This past week, the nation has watched California experiencing its first intentional rolling blackouts since the state’s 2001 energy crisis. Gov. Gavin Newsom, pointing out that solar panels don’t work at night and acknowledging the unusually calm winds which don’t move turbines, called the situation “unacceptable.”
That situation, the one created by government leaders supplanting reliable, inexpensive, domestic, abundant fossil fuels for the en vogue yet inadequate green energy, isn’t getting better, either, as the energy demand is only increasing and likely to exceed the record reached in 2006. The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board referred to this as “California’s green new normal.”
If Democratic vice presidential nominee and California Senator Kamala Harris is given the reins to America’s energy policy, rolling blackouts, a consistent lack of energy, and much worse will become a nationwide norm.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has been inconsistent regarding his energy policy platform throughout the campaign trail. During one of the Democratic presidential debates earlier this year, Biden was very explicit in saying that he “would make sure it’s [fracking] eliminated and no more subsidies for either one of those [fracking and coal], either…”
Since then, his campaign team has stated that he does not support a nationwide fracking ban but still wants to stop all oil and gas drilling on federal lands. A recent study found that this plan – which the continuously left-moving Democrats are labeling as “moderate” – would “cost almost 200,000 jobs, deny the U.S. government billions of revenue dollars, and push offshore production to other countries.” Relative to the agenda of Biden’s new running mate, that policy and those losses are moderate.
Senator Harris has been remarkably consistent in her stance on fracking. Harris has repeatedly bragged about her intention to ban fracking and enforce a series of restrictions on the natural gas and oil industry. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s, D-NY, Green New Deal is a codification of the eco-left’s radical agenda – Harris is a proud co-sponsor.
At a minimum, the Green New Deal would impose a large and recurring cost on American families. According to a Power The Future study, it would cost a typical household at least $74,000 in the first year of implementation and more than $40,000 every year thereafter. Another report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute estimates that a ban on fracking in 2021 would lead to the loss of 5.9 million jobs in seven states within the next five years. About 600,000 of these job losses would take place in Pennsylvania, a key swing state.
The majority of voters doubt that Biden would be able to serve out a full term in office – that makes Harris’ radical agenda even more substantial. California, under Harris’ watch, has come closer than any other state to actually implementing the sweeping, radical Green New Deal. As a result, for the privilege of not being able to turn on their lights or use air conditioning, Californians pay 61 percent above the national average for electricity.
California’s Independent System Operator has been warning for years that the state’s increasing dependence on intermittent renewables, especially solar, is making it harder to ensure reliable power. Newsom even acknowledged “gaps” in reliability while the state continues to rely more and more on renewable energy. Still, he said that the state remains “committed to radically changing the way we produce and consume energy.” That’s a warning.
Radically changing how we consume energy means government rationing. Will electricity use be illegal between 2 a.m.-6 a.m.? Will thermostats not go below 78 degrees? Will the electric meter turn-off after a homeowner hits the limit? Can the rich pay for more energy? I don’t think California elites, be they Hollywood celebrities or Silicon Valley moguls, are going dark anytime soon. If these seem implausible, your wrong: they are inevitable. Remember, Newsom said the state’s energy consumption must “radically change.” We should take him at his word.
If the Biden-Harris ticket wins, and even a fraction of the Green New Deal and other radical, illogical, unscientific environmental proposals are advanced nationally, California’s misery will be expanded on a national scale. Biden has long been pandering to the eco-left to gain the support of Bernie bros, but choosing Harris as a running mate cements this Democratic ticket as the most radical we’ve ever seen.
And, if you’re curious about how that experiment might end, look no further than Harris’ home state. Look now while you still have light.
Daniel Turner is the founder and executive director of Power The Future, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for American energy jobs. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @DanielTurnerPTF.