California has an identity crisis. On its face, the one it presents to the public, it appears to be green conscious willing to proceed with efforts to maximally decrease the state’s carbon footprint. The face we don’t see is the one that shows its actual failing economic status, its increasing percentage of poverty-affected persons and how its efforts to create a totally green economy is adding to that problem.

At the Global Climate Change Action Summit held in San Francisco September 12-14, 2018 Governor Jerry Brown painted a glossy picture of California’s efforts to reduce its one percent contribution to greenhouse gasses. The state’s top lawmaker’s talking points are mostly smoke and mirrors.

Let’s pull back the flashy exterior and expose the troubling real facts. The homeless problem and the people slipping below the poverty line yearly, if not daily, in the Golden State is real.

The effects of the climate change initiatives have already been felt in homes across the state with energy costs currently the highest in the nation.

According to a report in 2016 from the U. S. Energy Information Center California households were already paying nearly 40% more for electricity than the national average. That number is expected to increase with the Bullet Train and other energy robbing projects due to start up in the future.

In addition, Californians continue to pay almost a dollar more per gallon of fuel than the rest of the country due to:

a} the state sales taxes per gallon which are some of the highest in the country;

b) refinery reformatting costs per gallon;

c) cap and trade program compliance costs per gallon;

d) low-carbon fuel standard program compliance costs per gallon; and

e) renewable fuels standard program compliance costs per gallon.

More costs onto fuels are projected by 2030 which may add another dollar or two to the per gallon fuel cost its consumers will pay at the pump.

While living wages do not increase to match expenditures as the costs of living soar in a state where commuting to and from work, to and from leisure activities and simply completing everyday chores is a necessity and not an option, it’s no wonder the governor wants to hide the ugly truths behind the rhetoric of cleaning up the State.

Further California is trying to influence elected officials nationwide to focus on those subsidized low-power density renewables of wind and solar (intermittent electricity) for their economies. In a world where economies depend on access to power be it electrical, nuclear or carbon based around the clock, depending solely on intermittent power just doesn’t make sense.

In reality; two prime movers have done more for the cause of the advancement of global trade than any others; the diesel engine and the jet turbine. Both movers get their fuels from oil, and without this fuel and the 6,000 products that come from oil and petroleum products, transportation and commerce would return to the pre-Industrial revolution age.  Say good-bye to globalization as we know it today.

In pursuit of the emissions crusade that California wants the world to join, the Governor has demonstrated a lack of understanding of the necessity of petroleum products to the current world order. Moving toward 100% renewables and “zero-carbon” sources for electricity by 2045 will jeopardize the future viability of the California economy.

Neglecting its citizenry’s ability to absorb the costs of new energy research and development will be the downfall of the current administration. The costs to the general consumer will create a wider divide among those able to pay and those who aren’t. This will create a dissatisfied electorate who will elect officials who understand real change is gradual.

The curtain has been torn down and the sight of real California isn’t as pretty a picture as has been painted. Reckless climate change goals that ignore the benefits of current energies will bankrupt the state creating an ever-increasing horde of people who are energy and economically impoverished.


  • Ronald Stein

    Ronald Stein is an engineer, senior policy advisor on energy literacy for CFACT, and co-author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated book “Clean Energy Exploitations.”