The Corner

Energy & Environment

Democrats Promise to Bring California-Style Blackouts to Everyone

The sun sets behind power lines in Carlsbad, Calif., in 2006. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Gotta say, it was bold of Democratic Party convention organizers to let voters know they plan on passing federal energy policies that would transform the rest of the country into California. The Golden State is experiencing rolling blackouts even as the Democrats speak. Millions of people are having their electrical power turned off in the middle of a heat wave — more specifically, their air conditioners. Blackouts aren’t merely an inconvenience, it is an economic drag and dangerous to vulnerable populations.

California doesn’t have enough reliable power — which is to say fossil-fuel and nuclear energy – because it depends on intermittent sources like solar and windmills. California is what happens when quixotic political aspirations smother economic reality. I’m skeptical that most Americans – even Californians – will be willingly to roll back modernity for long. We’ll see.

California governor Gavin Newsom was forced to admit the state’s “transition” away from fossil fuels was one of the contributing factors in rolling blackouts, so you can imagine how serious it is. For context, renewable energy is now responsible for approximately 36 percent of the state’s energy generation, and it’s already putting a tremendous strain on the state. It has to nearly double that number within a decade, and go 100 percent fossil-fuel free by 2045.

Just a reminder: To keep up with IPCC recommendations on carbon emission cut and meet the Paris treaty goals that Democrats promise, Americans would be compelled to shut down virtually the entire economy. The only time we’ve kept pace with those numbers was during the lockdown.

Both Kamala Harris and Joe Biden support the Green New Deal, which calls for the elimination of all fossil fuels within a decade – not to mention cars and planes and entire industries. To be fair, Democrats often treat “The Green New Deal” as some amorphous catch-all slogan. But Biden’s plan calling for “clean energy revolution and environmental justice” not only ostensibly relies on the Green New Deal, it promises to make the plan the “framework for meeting the climate challenges we face.” That means “a 100 percent clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050.”

Or, in other words, welcome to California!


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