Washington, DC – As the August heat continues to roll through American communities, millions of California residents have been forced to turn off their power by their state government to accommodate the state’s climate emissions goals. California is ground zero for the consequences of a radical climate policies that focus solely on renewable sources, completely factor out other environmentally-friendly energy options like nuclear power and natural gas, and fail to take into account the everyday reliability of our electric grid.
The irony of this plan to better our climate is that in reality, it is not only extremely expensive, but also it comes with significant environmental, economic, and human costs. We should use all of the energy resources available to us and work to preserve our environment for generations to come. We should also want to preserve the public health and safety of communities and create policies that allow families to power their homes. These cannot and should not be mutually exclusive. We also do not want to shut down our economy again, which was how we temporarily met the UN climate emissions standards. Unfortunately, Democrats want to do whatever it takes to implement these radical climate goals nationwide through their Green New Deal.
Learn more on California’s blackouts in The Wall Street Journal and E&E News.
The Wall Street Journal
By The Editorial Board
August 19, 2020
Millions of Californians have lost power in recent days amid a brutal heat wave, and state regulators warn of more outages in the days and perhaps years to come. Welcome to California’s green new normal, a harbinger of a fossil-free world.
Mr. Newsom is demanding an investigation, though he can start with his party’s obsessions over climate and eliminating fossil fuels. Even former Gov. Gray Davis admitted the culprit is the state’s anti-fossil fuel policies. “The bottom line is, people don’t want lights to go down,” he told Politico. “People also want a carbon-free future. Sometimes those two aspirations come into conflict.” They certainly do.
California’s Independent System Operator (Caiso) has been warning for years that the state’s increasing dependence on intermittent renewables, especially solar, is making it harder to ensure reliable power. Renewables currently make up about 36% of California’s electric generation, and Democrats have set a 60% mandate for 2030 and 100% for 2045.
Caiso in part blamed cloud cover, weak winds and failures at a couple of power plants for this weekend’s power outages. But this happens when you rush to shut down power plants to meet government diktats and reduce the amount of reliable baseload power. Unlike fossil-fuel plants, solar and wind can’t ramp up quickly when other power generators go down. Solar power also plunges in the evening, and the state didn’t have enough backup power to compensate to meet high demand.
Mr. Newsom on Monday acknowledged “gaps” in reliability amid the state’s transition to renewables while affirming the state remains “committed to radically changing the way we produce and consume energy.”
In other words, Democrats in Sacramento are so committed to ending fossil fuels that the hoi polloi are simply going to have to make some sacrifices—such as living with blackouts as if the state were a Third World country. So shut up and broil, and wait for the Green New Deal to do this for the rest of America.
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By Peter Behr
August 20, 2020
When rolling blackouts hit heat-stricken California last weekend, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) angrily blasted the state’s grid officials for failing to do their job.
But the blackouts were something else.
“Obviously, this was a wake-up call” revealing the grid’s vulnerability, said Ralph Cavanagh, co-director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s climate and clean energy program, a green energy advocate who has been immersed in the state’s grid issues for two decades, in an interview.
The California outages triggered the kind of political outrage that could bog down other states and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who is calling for higher levels of renewables and low-carbon energy than California’s goals.
This week revealed again the divisions within the Biden camp over how to deliver on his climate agenda (E&E Daily, Aug. 19). The Golden State’s goal is to achieve a zero-carbon emissions grid by 2045. Biden’s plan would get to that point nationwide in 2035.
The crisis has also highlighted pitfalls when climate policy disconnects from the huge operational challenges in reconstructing the nation’s electric power networks — now filled with fossil fuel resources — as clean energy infrastructure.
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