California is a First World province that depends on a Third World electric grid.
Blackouts are so common that thousands of Californians have bought small generators to assure reliable power. Electricity prices, which are already among the highest in the country, are soaring. Despite the decrepitude of California’s electric grid, on December 1, San Jose became the largest city in America to ban the use of gas. Some 40 communities in California have now passed bans or restrictions on the use of natural gas, which will, of course, force residents to buy even more of the state’s high-priced juice.
Add in the looming closure of the 2,256-megawatt Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, the state’s goal to “achieve carbon neutrality” no later than 2045, bans on internal combustion engines, and the enormous amount of electricity that will be needed to fuel several million new EVs, and it’s clear that California’s energy crisis – in both reliability and affordability, a crisis that has been recurring since the days of Enron – will continue for years to come.
Indeed, a battle over energy policy is raging in California and it portends an even broader fight if other states, or the federal government, attempt to implement similar bans on natural gas. The bans have ignited a backlash from some of California’s most prominent Black and Latino leaders, who are saying that the prohibitions on the use of the fuel are a form of regressive tax on low- and middle-income residents. Assemblyman Jim Cooper, a Democrat from Elk Grove, has become one of the harshest critics of California’s climate policies and the environmental groups that are pushing them.
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