My question is anyone thinking about the impact on the whales who constantly migrate up and down the California coast?
Plan to limit fossil fuels works well—except when they’re
By James Freeman - Wall St. Journal
May 31, 2023 President Joe Biden and other Democrats love to
pretend that replacing fossil fuels with less efficient energy sources is an
economic win for the United States. Last year Mr. Biden claimed in a speech to
corporate CEOs that “it won’t hurt your bottom lines.” But the U.S. state with
the largest economy is implicitly acknowledging the opposite. In fact so-called
green energy is such a burden on bottom lines that even in the most
climate-obsessed jurisdiction in the country politicians still can’t persuade
enough businesses to generate it.
Adam Beam reports for the Associated Press that the Golden
State’s campaign against fossil fuels appears to work really well—until summer
Then it gets hot, and everyone in the
nation’s most populous state turns on their air conditioners at the same time.
That’s when California has come close to running out of power in recent years,
especially in the early evenings when electricity from solar is not as
Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to buy massive amounts of renewable energy to help keep
the lights on. The idea is to use the state’s purchasing power to convince
private companies to build large scale power plants that run off of heat from
underground sites and strong winds blowing off the coast — the kinds of power
that utility companies have not been buying because it’s too expensive and
would take too long to build.
So it turns out that summer is still hot, and alternative
energy is still expensive. On the one hand the high cost shouldn’t be a
surprise, given that state and federal politicians have been shovelling
subsidies at alternative energy projects for decades. If such power sources
really were economic winners, businesses and consumers would just adopt them
without any need for government intervention.
But some may be surprised that even after Mr. Biden’s
historic subsidy blowout that is now expected to cost more than twice the
initial estimate, it’s still not nearly enough to make this political agenda
Mr. Newsom’s agenda may include moving on before everyone
realizes just how non-economical it is. AP reports:
The Democratic governor, now in his second
term and widely seen as a future presidential candidate, insists California
will be carbon neutral by 2045. But this goal is often mocked in the summer
when, to avoid rolling blackouts, state officials turn on massive
diesel-powered generators to make up the state’s energy shortfall.
Laugh if you must, but Mr. Newsom does seem to have
succeeded in keeping Californians in the dark when it comes to the full cost of
his energy plans, as the AP explains:
have to pay for the new power the state buys through a new, still undetermined,
charge on their electric bills.
What a compelling proposal! Mr. Newsom is promising that
Californians will pay more, but won’t reveal how much more while he’s seeking
to enact his plan. How could anyone be opposed? The AP report continues:
Advocates say California is in a prime
position to try something like this. Last year, five companies spent more than
$750 million to lease areas off the California coast for offshore wind
projects. These projects could collectively generate close to 5 gigawatts of
energy, according to Alex Jackson, director of American Clean Power
Association, which represents these companies. That’s enough to power more than
3.5 million homes.
If approved, the
next step is getting the permits and building the turbines and the
infrastructure necessary to transport the power to the grid. It would be easier
for these companies to sell all of their power to the state instead of selling
pieces of it to multiple utilities.
“We do think there
is real advantages of having a single buyer,” Jackson said.
Advocates say the darnedest things. Some readers may wonder
why any real business would want to be at the mercy of just one buyer, rather
than enjoy a raft of customers bidding for its services. Could it possibly be
that these are not real businesses?
Even in liberal political precincts, taxpayers may grow
weary of funding losers. On the other side of the country Ry Rivard recently
noted in Politico that New Jersey’s Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy is struggling
to pay for his windy projects:
Quiet negotiations have been going on since
last year between state officials and Orsted, the company expected to build
what would be the state’s first wind farm.
couldn’t be higher for either side — or for state electricity customers, who
are caught in the middle and may pay billions of dollars more in coming decades
depending on the outcome of the talks.
So far, the state
has awarded subsidies to three wind farms, all funded by higher bills for
electricity customers, but none of them have yet to begin construction. The
first project, known as Ocean Wind 1, was approved in 2019. In the years since,
inflation, interest rates and supply chain issues have driven up building
costs, causing the company behind the project, Orsted, to say it may not make
money on it without help.
Oops. Now it’s going to cost a little more. David Nahan
reports for the Ocean City Sentinel:
The Cape May County Board of County
Commissioners is formally opposing the Ocean Wind 1 offshore wind farm and the
Danish company’s adjacent proposed wind farm, Ocean Wind 2, and threatening
legal action “on all fronts.”
unanimously passed a resolution to that effect Tuesday, May 23, arguing the
wind farms will harm the marine environment, tourism and, potentially, real
Other than that, the proposal was sensible?