TURNER: California’s Blackouts And Brownouts Prove The State Is Facing An Energy Crisis

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Daniel Turner Contributor
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Green energy is failing California.  The state is consuming more energy than it produces, and therefore, the grid is failing.  Blackouts are not just happening, they are expected.  The state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, took the blame … sort of.

“Let me crystal clear” he declared with those qualifying words that act as a politician’s warning label that what follows is usually bull manure, “we failed to predict and plan these shortages.”

Yup. Bull manure.  If you invite 10 people for dinner and you only buy eight steaks (ok, sorry, this is an article about green issues, so I’ll follow their values), you buy eight beyond meat, plant-based disks, you didn’t “fail to predict and plan.” You gambled. Maybe a guest would convulse at the idea of eating processed soy? Maybe a guest would get hit by a bus and not show? Fact is, you precisely planned and predicted the shortage. There’s no surprise. There’s no mea culpa (except for serving your guests vegan turds).

Governor Newsom and state leaders in California, all pushing a green agenda, knew exactly what would happen. And it was, in fact, foretold like an Old Testament prophesy.

Dodger’s Stadium went dark in the 12th inning Padres game back in August of 2018. The reason? Power shortages.  Nighttime game, solar is offline, maybe there was no wind? The grid was pushed to the limit, and it failed.

Three months earlier, the manager of the state’s electric grid warned this might happen. California had not seen a snowy winter. Less snow means less water in the rivers, less water in the rivers means less hydroelectric power, which is roughly 13% of the state’s electric grid supply. That was the reality in 2018, just like there’s a reality in 2020. We can switch the talk to “climate change,” or the Paris Climate Agreements, or even fossil-fuel loving Donald Trump all day long, but it does nothing to alter reality: hydro was failing.

Let’s add another factor to 2018 — sunlight. Every day millions of Californians would go home after work or school and turn on the air conditioning, TV and increase electricity consumption. The grid manager pointed out — fairly obviously — that solar panels don’t work after sunset. All these realities brought about blackouts. Those realities haven’t changed much, especially with regards to energy consumption.

During the current coronavirus lockdowns people are home consuming energy. So serious is the shortage that former California Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown tweeted his fellow citizens to “turn up your damn thermostat”.

See? It’s your fault, California. You and your damn … living. Not the slew of California leaders who forced a green agenda which violates the laws of math, physics, engineering and common sense.

For years California’s leaders have pushed this agenda and touted their “accomplishments.” In 2006, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger launched the 1 million solar roofs initiatives which was finally achieved in 2019. Win!

In 2012, Governor Jerry Brown introduced the Cap and Trade Program where carbon emissions were taxed. The California Air Resources Board boasts that since its inception $9.3 billion has been pumped “into local economies and improving public health and the environment across the state — especially in disadvantaged and low-income communities.” Win!

Then there’s the nuclear power plant closures. San Onofre Nuclear in 2013, Indian Point Nuclear in 2019, Diablo Canyon slated for 2024. Eleven coal plants have been closed since 2007, and since 2009 California has cut its out-of-state coal-generated electricity by half. Win!

So many wins, so much environmental success … then why isn’t it working? Math.

Gov. Newsom, previous governors, and all green leaders took energy-generating plants offline, and the green technology isn’t making up the difference.  You lose weight when you cut calories.  California is on an energy diet … except it’s not fat, but light. Air conditioning. Or your spouse’s ventilator. This energy shortage is bad news for people in an elevator, or those who use the internet, or want to stay in communication with the world.  The shortage is a serious problem for if you need to charge your green electric vehicle (and Gov. Newsom loves EVs).

You know what kind of car works in a blackout? Mine.

I have nothing against green energy. The technology is fascinating. The future is bright. But the shortcomings are very real. California’s green energy failures were predictable but, bright side, they are reversible if their leaders would embrace reliable, abundant, domestic, inexpensive fossil fuels. Sadly, Gov. Newsom and the green politicians who dominate the Democrat Party are not concerned about boring facts like megawatts and kilowatt hours, nor are they concerned about the people who will suffer in the process of achieving a green dream. The green agenda is too new, too exciting, too powerful to let something like science get in the way.

There is nothing “progressive” about being green when you plunge people into darkness. That’s regressive. That’s a step backwards. That’s where California is headed, and the rest of America should watch and make sure these regressive policies don’t take hold in their own state.

Daniel Turner is the founder and executive director of Power The Future, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for American energy jobs. Contact him at daniel@powerthefuture.com and follow him on Twitter @DanielTurnerPTF