By Ronald Stein
Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure of PTS Advance, headquartered in Irvine, California
California’s green crusade direction and actions are increasing the costs of electricity and fuels which guarantees growth of the homeless, poverty, and welfare populations, and further fuels (no pun intended) the housing affordability crisis.
It’s scary that our leaders can’t “see” that the regressive energy policies have serious consequences for working families. Their misguided directives are intertwined with every aspect of daily life and is causing the continuous growth of poverty and homelessness from the Oregon state line on the north all the way to the Mexican border on the south.
California professes to be the leader of everything, but spouting voracious pride of being the only state in America that imports most of its crude oil energy from foreign countries, and the State that and imports more electricity than any other state, may not be in the best interest of California’s 5th largest economy in the world. Its fine to import when you get bargain rates, but both oil and electricity, are two commodities that are ultra-expensive to import and drives up the cost of everything.
The inability of wind and solar to replace continuously operating uninterrupted power from nuclear and natural gas plants is causing the state to import more and more of its electricity. The good news is the state suffered no brownouts (for once). The bad news is the imported electricity comes at a higher price tag being borne by residents and businesses alike. With the huge land requirements necessary for wind and solar renewable electricity, and already high land values, California will have to import more energy every year.
Prices for electricity in California are already fifty percent higher than the national average for residents, and double the national average for commercial, and are projected to go even higher. Who knows how high they’ll go as the state continues its importing appetite for expensive electricity?
Adding to the problem of affordable electricity, California is phasing out nuclear reactors that have been generating continuously uninterruptible carbon-free electricity. In 2013, California already shutdown the continuous nuclear facility of SCE’s San Onofre Generating Station which generated 2,200 megawatts of power and will be closing PG&E’s Diablo Canyon’s 2,160 megawatts of power in 2024.
It gets bleaker in the coming years, as Mayor Garcetti recently announced the forthcoming closures of three DWP natural gas-powered plants at Scattergood, Haynes, and Harbor, saying, “this is the beginning of the end of natural gas in Los Angeles.”
With the shuttering of nuclear and natural gas plants that have been generating continuously uninterruptible electricity, our elected officials seem to be oblivious to the fact that the State has no electricity generating capacity to replace what’s going to be lost. Further, that “green” electricity from wind and solar is only intermittent, as neither generates when the wind is not blowing, and when the sun’s not shining.
With this path forward, in the event other states cannot generate enough electricity to export to California to replace what’s being lost by shutting down the last nuclear plant and three natural gas plants in California, it’s lights out for California’s future.
Regarding the crude oil demands for the state. 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, and both support anti-fracking in California as a successful fracking enterprise would lessen the states’ dependency on that foreign oil. Does the Governor know his actions are supportive of California becoming a National Security risk to America?
California’s love of foreign crude oil is obvious as California increased crude oil imports from foreign countries from 5% in 1992 to 57% in 2018, costing California more than $32 Billion dollars a year (Yes, that’s a “B”)., that equates to $60 million dollars a day being paid to oil rich foreign countries, thereby depriving Californians of jobs and business opportunities. Without those tax paying jobs and businesses, the State’s coiffures are growing thin as it is struggling to pay its welfare and social responsibilities debts.
The Golden State’s position on crude oil production fits right in with Russia’s Vladimir Putin’s goal to control energy. Russia is adamantly against U.S. fracking efforts and very supportive of any environmentalist group or wealthy individual efforts to slow or stop crude oil and natural gas exploration and production within the U.S. and European borders. Recently a Russian funded environmental group gave millions to anti-fracking groups to stop, curtail or severely weaken US fracking of crude oil and natural gas in states like Texas, North Dakota, Colorado, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Pennsylvania.
Adding insult to injury Sacramento Democrats are seriously considering Assembly Bill AB-345 (Muratsuchi) “Oil and gas: operations: location restrictions” which would require, commencing January 1, 2020, that all new oil and gas development that is not on federal land, to be located at least 2,500 feet from a residence, school, childcare facility, playground, hospital, or health clinic. For these purposes, the bill would require the re-drilling of a previously plugged and abandoned oil or gas well or other rework operations, as defined, to be considered new oil and gas development.
The effect of this “2,500” clear space around production wells would virtually destroy California’s in-state oil production by half. That will result in California sending another $16 Billion, on top of the current $32 Billion, a year (Again, Yes, that’s a “B”) that would then equate to a whopping $90 million dollars a day being sent, to those oil rich foreign countries that have the audacity to not even send California a thank you note.
Its mind boggling that our California legislative leaders continuously fail to see the direct correlation between high energy costs for electricity and fuels, and poverty, homelessness, and a housing affordability crisis already impacting the Golden State.