More climate idiocy from California

Source: US Department of Energy

If the looming spectre of rising electricity prices due to CARB’s upcoming “cap and trade” isn’t enough, now the Department of Water resources has opted to be less efficient by giving low cost electricity the boot. Somebody else will buy it, so there’s no net savings other than banking “feel good” capital.

From the green section of the Chico News and Review:

Coal-fired plant gets the boot

Department of Water Resources will not renew lease with Nevada plant

This article was published on 06.21.12.

California’s Department of Water Resources will not renew a lease with the coal-burning Reid Gardner Power Station in Moapa Valley, Nev., as part of a recently released climate action plan.

The department aims to cut carbon emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, and the Reid Gardner plant, which has served the State Water Project (the water system that diverts water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta), accounts for one-fourth of DWR’s total emissions, according to The Sacramento Bee. Water Resources will purchase more energy from renewable energy sources, the California Independent System Operator and Lodi Energy Center, a natural gas plant beginning operations this summer.

Reid Gardner had accounted for about 10 to 15 percent of DWR’s energy for the past 30 years. The contract with the company expires in 2013.


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The DWP’s plan to meet the Cap and Trade goals is noted in their Climate Action Plan-
So who will actually be paying for the power to move the water to the folks down south?


Panic stricken carbon strangulation policies will be the ruin of the economy unless the politicians wake up (soon) to the reality that CO2 never was the Great Boogeyman it has been made out to be.
There’s been trivial (if any) global temperature increase for over a decade now…

Mike McMillan

A valid hockey stick


We pay 26c per KW now here in ChCh N.Z.


shaking head….


Mr. Watt, Will this force you to leave California if they keep it up? I can’t imagine being able to afford electric bill..


Do Californians have some sort of death wish? Or are they sensible people who are being held hostage by a cadre of environmental radicals?

This is what I pay in England
first 219 kWh units used at 26.63p each = 41 $US cent
next XYZ kWh units used at 11.22p each =17.4 $US cent


Do you have a link to the source of the price of electricity graph please.


I think it’s a little premature to assume this will increase their cost for electricity and I can actually see some benefit to California from this.
Water Resources will purchase more energy from renewable energy sources, the California Independent System Operator and Lodi Energy Center, a natural gas plant beginning operations this summer.
I’m betting that most of that “more energy” will be coming from Lodi. I believe the natural gas is going to remain cheap for a good long time (thank you fracking). In addition, you’ve now got a large energy consumer in California, switching their power source from a plant in Nevada to a plant inside California. Keeps the money in state.


Anthony, why are you still living in Kalifornia?


kakatoa says:
June 21, 2012 at 2:09 pm

The answer is desal. But, the reality is, the coastal communities will have to force Sacto to build the power generation required. The CA Energy Commission and Coastal Commission will have to be put on a leash (better to abolish them).
rabbit says:
June 21, 2012 at 2:28 pm

The elites want a private playground. They think they can keep people away from their exclusive areas. They created the CA Coastal Commission to allow special people to live near the beach without the annoying masses (like us) nearby.

Robert j. Sandor

As residential users, in Northern California we are paying $.34 per kWh at the margin. Essentially they sell you the first package of kWh hours at $.13 (called the baseline), but it is usually just enough power to make a couple of pieces of toast. The PUC/PGE cabal then gets to claim an average rate of $.19.
However, most households use way beyond the baseline. I can’t even begin to imagine a family of four who can live within the “baseline”.
In our house (no air conditioning, mostly CFL lighting, gas appliances) essentially our monthly bill is $400 just for electricity.
Given the national average of $.11, it’s just a scam to enrich PG&E, and help make the bogus case for residential solar installs. California is going to fail, it is doing everything to drive residents and businesses out of the state.


Oh, yes, I nearly forgot. Texas domestic power prices went up 50% after becoming the state with the most wind generation capacity. Thanks to Enron Wind (now GE), T Boone Pickens, and Rick Perry.

ursus augustus

About as logical as stuffing toothpaste back into its tube with a toothpick because they share the word ‘tooth’. Meanwhile Californians with drive hither and thither in their tens of millions in their cars between ariconditioned/heated homes and airconditioned/heated workplaces and generally gobble up the brainless bling of modern consumer society as they upsize their lives to obese pointlessness. Shhh, dont mention the banality of it all. Its the economy stupid, i.e. its a stupid, uneconomic economy. Just because AGW is largely bulldust and this sort of moronic policy probably counterproductive rather than just pointless does not mean there are no good reasons to reconsider bad habits.


