Governor Newsom doubling down to dismantle the California economy
By Ronald Stein
With California’s energy costs for electricity and fuels among the highest in the country, Governor Newsom just doubled down to increase inflation with actions to further reduce oil production and putting more electrical loads on a state that cannot generate enough electricity to meet its own needs. The Governor’s recent actions will further “fuel” (no pun intended) the growth of the homeless and those in poverty.
With its green dreams of an emission free state, California has not even been able to generate enough of its own electricity in-state and imported 29% of its needs in 2018. The good news is that other states had the extra power. The bad news is that imported electricity comes at higher cost and those costs are being borne by residents and businesses alike. California households are already paying 50% more, and industrial users are paying more than double the national average for electricity.
The future of electricity in California does not bode well either as the State has chosen to not challenge the closure of the States’ last nuclear zero emission generating plant in Diablo Canyon and will be shuttering three natural gas generating plants in Southern California.
With NO plans for industrial wind or solar renewable intermittent electricity projects to generate “replacement” electricity in-state for the shuttered plants there will be a need to import greater percentages from other states (if they can generate enough) to meet California’s electricity needs in the years ahead. As you may know, the public has been underwhelmed with the huge land requirements for those renewables, so future large wind and solar sites are becoming less likely. You can guess it will be more cost to the consumers and businesses who are already infuriated with high prices.
Governor Newsom should know California is the only state in the union that currently imports most of its crude oil energy from foreign countries. The California Energy Commission (CEC) data demonstrates that this dependency on foreign sources of oil requires expenditures of $60 million dollars EVERY DAY. This to oil rich foreign countries supporting the 5th largest economy in the world for it’s military, aviation, cruise and merchant ships. This, just to make up for the States’ choice to continue decreasing in-state production.
The Governor seems oblivious to the fact that one hundred percent of the industries using deep earth minerals/fuels to “move things and make thousands of products” (of which will support economies around the world) are increasing their demand each year from those energy sources, not decreasing it. His latest move to reduce production and require larger setbacks for existing production wells will further decrease production and require the State to increase its monthly imports. Resulting in expenditures approaching a whopping $90 million EVERY DAY for foreign countries to support our infrastructures.
California has chosen to be the only state in America that imports most of its oil needs from foreign countries. They rely on the U.S. Navy and pay a steep price to keep an aircraft carrier with escorts to deter attacks on oil tanker traffic operating in and around the Persian Gulf.
There are scary similarities between Governor Newsom’s goals for California and Vladimir Putin’s objectives. Both support California being more and more dependent on imported foreign oil. Both support anti-fracking as a successful enterprise which would lessen the states’ dependency on foreign oil. Does the Governor know his actions are supportive of California becoming a National Security risk to America?
The charge into green will require retraining of a huge displaced workforce used to a certain lifestyle. A minimum wage earner is not afforded the time nor the resources to enjoy leisure activities. Their mainstay in life is to make ends meet. Most times that requires two and three such jobs and maybe even both heads of household working two of those low wage jobs to break even financially. How does the Governor plan to feed the families of displaced workers when he shuts down their means of survival? By default, his actions will increase the welfare numbers.
Regarding the Governor’s move to require EV’s to replace state fuel driven vehicles, I have no problem having the state buy EV’s but I have a major problem with the Governor “blowing off” the transparency of the child labor atrocities and mining irregularities in the EV battery supply chain. The Governor should read the laws, starting with The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act SB657 and followed by the U.S. with H.R.4842 – Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2014. The richest most powerful companies in the world, and now the Governor of California are still making excuses for not investigating the supply chains and continue to power manufactured EV’s with “dirty batteries”.
Like the green movement effects on the economies in Germany and Australia, the governor’s plan of moving forth at such an abrupt pace to end the states’ dependence on fossil fuels and convert to one hundred percent renewable electricity (folks, it’s not renewable energy, it’s only intermittent electricity) will break the back of the oil industry in the state and severely damage the California economy.
Ron Stein is an engineer who, drawing upon 25 years of project management and business development experience, launched PTS Advance in 1995. He is an author, engineer, and energy expert who writes frequently on issues of energy and economics.