L A Times Electric Bill Increase Editorial Conceals California’s Incompetent Energy & Climate Policies that Hugely Drive-Up Costs

Guest essay by Larry Hamlin

The L A Times published yet another incredibly misleading editorial trying to blame California electric utilities for the states skyrocketing electricity cost increases while concealing decades of Democrat driven incompetent state government energy and climate policies that are responsible for driving up California’s out of control energy and electricity costs.

The state government first started meddling in the state’s electricity business in 1999 with the grand “deregulation” debacle that promised lower energy prices but instead resulted   in consumers seeing over $40 billion dollars for increased electricity costs in 2000 and 2001. 

Additionally, $42 billion dollars in new firm generation dispatchable capacity contracts (renewables are not generation capacity dispatchable and cannot meet changing system load demand leading to an unreliable and costly electric system) over the next ten years all because the states politicians can’t stop creating incompetent politically contrived schemes that are systematically destroying the state’s energy system.

In 2000 and 2001 Californians experienced 45 days of voluntary and involuntary load shedding (turning power off for various customer groups) including 10 days of required involuntary rolling blackouts totaling 42 hours of customers being in the dark.  

The states politicians learned nothing from the “deregulation” debacle and in 2006 moved on to yet another politically contrived and globally irrelevant scheme to “fight climate change” that continues their legacy of colossal incompetence in interfering with the state’s electric business while hugely increasing energy costs and destroying the state’s electric system reliability.

Since 2006 the state has spent many tens of billions of dollars on subsidies and tax assessments to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while mandating use of non-dispatchable and unreliable renewable energy that has jeopardized the state’s ability to meet electric load demand that has hugely increased costs for generation needed to keep the lights on.

Since 2006 the state has reduced its CO2 emissions by about 122 million metric tons which sounds like a lot except when you compare this amount to the developing nations (led by coal burning China and India) increased CO2 emissions during this period of 6,252 million metric tons an amount more than 5,100% times greater than the states tiny, irrelevant and costly CO2 reduction.

California is not “fighting climate change” nor are the U.S., EU, and U.K. because the developing nations (led by China and India) totally dominate global energy use (accounting for 62% of all global energy use) and emissions (accounting for 67% of all global emissions) with their presently existing and yearly increasing growth making actions by the developed nations to reduce these measures globally irrelevant.   

Because of its ridiculous attempt to rely on unreliable renewables California imports more electricity into the state than any other state in the U.S. with about 31% of the states total 2021 electricity being imported from other states as shown below.

Additionally, the state obtains more than 50% of instate generation (37.9% of its total electricity) from natural gas.

However, the state has to import more than 90% of its natural gas from outside California using interstate pipelines meaning that in reality the state is importing more than 2/3rds (30.9% electricity import plus 37.9% from natural gas plants using imported natural gas) of its total yearly electricity use.

The state has also failed to address the reliability and cost control of its petroleum use by now relying upon oil imports for more than 71% of its petroleum needs including 56% from foreign suppliers as shown below.

The need to import huge amounts of natural gas, petroleum, and electricity from outside the state makes California vulnerable to large market swings brought about by global and national upsets in these markets. 

Yet the state continues to avoid developing and is in fact shutting down its own energy resources (as part of its irrelevant and flawed “fighting climate change” propaganda campaign) making it even more vulnerable to natural gas, petroleum, and electricity price upsets in the future.  

The results of the state’s ill-conceived government interventions into the energy business have ballooned the states average electricity price costs upward by over 224% since 1999 according to EIA energy price data updated through 2021.

California has increased average electricity prices between the 1999 and 2021 period by more than 330% times greater than the U.S. average, more than 400% times greater than in Florida and 440% times greater than have occurred in Texas.

California now has the highest average electricity prices in the Continental United States. 

Despite this dismal performance our clueless and arrogant governor struts around falsely hyping his superiority over these other states governors while the L A Times editorial gurus bury their heads in the sand concealing the state’s energy cost and reliability failures that are responsible for the state’s huge energy cost increases.

The Times then erroneously claims that the huge cost increases in California’s electricity are the fault of the electric utilities and proposes yet more socialist government schemes to pay for these costs that are the result of the states long standing and incompetent meddling in the energy business. 

This L A Times editorial is completely incompetent, conceals the real cause of the state’s electricity cost and reliability issues and then proposes further socialist meddling by government as its “solution” for the debacle that the government created by its incompetent meddling in the first place. 

via Watts Up With That?


April 30, 2023 at 01:49PM

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