What is absolutely the most idiotic thing about these measures is that they are extremely expensive and will have no impact whatsoever on the environment. The amount of CO2 emissions removed from the atmosphere is such an absolutely miniscule amount that it is not only negligible, it is completely immeasurable. They will make absolutely no difference whatsoever. In fact, the Moapa decision will likely have NO impact at all, not even theoretically because it will still be there producing power, it will just mean cheaper power for people in Nevada.
What this IS going to do is move the tech industry out of California. Silicon Valley is going to end up looking like portions of the central valley after the irrigation water was shut off. They are killing their own golden goose. These people are so absolutely dumb yet believe they are the smart ones. Just insane.

@ursus augustus
It’s a bad habit to heat / cool your home / workplace ?

California was recently voted worst state to do business in by a survey of executives. The state is stupid all over, not just when it comes to energy production. They are determined to become environmental heroes, even if that means further bankrupting an already bankrupt state. Problem is, they don’t know how to go about reducing carbon emissions, assuming there is some benefit from doing so. Two easy ways : build nuclear plants, or natural gas plants. Natural gas plants produce about half the carbon emissions of a coal plant and nowadays are relatively cheap.
Nuclear plants are the cheapest – their operating costs dropped below coal in 1999 and are now about 33% cheaper than coal. uranium fuel costs run around half a cent per kilowatthour, total operating costs around 3 cents. Natural gas is somewhere around 5 cents I believe. There are currently 465 nuclear plants either currently being built, in the planning/siting stages or being planned for the future. China, India, Russia, and Britain have the largest number. With all those plants at Gen3+ or Gen 4 technology, fears of accidents can be laid to rest. California has rather stupidly believed their own propaganda concerning the cost of solar and wind – they produce simple minded analyses that disregard the high costs that must be borne by introducing an uncontrollable power source into the grid – regardless of how much wind and solar they generate, not one single controllable power plant can be shuttered. One may save on fuel costs, but often the larger cost of operating a plant (mortgage, maintenance, staffing, etc.) will be the same as it was when it was producing at full power, rather than simply being on line (and idling, consuming fuel) waiting for the uncontrollable power to sudddenly disappear – the wind dies down or goes away, clouds or storms shut off solar power (or darkness) . Britain recently determined that the
overall cost of wind was double what the wind proponents originally claimed it would be. It’s good to see California steering its population into a collision with reality. Gov Brown is just the dope to do just that, as he has proved in the past.


If idocy drives everyone out of the state, who will pay the salaries of the rulers.
Sorry to be the wet blanket.


For those expecting a continuation of cheap natural gas I believe you are going to be disappointed. From reading quite a bit about the largest player in the industry, Chesapeake, I’ve learned that natural gas in the U.S. is currently the only commodity in the world that sells below its cost of production. That cost is above $6.00 mcf for the lowest cost producers and $7-8 is not uncommon. There is currently a large over-supply for several reasons, but one of the biggest is that producers signed contracts back when natural gas was $12 mcf that required drilling to maintain the lease rights. Drilling activity has switched to liquids (oil). In Europe and Asia prices are at $10 mcf and the possibility of LNG exports is becoming more realistic. Expect substantially higher natural gas prices 3-5 years out, perhaps sooner. Oh, I need to add that with fracking you get 60-70% of the well’s production in the first year, much higher than conventional wells and another reason for the current over-supply.


There’s nothing wrong with California that can’t be fixed by moving the State government 1200 miles West.

D. J. Hawkins

vukcevic says:
June 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm
This is what I pay in England
first 219 kWh units used at 26.63p each = 41 $US cent
next XYZ kWh units used at 11.22p each =17.4 $US cent

$0.41 per KWh equivalent?!? Ye gods and little fishes!!! I’d be looking to throw someone a blanket party for that!!

Reblogged this on Public Secrets and commented:
We are ruled by such idiots. And it’s our fault for electing them.


