I read recently that the Trump administration has announced it will be ending the years old moratorium on oil and gas leases in Central California’s Coastal Region. This means over 3,000 jobs and around $620 million in tax revenue for the state. Great news, one would think. But, of course, there is opposition.
“Turning over these spectacular wild places to dirty drilling and fracking will sicken Californians, harm endangered species and fuel climate chaos. We’ll fight tooth and nail to make sure it doesn’t happen.” This is a quote from Clare Lakewood, a senior attorney from the Center for Biological Diversity. If Ms. Lakewood and the other opposers of Trump’s benevolence toward the state want to prevent Californians from being sickened, they should fight tooth and nail to solve the problem of their burgeoning homeless population reintroducing medieval diseases to the state.
Not keeping it local
California is the third-largest consumer of gasoline and diesel, behind only China and the United States as a whole. Yet, rather than embrace local oil and gas production, they choose to import 58% of their oil from other countries: countries whose environmental standards don’t even come close to matching our own. It’s okay to want to change, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Jerry Brown actually spoke some sense in 2013:
Do you know how much oil is imported to keep our cars going? … [When people in California] can get around without using any gasoline, that’s the time for no more oil drilling. Maybe…We have 30 million vehicles in California. That’s a lot of oil. So I think we have room to supply our need even as we reduce oil consumption. We should be reducing it much faster than we are, and hopefully we can get some national policies to do that, but that still doesn’t mean that in the meantime there isn’t oil under the ground in California that can’t be made very useful.
Stop turning a blind eye
Not only are gas prices spinning out of control in the state, but residential electric rates are around 40% higher than the national average. Fossil fuel plants are forced to run constantly on low power levels in order to be perpetually ready to take up the slack that unpredictable renewables inevitably create. This method is the least efficient there is, and it is the most costly. This cost, as well as the subsidies given to renewables, is passed on to the consumer. According to the Energy Information Administration, after spending billions in government subsidies and mandates requiring the use of renewables, fossil fuels still accounted for 82% of California’s total energy use.
The moratorium isn’t working. Let your people have some jobs, a boost in the economy and a chance to get some reasonably priced gas and electricity. Take the path less traveled over there in California, and take the common-sense route.