Guest essay by Eric Worrall
A small but vocal group of Californians want to secede from the Union, to avoid President-elect Trump’s climate policies.
Climate Change Secession
Some private citizen groups in California, distraught at the prospect of an America under President Donald Trump, are advocating that the state secede from the union.
Constitutional scholars (and most Californians) assure us the separation is not going to happen. But is there any instance in which California could go its own way? What if Trump withdraws the nation from the United Nations Climate Change Accord and rejects the validity of the global warming threat altogether?
Could and should that set the stage for environmentally precocious California to break ranks with the president and join the Climate Change Treaty as a separate entity? It is not all that outlandish, considering California would not be declaring itself a sovereign state. It would simply be using its existing progressive greenhouse gas emission reduction policies to directly participate in a worldwide crusade to slow the rate of human-induced global warming. That shouldn’t exclude it from being a member of the United States in good standing.
California’s unilateral action could arguably be justified as a legitimate manifestation of States’ Rights that would serve as an inspiration at home and abroad. We are talking about policies aimed at having 33 percent of the state’s electricity come from clean, renewable energy by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050.
Other voices urge that California remain part of the Union, so they can oppose President-elect Donald Trump’s policies from within.
California must lead, not secede
In the Trump era, California must do what it does best — lead
More than a month after the presidential election, many Californians are still stunned by the results. Admittedly #CalExit is a great rallying cry, but secession is not the answer. #CalLeads is a better solution.
Rather than secede, we can do what California does best — lead.
It’s possible the Trump administration will find bipartisan common ground on solutions to our nation’s problems, but it’s equally possible Washington will continue to merely seethe in its dysfunctional swamp. We shouldn’t wait to find out.
Obviously, California still has its share of challenges — from housing costs to education to water — but we’re working on them, not waiting for answers from Washington.
California’s ambitions to be a leading example of renewable energy success are a fantasy.
Last year (2015) California imported 99,210 GWh (33%) of their electricity from out of state, mostly from the South West, up from 25% in 2010. If California seceded they would have to negotiate some fossil fuel electricity import deals real quick, or the lights would go out.
But look on the bright side – if California secedes, Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown finally gets to be President of somewhere.