Here Australia, (A$ = US$ at the moment), our rates have just gone up 18.8% as of 1 July. New rates are approx 35 c / kW-hr at the Winter rate, and go to over 40 c / kW-hr at the peak summer rate.
Our rates also increase as you use more.

Tsk Tsk

The beauty of that curve is that it gives businesses plenty of time to migrate out of the state. The net impact to national GDP will be small but to the state it will be devastating. I have to admit to some schadenfreude at seeing the greatest of all blue states slitting its own throat. Now if we could just fix the financial industry propping up New York that would do wonders for knocking out the other side of the coalition.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

PPL in Pennsylvania is my electric company. Technically they distribute, they are not an electricity supplier, they don’t generate it.
Two June bills, Residential rate, one is for 670kWh, other is 118kWh, priced at cents/kWh. Slight differences in rates, I’ll present them to the decimal place where they are the same. Taxes included.
Distribution Charge: Customer Charge: $8.75 (flat fee)
— 3.363 ¢/kWh
— PA Tax Adj Surcharge at -0.34500000%
Transmission Charge:
— 0.74 ¢/kWh
Generation Charge: Capacity and Energy:
— 6.4 ¢/kWh
— PA Tax Adj Surcharge at -0.28400000%
= 10.473 ¢/kWh effective rate which includes taxes
Call it 10.5 or 10. ¢/kWh, however you want to nitpick the significant digits.
PA lets you designate your electricity supplier, feel free to pay some more and believe all your electricity originates from a Green renewable solar farm in Arizona. I haven’t picked one so PPL buys the electricity for me. Price can change every three months. Amazingly enough, PPL’s volume buying yields low prices so not choosing is consistently cheapest, and without any contracts or the restrictive terms that suppliers are prone to insist on.
The “price to compare” (presumably w/o taxes) when selecting suppliers, what PPL is charging, for Residential:
3/1/2012-5/31/2012 6.935 ¢/kWh
6/1/2012-8/31/2012 7.993 ¢/kWh
Up a penny just in time for air conditioner season.
So, what are you really paying?

greg copeland

We pay between 7 and 8 cents /kwhr here in NW Arkansas and it comes from a coal fired plant.

Claude Harvey

I predict that in just a few short years, the rest of the country will be inviting Mexico to “Just take California back”. I also predict Mexico’s response will be, “Only if you keep the Californians.” The typical Californian appears to think a revenue bond is “free money”. The only thing keeping me here is the weather (and I’m starting to think I may no longer be able to justify the ever steepening price to be paid for lunatic public policy).

D. J. Hawkins

Since even going 100% natural gas won’t get them to the 80% reduction, how many KWh do they need in renewables to meet their goal? Is there that much renewable energy available in California?

Jeff Mitchell

They have to kill California to save it. And they won’t save it…
There will be a net increase in CO2 emissions as a result. The Reid-Gardner Plant won’t stop producing electricity and will simply sell it to someone else. Any new natural gas plant in California will be additional emissions above that. Natural gas is mostly CH4 and other hydrocarbons. All they are doing is fiddling with accounting, not reducing CO2.
If they are willing to buy the expensive electricity and let us have the cheap stuff, who am I to stop them?


No wonder the graph looks like a hockey stick. Calif has gotten itself into a real positive feedback loop, with everything working to accelerate costs. On one side they require lower consumption, which automatically raises the break-even cost of every KWH and cuts investment. On the other side they remove generators, which makes more conservation critically necessary, thus raising the break-even cost…. and on and on.
Nature doesn’t have tipping points, but murderous Gaia-poisoned humans will go critical every time.

John Graham

John G
In Victoria, southern Australia, our electrical prices have just gone up because of the new carbon tax, new rate first 1000 kWh $.21.3598, next 4000 kWh $.22.0968, balance $.22.4048 with a daily supply charge of $.66. It’s about a 2c plus a little bit more increase from what they were charging. This in a place where they once boasted about having some of the cheepest electricity in the world. Come on the next election so we can get rid of the current Federal Government.

Tom in Florida

My new bill for last month just came and it was at $.0852/KWh. Add a $5.90 monthly customer base charge and $8.50 in taxes and fees for a total bill of just over $97 for the month. Don’t forget I live in SW Florida where day time highs are in the 90’s and we use a/c when home. Not too shabby I would say. Did I mention there is no State income tax in Florida?


