Mandating a 50-Percent Reduction in Oil—at What Cost?
by Katy Grimes
July 16, 2015
A bill in the California Legislature is blazing through to mandate the reduction of 50 percent in the use of petroleum-based fuels, 50 percent reduction in energy use by existing buildings and increases the Renewable Portfolio Standard from 33 percent renewables to 50 percent — notably as California is well on track to meet the 2020 goal.
SB 350 is authored by Sen. President pro Tem Kevin de Leon. “Do we have the courage to press forward,” asked De Leon, to legislative committee members at Monday’s Assembly Natural Resources Committee hearing on SB 350.
De Leon was long on drama about the “threat of climate change,” but short on verifiable data, and never broached what California can do alone if indeed climate change is the scourge of the entire world.
Radical activists have wormed their way into positions of government authority to implement carbon taxes, drastic renewable energy mandates, subsidies for renewable energies, meatless Mondays and other liberal propaganda. De Leon’s bill would allow for more of these expensive, unaccountable policies.
Climate Change ‘Troglodytes’
At a climate change conference last week in Toronto, Gov. Jerry Brown trained his moonbeam on “troglodytes” who deny the threat of climate change, the Los Angeles Times reported. “We have to redesign our cities, our homes, our cars, our electrical generation, our grids — all those things,” Brown said, insisting that modern life as Americans know it must change if the planet is to be saved.
And no climate change hearing in California would be complete without the influence of “Billionaire environmental benefactor” Tom Steyer, who testified on behalf of de Leon’s bill in April, arguing that if the state is an early adopter of renewable energy, “the rest of the world will have to follow us,” stating forcefully that ‘this is good for California jobs,’ the Los Angeles Times reported. Hedge fund operator and “green” energy magnate Tom Steyer made his billions in large part as one of the world’s largest financers of coal projects.
De Leon parroted the same rhetoric at Monday’s hearing. In February when De Leon announced his bill, his rhetoric was even more pronounced. “We need to move the state away from fossil fuels and free consumers from the grip of oil prices…the fact is, an economy built on fossil fuels is an economy built on shifting sand,” de Leon said at a press conference.
SB 350 does not specify whether the California Air Resources Board should adopt and implement policies that have an impact on the demand for petroleum fuels, or whether it should adopt and implement policies that affect the supply of transportation fuels. The bill does provide a blank check delegation of authority to CARB. In doing so, SB 350 “gives no consideration to the cost or job loss associated with this yet-to-be-determined regulation,” according to the California Chamber of Commerce.
SB 350 also requires, triennially beginning on or before January 1, 2017, the California Energy Commission to adopt and update the CEC’s program to achieve greater energy savings in California’s existing residential and nonresidential buildings toward achieving a doubling of the energy efficiency of buildings by January 1, 2030, according to bill analysis. This is very open ended and could present businesses and homeowners with excessive upgrade costs.
Equally unspecific but potentially costly and controlling, the bill directs the CEC to continually assess energy consumption trends and to analyze the social, economic, and environmental consequences of these trends; carry out, energy conservation measures; and recommend to the Governor and the Legislature new and expanded energy conservation measures.
“They want you to believe the economy will collapse,” De Leon said. “The actions here are being closely watched around the world.” In fact, both Gov. Jerry Brown and De Leon keep saying this, making it apparent that the world watching them is more important, instead of the economic impact to the state, business, and the state’s consumers. It’s right out of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s political playbook: “Whether you like it or not.”
There were no acknowledgments that there is no other technology to fully replace petroleum-based fuel today. Without the massive government subsidies on solar and wind, solar and wind plants will close; few can exist without government subsidies. Economists and energy experts say California’s energy prices, already the highest in the nation, will spike because of mandated renewable energy requirements.
Autos, trains, planes, and ships all need petroleum fuels. Electric vehicles are a ruse because the electricity to power them has to be generated from traditional methods, despite the push for alternative energy vehicles. Neither Gov. Brown or De Leon have ever acknowledged this, and few in the media will even ask the question.
As for other clean energy autos, the National Center for Policy Analysis said the Prius is a source for some of the worst pollution in North America because of the car’s batteries. In their report, PRIUS OUTDOES HUMMER IN ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE, the NCPA said “the nickel contained in Prius’ battery is mined and smelted at a plant in Ontario that has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that NASA has used the ‘dead zone’ around the plant to test moon rovers.”
Bills like SB 350 are economic suicide because of the dishonest science, and politicians evading disagreeable challenges, despite what Sen. De Leon says.