green to the point of absurdity.
My prediction? Santa Barbara County will choke on the stream of compost and other recyclables it will generate from this project because the markets for the same will become inundated and crash even more than they have already.
Currently in many communities, so-called recyclables are being buried at landfills because no one will buy them!
Concerning the upcoming project-labor agreement the county wants to sign with organized labor, how do you spell patronage?
This item has to do with excluding upwards of 85% of the local construction workforce from bidding on county construction jobs because that percentage of our local workforce are not members of unions.
Fewer companies bidding on contracts mean higher bid prices, which means taxpayer construction costs will go up even higher. I am all for hiring locals, union and otherwise, at the lowest responsible bidder price.
Finally, let’s come full circle to the cost and reliability of our energy supply.
I recently upbraided the county for hypocritically purchasing diesel engines as a back up to their futile attempts to wean their operations from fossil fuels. So, while local gas prices are approaching $5 per gallon, ExxonMobil is trudging through a process to gain permission to truck oil to the North County until the pipeline gets fixed. The permit should be approved because California doesn’t use less fossil fuels by curtailing local production. We just import more oil from the Middle East.
None of this makes sense, fiscal or otherwise.
Andy Caldwell is the COLAB executive director and host of “The Andy Caldwell Show,” airing 3 to 5 p.m. weekdays on KZSB AM 1290, the News-Press radio station.