The Golden State is feeling the heat this year, with record-breaking temperatures across the state pulling on the power grid – with possible rolling blackouts in the future.
Coupled with the drought conditions earlier this summer, wildfires roaring through the state, and the economy hitting middle and lower-income families, it’s no wonder more Californians are showing up in other states to plant their roots.
The warnings of rolling blackouts and the pleas for Californians to temper their energy consumption came shortly after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced new legislation mandating 100% electric vehicle sales in the state in the not-so-distant future.
The memes alone would be comical if the subsequent energy crisis in the state weren’t so severe.
Perhaps more concerning is how California’s backward energy policies might spread throughout the country. But before we get into all that, let’s examine why Californians could be sweating it out in the dark.
This past Tuesday, California’s power grid operator declared a Stage 3 energy emergency, meaning rotating power outages were “very possible.” This came the day after 67,000 California homes were without power.
To seem even denser than he already is, Congressman Eric Swalwell tweeted this feeble attempt to seem like it’s one team, one fight:
“It’s time to rally, California! We all need to do our part to help avoid power outages this week. Before 4 PM, pre-cool your home. After 4 PM, avoid use of major appliances and turn your thermostat to 78 or higher. Let’s keep the lights on, California.”
The replies to Swalwell’s tweet entertained me for at least an hour last night, with many asking for a picture of his thermostat to prove he’s doing his part. With temperatures reaching between 100 and 115 during the day and only dipping down to 80 and 90 in the evening, I can’t imagine anyone would enjoy 78 in their home…unless, of course, you are my mother. She puts on a sweater in 78-degree weather.
California’s aggressive energy policies have placed the state in a tenuous situation as it seems to slide closer to third-world nation status.
California is a hotbed of bad decisions, perhaps most seen within its state legislature. In 2018, for example, they passed a law mandating that renewables generate 60% of the state’s electricity by 2030 to divorce itself from natural gas.
Right now, California’s energy grid runs on a mix of solar and natural gas. While I think solar panel farms look remarkable, they have their downsides.
For example, a Bloomberg report discovered unsurprisingly that when California closes down its gas power stations, there is an overreliance on solar farms, which in the evenings is problematic. You know, because it’s dark outside.
Before closing their legislative session, the state lawmakers opted to extend the life of their last nuclear plant another five years to mitigate the impending energy crisis, moving its closure from 2025 to 2030. So while nuclear still isn’t en vogue in Cali, it appears they understand that ‘all hands on deck’ probably should include nuclear while they still have it.
But my favorite pipe dream from the bad idea fairies in California is the recent mandate that all new cars sold in the state must be electric starting in 2035.
I probably have an unhealthy fascination with Elon Musk, and I think that Teslas look exceptionally cool. Perhaps one day I’ll own one. Given my love of Tesla, I will use this sleek-looking electric vehicle to highlight some critical EV-related points.
A Tesla takes anywhere from minutes to days to charge, depending on voltage. Think of it this way, if you have a laptop or tablet like I do, if you plug it directly into the wall, it charges faster. However, when I plug my tablet into my desk that gets power from the wall, it charges at a much slower pace.
Going into Labor Day weekend, when many Americans opt to hop into their vehicles and enjoy the last bit of summer before the fall and winter holiday seasons descends upon us, Californians were asked not to charge their electric cars to help conserve energy leading up to this week’s heat wave.
To be fair, some of us who don’t live in California assume it’s filled with overly tan, avocado toast-eating EV drivers.
I can’t speak to the level of tan or amount of avocado consumed. Still, the reality is only 4% of cars on California roads are electric, so it’s not as if the plea to not charge affects as many as you’d think.
However, the state Fire Battalion Chief Issac Sanchez had a different message for Californians, given the wildfires around the state:
“We recommend cars are fully charged and ready to go. If that’s your means of evacuation and if you don’t do it, you are unable to evacuate, life safety is a priority. At least it is for us.”
I love the bit of snarkiness at the end; at least someone cares about common sense in the land of milk of honey.
The ineptitude of those appointed in the Biden administration never ceases to astound me. For example, energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm had nothing but praise for the great state of California, expressing her feelings without shame, or thought for that matter:
“I love the fact that California is unabashedly bold about (green) energy policy.”
Bold, I suppose, is a word you can use, and she does warn:
“California’s boldness has…shaped our willingness in the federal government to move further and faster.”
Finally, my favorite quote from Secretary Granholm:
“California is in the lead and can show the rest of the nation how it is done.”
Unfortunately, some states plan to follow California’s ‘lead,’ including Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont. Even my state of Virginia might follow the California path. Last year, the state’s Democrats passed a law that ties our emissions policy to California.
I could write a separate article on the sheer stupidity it is for any state to tie its legislative future to what another state’s legislature does. Still, I’ll spare you that rant for a later day. Instead, I think it best I start looking for homes, perhaps in another state that isn’t at risk of transforming into a New California.
As Secretary Granholm says, California is showing the rest of the nation how energy policy is done. But, unfortunately, she’s just missing the word poorly.
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