By Ronald Stein
The good looking and smooth-talking Governor Newsom of California has inflicted so much financial damage to the State that it may take decades to recover, if even possible. One can easily see his mathematical challenges when he blames the Republicans, not being cognizant enough to know that the Democratic dominated state, does not have enough Republicans to oust him out of office.
His destructive energy policies and direction appear to be mostly driven by emotions and the need for instant gratification, are numerous. Let us start to count the ways:
- The State of California is unable to generate enough in-state power and needs to import expensive power from neighboring states. The Governor is proud of California, through its dysfunctional energy policies, imports more electricity (32 percent) than any other state from the Northwest and Southwest as the state in unable to produce enough in-state electricity. How much more electricity is importable?
- The Governor continues to support the closure of natural gas power plants and zero emission nuclear power plants that have been providing continuous and uninterruptible electricity to the grid. He has no plans to replace those shuttered power plants with intermittent electricity from wind and solar that are dependent on weather conditions to generate any electricity. Will any new natural gas or nuclear power plants ever be built in California?
- With his Executive Order to ban new gas-powered cars by 2035, the Governor wants to add more electrical charging demands onto a dysfunctional energy program that has already shuttered one nuclear power plant and three natural gas power plants in recent years (total of 4 in recent years), and has five more to shutter in the cross hairs – the last nuclear plant at Diablo Canyon and four more natural gas power plants. Will subsidies be required for all EV’s?
- California has achieved the dubious record of having the least reliable electrical power system in the nation. Between 2008 and 2017, California was the leading U.S. state for individual power outages with almost 4,297 blackouts in the ten-year period, more than 2.5 times as many as its closest rival, Texas. Power outages are now commonplace in California. Is a new grid required?
- Costs for electricity have been skyrocketing, inflicting more energy costs onto the less fortunate as an unwanted regressive expense. The median income for Latino households in 2016 was $56,200, $55,200 for African American households, and $96,400 for white households. According to several studies, as many as 40 percent of all Californians cannot regularly meet basic monthly expenses.
- The report from the Energy Information Agency (EIA) shows that California’s electricity policies have contributed to household users paying 50 percent more, and industrial users paying more than 100 percent more than the national average for electricity. Only Hawaii has higher rates. What is being done to reverse the cost of electricity?
- “Clean” electricity by 2035 faces two major hurdles: 1) the cost of trillions to turbocharge the clean energy economy so that it relies solely on “clean” electricity by 2035, and 2) resistance from NIMBY’s that are successfully halting those noisy and esthetically obnoxious wind farms from generating their intermittent electricity. How much land is required for intermittent electricity?
- On the other energy front, diminished imported oil from Alaska via tankers from Anchorage and decreasing oil production in-state, the Governor appears proud of the fact that California is the only state in contiguous America that relies on most of its oil demands from foreign countries halfway around the world.
- The Governor is supportive of creating a national security risk for all of America, as California’s dependency on foreign suppliers for California’s energy needs, as well as the West Coast military operations, has increased imported crude oil from foreign countries from 5 percent in 1992 to 58 percent today of total consumption.
- As a result of the Governor’s continuous efforts to decrease in-state oil production, the imported crude oil costs California more than $60 million dollars a day, yes, every day, being paid to oil-rich foreign countries.
- By encouraging oil demands be met from foreign countries halfway around the world, Newsom continues to support greater emissions generated by those foreign countries to meet the states’ energy demands, as they have significantly less stringent environmental regulations than California, if any. Is it ethical to “leak” emission generation to other countries?
- On Earth Day 2021, to gain personal press and another instant gratification act, Newsom ordered an end to fracking in California by 2024, and to work toward phasing out all in-state oil production by 2045, perpetuating continuous cost increases. Newsoms’ irresponsible fiscal actions will increase worldwide emissions and require California to increase its monthly imports resulting in expenditures approaching a whopping $90 million EVERY DAY for foreign countries to support the fifth largest economy in the world. Are the port infrastructures capable of receiving all its energy from foreign countries?
- Incapable of acknowledging that California’s almost 400,000 miles of roadways are heavily dependent on road taxes from fuels that contribute more than $7 billion annually, the same tax base that also funds the environmental programs that will be diminishing in the decades ahead.
- The Governor is reluctant to advise EV buyers to be aware that the “tax equalizer”, the “VMT” is coming. The Vehicle Mileage Tax (VMT) that has been discussed for years sounds like a logical idea – requiring the users of the highways to pay the fees to maintain those highways. The VMT tax will be needed to replace the $7 billion annually from fuel sales that will be diminishing in the decades ahead.
When I started compiling the list of the mathematical shortcomings of California Governor Newsom, I was surprised by the length of the list which has made this Op Ed long enough.
More in “PART II – Governor Newsom’s mathematical shortcomings are his recall challenges” to be published next week.
To survive the recall election, the hypocritical Governor Newsom remains hopeful that the populace is as oblivious as he is to the financial damage he has made, and continues to make, to the State’s economy.
Avoiding reality, he hopes their votes are swayed by his looks, charm, and all his instant gratification “victory lap” pandemic appearances