The Unintended Consequence of the Green Movement is More Homeless
The green movement has done a great job of stymying the growth of nuclear power generation. That in itself creates an oxymoron. Nuclear is the only known technology to generate zero emission electricity on a continuous uninterruptable basis.
With the success the green movement has had on nuclear, it’s now attracting big oil companies to invest huge sums into renewables – wind and solar. There are three main reasons for that kind of investment from “big oil” into renewables. First, it’s a great public relation move. Second, it’s also a fantastic business investment, as every wind and solar site generating intermittent electricity needs a fossil fuel backup generating plant to provide electricity when the wind is not blowing, and the sun is not shinning. Third, if they fail, the government incentives are “no take back” guarantees and the loss is a tax write off. So, they basically get to dabble for free.
The cliché “can’t see the forest for the trees” is the reality of life for California agencies and government lawmakers. The growing populations of homeless and families falling below the poverty line is obvious proof that California plans to go green, at any cost. They are successfully driving up the populations of the homeless and poverty stricken. And those leading the green parade are blind to this either by force or by choice. Too many trees. The numbers are out, yet, blah, blah, blah.
Wind and solar obsessed Germany, Australia, and Denmark fight it out for the honor of paying the world’s highest power prices. California is following, not leading as they would like you to believe, into known disastrous territory. Just like Germany, Australia, and Denmark before trudging into the green morass, our leaders cannot ‘see’ the direct correlation between energy costs for electricity and fuels, and homelessness and poverty.
Efficient energy systems affect everything, not only from transportation, but the cost of groceries and food and cleaning products. For the working class, after fuel and electricity costs, what’s left in the purse, if there is anything left, goes toward the other living expenses. Lately, there’s been less and less left.
High cost of electricity: California’s electricity is already fifty percent higher than the national average for residents, and double the national averages for commercial, and are projected to go even higher. The inability to replace the closure of continuously uninterruptable electricity from nuclear and natural gas with renewables of wind and solar is causing the state to import more and more of its electricity. The numbers are in for 2018 and they say California imported up to 29 percent last year. The good news is that we’ve had no brown outs. But the bad news is the imported electricity comes at higher costs and are being borne by residents and businesses alike. Without the huge land requirements for wind and solar renewable electricity, the need to import more will escalate every year.
California’s love of foreign crude oil is obvious as California increased crude oil imports from foreign countries from 5% in 1992 to 57% in 2018, costing California more than $32 Billion dollars a year (Yes, that’s a “B”). That money is being paid to oil rich foreign countries, thereby depriving Californians of jobs and business opportunities. Without those tax paying jobs and businesses, the State’s coiffures are growing thin as it is struggling to pay its welfare and social responsibilities debts.
The California Delusion YouTube video by Mark Mathis of the Clear Energy Alliance that’s gone viral with more than 56 thousands views discusses California’s love for imported crude oil to meet the state’s energy needs for military, airlines, cruise ships and merchant ships, trucking and automobiles that’s putting America at a national security risk.
Adding insult to injury Sacramento Democrats are seriously considering Assembly Bill AB-345 (Muratsuchi) “Oil and gas: operations: location restrictions” which would require, commencing January 1, 2020, that all new oil and gas development that is not on federal land, to be located at least 2,500 feet from a residence, school, childcare facility, playground, hospital, or health clinic. For these purposes, the bill would require the re-drilling of a previously plugged and abandoned oil or gas well or other rework operations, as defined, to be considered new oil and gas development.
The effect of this “2,500” clear space around production wells would virtually destroy California’s in-state oil production by half. That will result in California sending another $16 Billion, on top of the current $32 Billion every year (again, Yes, that’s a “B”), to those oil rich foreign countries that have the audacity to not even send California a thank you note.
And now, starting July 1st another 6 cents is being added to the posted price at the pump for infrastructure repair and maintenance. With residents already paying as much as an extra dollar for fuel, we should already have the best roads.
More insults are coming from Washington DC. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich) is sponsoring legislation to raise the ceiling for tax credits to EV from 200,000 to 600,000 electric vehicles per manufacturer, and continue the $7,500 tax credit to buyers that can afford to buy their own cars without it. This extension of the tax credits to the wealthy is grossly unfair to middle- and lower-class consumers who are unable to afford electric cars.
The main supporters of extending the lucrative tax credits to more EV’s are the dozens of automakers who want to sell cars, several major environmental and public health groups, the Sierra Club, and electric utilities that want to sell electricity. The middle- and lower-class consumers are not represented in this proposed legislation at all.
Again, it’s the 95 percent of the residents who can’t afford electric vehicles who will pay for those tax credits and road taxes the EV owners are not paying for because they don’t go to the gas pumps where the taxes are levied.
California is doing everything right with the green crusade to increase costs of electricity and fuels which guarantees growth of homeless, poverty, and welfare. It’s scary that our leaders can’t “see” that the regressive energy policies have serious consequences for working families. Their misguided directives are intertwined with every aspect of daily life and is causing the continuous growth of poverty and homelessness from the Oregon state line on the north all the way to the Mexican border on the south.
This piece originally appeared on Fox & Hounds.
Ronald Stein is the Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure at PTS Advance headquartered in Irvine, California and a researcher and commentator on climate, energy, environment and public policy.
Photo credit: Laurie Avocado, via Flickr, using CC License.