By Ronald Stein
California professes to be the leader of everything and spouts voracious pride of being the State that imports more electricity than any other state, and through its dysfunctional energy policies has forced California to be the only state in contiguous America that imports most of its crude oil energy from foreign country suppliers to meet the energy demands of the state.
That dependency on other suppliers has increased imported crude oil from foreign countries from 5 percent in 1992 to 58 percent today of total consumption. The imported crude oil costs California more than $60 million dollars a day, yes, every day, being paid to oil-rich foreign countries, depriving Californians of jobs, careers, and business opportunities. We’ve yet to receive any thank you cards from foreign suppliers for the states’ policies that are making wealthy foreign countries, wealthier!
To the detriment of Californians, the costs of expensive imported electricity is being borne by residents and businesses alike, and precisely hard hitting to our disadvantaged residents, particularly Latinos and African Americans. California households are already paying 50% more, and industrial users are paying double the national average for electricity.
As California plans to shutter three natural gas power plants and its last nuclear power plant the impact of power plant closures in California are assured to further increase the cost of power to Californians. Those four power plants have been providing continuous uninterruptible electricity to Californians. With the state having no plans to replace the capacity of those closures with in-state intermittent electricity from wind and solar, the state will need to import more high-priced electricity to fill the void, if other states even have that extra capacity, and let residents and businesses pay the premium.
The states’ climate policies have driven up the cost of electricity and fuels to be are among the highest in the country, which have driven up the prices of virtually everything used in our daily lives. California’s climate policies disproportionately harm its poorest and disadvantaged residents.
Energy is at the forefront of everything that touches our lives and California Governor Newsom is doing everything possible to continually INCREASE the cost of electricity and fuels to its residents.
Moving to a “100% electric” society and eliminating fossil fuels would mean we have to replace all gasoline-powered vehicles and machinery, and all oil and natural gas feed stocks for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, paints, synthetic fibers, fertilizers, and plastics for cell phones, computers, car bodies, packaging, wind turbine blades, solar panel films and the thousands of other products manufactured from the petroleum derivatives that wind and soalr are incapable of manufacturing.
A major focus of the states’ climate policies has been targeted toward the oil and natural gas industry that was virtually non-existent before 1900. Today, California has less than 0.5% of the world’s population (40 million vs. 8 billion). However, oil and gas is not just a state business with a few refineries in California, but an international industry with more than 700 refineries worldwide of the suppliers that meet global demands.
California is an “energy island” situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Arizona/Nevada Stateline, with no existing pipelines over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The state is inhabited by roughly 40 million citizens and is an energy hog demanding more than sixty million gallons of various transportation fuels on a daily basis from suppliers to drive (no pun intended) the 5th largest economy in the world.
Daily energy use for California’s 145 airports (inclusive of 33 military, 10 majors, and more than 100 general aviation) is 13 million gallons of aviation fuels, or one-fifth of the nation’s jet fuel consumption. California’s 31 million registered vehicles are consuming 10 million gallons a day of diesel and 42 million gallons a day of gasoline.
The Governor perpetuates continuous cost increases with his mission to markedly reduce in-state oil production even more and is seeking to permanently ban oil-shale fracking technology’s use which would escalate costs and emissions from foreign crude oil imports to California to fill the gap of ever-declining California and Alaska production, further crippling the State, forcing the continuation of California as a remarkable national security risk for the USA.
The state is already spending $60 million dollars every day to import 58% of the states’ crude oil needs from foreign countries, and the Governor wants to increase that expense for the state, again with the costs being borne by those that can least afford it.
The state already has about half of all the EV’s in the country. The 650,000 EV’s represent a dismal 2 percent of the 31 million registered vehicles in the state, and wants more EV cars and trucks which will not be paying any fuel taxes to support the funds needed for transportation infrastructure which will lead to more road taxes on the other 98 percent.
EV batteries for those cars and truck are definitely not clean and not green. The climate cult is fearful of sharing that all the mineral products and metals needed to make wind turbines, solar panels, and EV batteries are mined and processed in places like Baotou, Inner Mongolia, Bolivia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, mostly under Chinese control, under minimal to nonexistent labor, wage, environmental, reclamation, and worker health and safety regulations. Amnesty International has documented children and adults mining cobalt in narrow man-made tunnels along with the exposure to the dangerous gases emitted during the procurement of these rare minerals.
Access to safe, reliable, and affordable energy is key to helping safeguard the ability for California working families to afford basic necessities such as food, education, electronics, medical care, and housing. The state needs an All-of-the-Above energy approach – a diverse mix of in-state energy sources including intermittent electricity from wind and solar, and traditional sources such as oil and natural gas – to meet our energy needs in the most sustainable way possible.
Hopefully, California’s Governor and lawmakers will consider the impact of the state’s dysfunctional and expensive energy policies on the 40 million residents of the 5th largest economy in the world, and not have California escalate its dependency on foreign countries for our existence.