By Travis Dale
State officials announce more rolling blackouts could be on the horizon as California’s electric grid buckles under overly restrictive regulations imposed by California Democrat politicians — and Californians will not only be left in the dark, but still paying the highest energy prices in the nation.
California state officials are sounding the alarm that we may face an “unprecedented strain” on our electrical grid this summer, and that rolling blackouts are a possibility. Before you go off thinking that Californians are to blame for using a lot of energy, the real truth is California politicians are actually to blame for choking off the state’s once-reliable supply of energy.
In 2020 Californians used LESS POWER annually than they did in 2014 (272,000 GWH in 2020 versus 297,000 GWH in 2014.) Californians are able to keep their power needs down because they are more energy efficient – something they should be praised for. But the politicians don’t want you to know that.
The real problem is California isn’t producing enough energy. In 2014 California power sources generated 199,000 GWH – but our state’s power production went down to just 191,000 GWH in 2020. California is forced to import over one-third of its power from other states.
The California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission, and California Independent System Operator (which manages the state’s energy grid) announced that the projected power shortage would fail to power 1.3 million homes. It could be up to 17 hundred megawatts — equivalent to just what a single power plant could produce.
If California had simply kept producing the same amount of energy as it had in 2014, there would be a surplus supply of power this year.
Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California, says the state politicians are been hiding the truth and the liberal media in the state have refused to shine a light on the real reason behind California’s energy shortages.
“It’s convenient that our energy shortfall is equivalent to that of a power plant, given the California Democrats have made imposed policies that have resulted in the shutdown and restriction of our nuclear and natural gas plants,” said DeMaio.
“It’s cause and effect: the Democrats wanted to move toward unreliable solar and wind energy and shut down our existing power supplies, and now our power grid is overwhelmed because we lack the infrastructure,” he continued.
DeMaio says that not only have these policy decisions affected supply, but they’ve impacted the cost of gas and utilities for residents in recent years as well.
State kWh energy rates have increased more than 11 percent and natural gas rates more than 25 percent in just one year.
DeMaio says Californians have long been paying more than they should be because of “policy failures” by state leaders.
“California Democrats have imposed so many mandates, taxes and regulations on gas and energy that we have by far the highest rates in the nation — and it’s all a crushing burden being imposed on working families by politicians who don’t seem to care about the cost impacts,” DeMaio says.
The cost comparisons between California and the US national average for gas and electricity back up DeMaio’s assessment.
For electricity rates, California’s kWh rate is now 250% more than the national average.
Why are Californians paying so much more for gas and utilities? DeMaio breaks the hidden costs down.
For a gallon of gas, California politicians imposed the highest gas tax in the nation. (And no, the vast majority of that money does not fund road repairs.) On top of the highest gas tax, California politicians have also imposed a Cap-and-Trade tax on every gallon of gas and impose costly regulations on the blend/mix of gas used.
For energy utilities, California politicians appoint government commissioners on the CPUC who set the actual rates — not the utility companies. In fact, state regulations ban utilities from buying the cheapest energy in favor of more expensive energy sources favored by the state’s woke politicians.
Consumers are also forced to pay higher utility rates to fund government-mandated “public purpose” programs — such as welfare assistance, climate change programs, and wildfire preparedness.
Last year California politicians claimed they were running a budget surplus of over $50 billion — but politicians imposed $2.7 billion in extra charges on utility bills to fund off-budget government programs through the “public purpose” charges.
DeMaio says charges for the “public purpose” programs are simply a hidden tax on ratepayers.
To add insult to injury, California politicians also have imposed a “High Usage Charge,” which DeMaio calls a “Hidden Usage Charge,” on all energy bills.
“Most consumers miss this item on their bill — but it’s basically like a speeding ticket,” said DeMaio. “If you use over a certain amount of energy, they penalize you — even if you’re already paying for and willing to pay the agreed upon rate for the energy you use.”
DeMaio then circles back to how state politicians are restricting the production of energy — by shutting down nuclear power plants and clean natural gas plants in California. By choking production, politicians have forced California to import 30% of its energy each year from neighboring states.
Sound familiar? That’s why DeMaio warns what California state politicians have done to “screw up” their energy market is exactly what the Biden Administration and Democrats in Congress are doing to the nation’s energy market.
“California has been living under the costly and unsustainable Green New Deal policies for the last decade — and look what it has done to us!” DeMaio warns. “These extreme policies have choked energy supply and imposed skyrocketing costs on working families in California — and now we’re seeing the same happen nationally,” he continued.
DeMaio warns that liberal media outlets and state politicians will desperately try to use the Russia-Ukraine conflict, climate change, or other news of the day to divert attention from the simple fact that Californians have long been forced to pay more for their gas and electricity than they need to — or than their counterparts in other US states have to pay.
“California Democrat politicians and the liberal media love to point to everything else and say ‘well that’s why your gas is $6.00 a gallon,’” said DeMaio. “They don’t want you to know that it’s the policies of liberal politicians that are hurting your wallets,” he continued.
DeMaio and Reform California are fighting back against the energy price increases and turning it into a campaign issue for the 2022 election. The organization has been working to recruit and run reform-minded candidates that will hold politicians accountable and demand to know where they stand on raising the gas tax and imposing costly charges on utility bills.
DeMaio is asking for help in backing a campaign to force state politicians to suspend the gas tax for the summer — and is urging fed-up Californians to join the fight.