By Ronald Stein
Which comes first, California’s Democratic leaders, who currently control the state’s government, preaching the need to go green to the residents? Or, are the residents preferring green as the direction for our government leaders to pursue?
Regardless of the answer to the above two questions, the democrat’s overzealous creative actions toward the green the citizens favor has caused energy costs of electricity and transportation fuels in California to continuously climb to some of the highest levels in the country, and those costs are having a direct effect on increasing the homeless population as high energy costs drive up the costs of virtually everything else.
In the states’ pursuit of 100 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2045, last year alone, California imported up to 29 percent because it could not generate that electricity in-state. Imported electricity comes at higher costs and those costs are being borne by residents and businesses alike. Without the huge land requirements for wind and solar renewable electricity, the need to import more will escalate every year.
Intermittent electricity from low power density renewables is expensive to consumers and have contributed to California household users paying 50% more, and industrial users paying more than 100% more than the national average for electricity.
It gets bleaker in the coming years, as Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti recently announced that Los Angeles will shut down three gas powered electricity generating power plants at Scattergood, Haynes, and Harbor:
- The 823 MW Scattergood plant in Playa Del Rey to be shuttered in 2024, and
- The 575 MW Haynes plant in Long Beach to be shuttered in 2029, and
- The 472 MW Harbor plant in Wilmington to be shuttered in 2029.
While refusing to reconstruct these facilities to accommodate more restricting standards, the mayor went on to say, “this is the beginning of the end of natural gas in Los Angeles.”
As you also know, California is phasing out nuclear reactors that have been generating continuously uninterruptable 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 getting ready for the renewable intermittent electricity from wind and solar.
Importing more expensive electricity from out of state will further drive up the cost of electricity in California. Imported electricity will increase dramatically over the years as the state mothballs it’s nuclear and natural gas power plants.
The Mayor, Governor, and every other elected and appointed official is deliberately ignoring the fact that Natural Gas generating plants currently provide about 47 percent of the state’s electricity, and the state has NO plans to replace that with renewables!
California also believes it’s better to import crude oil instead of increasing in-state crude oil production from the largest shale reserves and ocean crude oil reserves in the country, in the Monterey Shale and Pacific Ocean. There are approximately 2 billion barrels offshore Santa Barbara that are discovered, estimated and producible, but subject to state and federal moratoria on production. The larger reserves are within 7 miles of the coast. This number is significant in that, with recently proven slant-drilling technology, formations within 7 miles of shore are accessible mostly from land-based slant drilling, with NO offshore spill risk.
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’s $60 million EVERY DAY of our money being paid to oil rich foreign countries.
Adding insult to injury Sacramento Democrats are seriously considering Assembly Bill AB-345 (Muratsuchi) “Oil and gas: operations: location restrictions” which would require 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.
The effect of this “2,500 ft.” clear space around production wells would virtually destroy California’s in-state oil production by half resulting in California shelling out another $16 Billion, on top of the current $32 Billion every year (again, Yes, that’s a “B”, like in $48 Billion per year), That’s an increase from the current $60 million EVERY DAY, to $90 million EVERY DAY of our money being paid to a host of friendly and not-so friendly oil rich foreign countries.
In addition to paying more every year for electricity, California’s Democrats remain adamant that it’s better to be the only state in America importing most of its crude oil needs and pay those 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 Australians recently voted their green lunacy party out of office, so maybe, just maybe, the California voters will express their opinions at upcoming elections and change their misdirected leadership or they will continue to incur increased energy costs.
*Ronald Stein, Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure of PTS Advance, headquartered in Irvine, California