California’s recent electricity blackouts left millions of residents without power during a summer heatwave this weekend, putting vulnerable populations at risk while inconveniencing the highest utility ratepayers of any state.
The blackouts occurred over two days and the electric grid continues to teeter on failure.
What’s more, the blackouts are a feature, not a bug, of the “green” energy model that progressive Democrats want to impose on the entire country—and a Biden–Harris election victory would almost certainly turn that vision into reality.
Joe Biden, the Democrat presidential nominee, has already pledged a $2 trillion plan to transition the U.S. away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy sources like solar and wind, which is exactly the cause of California’s energy problems.
The Democrat-controlled state government committed to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, and a 60 percent transition by 2030.
State-regulated utility companies have been adjusting to anti-fossil mandates, but the plan has proved disastrous just two years out of the gate.
Nevertheless, Biden is expected to champion his California-based national energy proposal this week at the Democrat National Convention.
He previously vowed not to “tinker around the edges.”
“We’re going to make historic investments that will seize the opportunity,” Biden said in July.
Democrats and Republicans have both raised questions about Biden’s noticeable cognitive decline, and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, would become president if he resigned from office due to mental health concerns.
Harris is a progressive Democrat from California.
The influential far-left wing of the Democrat Party—led by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez, D-NY—is pushing a $16 trillion “Green New Deal” remake of the nation’s energy supply and economy.
In June, the DNC’s Environment and Climate Crisis Council, stacked with activists and “environmental justice” groups, went off-script and released a 14-page radical plan, eight-times the scope of Biden’s proposal, without consulting party leaders.
The power play was meant to drive Biden even farther left and force the DNC’s platform to include the extinction of all fossil fuels if Biden is elected. That includes across-the-board bans on natural gas, hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”), and exports of oil and gas to other countries.
DNC leaders walked back the proposal when labor-union special interests complained, but the incident highlighted the power of the socialist Left and the old-guard Democrat establishment’s inability to restrain them—assuming they’ll even try if Biden wins in November.
California’s troubles center on the fiction that renewables are a reliable source of energy, according to Michael Shellenberger, a lifelong California climate activist who’s now sounding the alarm against climate-totalitarianism and environmental policies that are divorced from science.
In a Monday Forbes article, titled “Democrats Say California Is Model For Climate Action But Its Blackouts Say Otherwise,” Shellenberger, who ran for governor of California as a Democrat in 2018, said party elites have every intention of replicating California energy model despite its failures.
“Democrats seem determined to nationalize California’s experience. Speaking on the steps of the Capitol in late June, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who represents San Francisco, called a plan by House Democrats nearly identical to that of the Biden-Harris plan a ‘bold step for climate action now,’” he wrote, adding Pelosi’s vow to “turn this report into law.”
The direct cause of the state’s electricity blackouts has been an ever-increasing reliance on solar and wind energy coupled with a near-religious assault on natural gas and nuclear power.
The intractable problem with solar energy is that it evaporates during evening hours, nights, cloudy days and winter months, leaving California’s electricity grid short on power without a more reliable energy source, like natural gas, to take its place.
It’s no coincidence that the state utility regulator announced a “State 3 emergency” at 6:30 p.m. on Friday evening, and later announced that “we had thousands of megawatts of solar reducing their output as the sunset.”
Wind-generated energy has been a total flop during the heatwave. The same weather pattern that’s caused elevated temperatures, a stable high-pressure bubble, has involved little to no wind.
And after two days of rolling blackouts, a half-apology from Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom—who laughably called for an investigation—and an affirmed commitment to “never come back into this position again,” Democrats appear wedded to the failed renewable plan while admitting it’s time to “sober up” and add “insurance.”
“We will be forced today to ask utilities to cut off power to millions today, and tomorrow, and beyond,” said Stephen Berberich, the President and CEO of California’s Independent System Operator, on a Monday morning conference call.
“Demand will greatly exceed supply,” Berberich said.
Republican Assemblyman Jim Patterson of Fresno, the vice-chair of the state Committee on Utilities and Energy, responded Monday afternoon by calling out what may soon become a national nightmare—that California’s assault on fossil fuels is the crux of its energy shortages and record-high consumer prices.
“I have been warning over and over again that the policies coming out of the Democrat-controlled legislature and governor’s office are creating the conditions for blackouts and brownouts and here we are seeing the evidence,” Patterson told FOX26 News.
“The governor says he wants an investigation. We don’t need an investigation. What we need more electricity available when we need it, and that’s gonna mean turn the natural gas plants back on,” he said.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter to tout his robust energy record and blast California’s blackout energy-model.
“Meanwhile, I gave America energy independence in fact, so much energy we could never use it all. The Bernie/Biden/AOC Green New Deal plan would take California’s failed policies to every American!” Trump wrote.
…Meanwhile, I gave America energy independence in fact, so much energy we could never use it all. The Bernie/Biden/AOC Green New Deal plan would take California’s failed policies to every American!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2020