In Northern Virginia we are paying around $0.07 to $0.08 per kWh.

They are working small SOFC fuels cells. As long as cheap shale gas exists, soon the technology might allow some people to bypass the utilities completely for less money.


Welcome to Dystopia. The future is going to become dark, poor and violent thanks to the legacy of the green cult.


California…..State of Confusion…..Divorced from Reality

William McClenney

rabbit says:
June 21, 2012 at 2:28 pm
Do Californians have some sort of death wish? Or are they sensible people who are being held hostage by a cadre of environmental radicals?
Interesting questions, and as an import to CA (1986) I have had many an occasion to ponder. In fact just Tuesday a couple of lawyers and I were slapsticking the AB 904 “hockey puck” around by email. It started off with this:
“Fw: Roundtable Discussion on AB 904 = Tuesday, June 26 (4pm)
FYI. More AB 32 initiatives. Forget this incrementalism, just making it harder to find parking spaces. Why not get to the point and legislate that we can’t own more than one car? How about no cars and mandate use of public transportation or bikes or walking (and must live no farther than X miles from work)? Coming next! To reduce VMT and save the world! California can do it. Yes we can!
Amazing. It will do wonders for the economy, don’t you think? Can’t park, can’t drive….can’t shop… And with the density they want, no personal vegetable gardens either.
Some may not appreciate my response but consider the reason within:
“RE: Roundtable Discussion on AB 904 = Tuesday, June 26 (4pm)
This is what comes to mind these days on AB 32/904:
HAL: ‘Just a moment…….. Just a moment…….. I’ve just picked up a fault in the AE-35 unit. It will go 100 percent failure within 72 hours.’ states the HAL 9000 computer in 2001 A Space Odyssey.
We had the chance with Prop. 23 to essentially neuter AB 32 and it went down in flames. From that moment on I turned on AB 32. California’s “AE-35” unit are its people, and we picked up the imminent fault with our people with Prop. 23.
Back to the script:
HAL: Yes, it’s puzzling. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like this before.
HAL: I would recommend that we put the unit back in operation and let it fail.
I say Ditto.”
To which the other lawyer responded:
“The best way to get rid of a stupid/idiotic/imbecilic law is to enforce the hell out of it…….”
P.S. And pardons to all, especially REP for my slip-up last night on another thread here. I had two browsers up, one on WUWT the other on another WordPress site. Not sure how I switched between them but the post here was meant for there.
[REPLY: Da Nada. Things happen and moderators gotta do what moderators gotta do. -REP]


I am beginning to think that the big quake that’s overdue in California is actually going to be a blessing as it will gravel the state into smaller manageable bits populated by survivors that will shoot anyone on sight who gets in the way of their recovery.


The California environmental lobby – among others – is working very hard to see that the San Onofre nuclear reactors are not turned on again. Current plans are to restart no earlier than August. If this turns out to be a hot summer, we could see the dreaded rolling blackouts.

Well, here in South Australia we are already paying your 2026 price.

Sun Spot

California doing the same as stupid Europe.

The productive are fast approaching a point of no return. That is when the physical strength of society has been sapped to such an extent that a generation finally is born that glorifies in production of inactivity and the rest of humanity simply cannot afford it; and, that’s when the Greece hits the Spain and California’s sour grape economics push Blue Cities into bankruptcy.


The only thing they forgot was to change the state’s name to Zimbabwe.


Even though global macroeconomics hint increasingly at deflation, CA, always against the grain, is trying its level best (worst?) to incite regional stagflation!

Aussie Luke Warm

Is Waddles Gillard also the ruler of California?

Just as bad, we have Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown.

Ed Barbar

I wish my average cost per KwH were 15c per KwH, here in CA. Unfortunately, I have kids that leave the massive number of lights on in our home.
I’m going to spend roughly $4,000 to go to LED lights for this reason alone. I’ll make it up within a few years.


jdgalt says:
June 21, 2012 at 7:29 pm
“The only thing they forgot was to change the state’s name to Zimbabwe.”
I like that… “Zimbabwefornia.”


PGE the northern california utility petitioned the PUC (state public utility commission)
to lower rates but the PUC refused.