Energy

How California's Environmental Mandates Led to Blackouts

Critics say the state's dependence on solar and wind have made the power grid unreliable and overly expensive.

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California's rolling blackouts this summer were caused by decades of costly and poorly planned decisions to replace coal, nuclear, and gas-powered plants with solar and wind, according to some energy experts.

"It speaks to the delusion of California policymakers," says Michael Shellenberger, the president of Environmental Progress, which advocates for greater reliance on nuclear power as a way to reduce CO2 emissions and provide reliable energy. "They really convinced themselves that they could manage all of this increased demand on renewables, which are fundamentally unreliable." 

California banned the construction of new nuclear reactors in 1976 and has been incentivizing companies to close older plants by piling on burdensome regulations ever since.

Shellenberger says this loss has made California more susceptible to blackouts.

"It would have just provided the energy that we didn't have," says Shellenberger. "The nuclear plant, unlike the solar farms or wind, is reliable like 92 percent of the year."

Policymakers also started closing natural gas plants because they produce more CO2 emissions than wind and solar, ignoring warnings that doing so would lead to energy shortages. On Wednesday, California's Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, signed an executive order asking the state legislature to ban fracking oil and gas, the latter of which provided a majority of the state's energy during the recent blackouts.

Critics of solar and wind energy say that renewables provide consistent energy only under optimal weather conditions.

But the main operator of California's grid says a lack of easily accessible backup energy, not renewables like wind and solar, were to blame for the blackouts.

"Renewables have not caused this issue. This is a resource issue, not a renewable issue," California Independent Systems Operator CEO Stephen Berberich said in an August 18 press briefing.

Some defenders of renewable energy even say that that fossil fuels are the real culprit and that critics like Shellenberger are distorting the facts in service of their preconceived biases

The August blackout, they point out, was directly caused by the failure of a natural gas generator.

"Those fossil fuel technologies have trouble performing in the heat," says energy analyst Amol Phadke. Phadke is the co-author of UC-Berkeley's 2035 Report, which argues that America should transition to 90 percent carbon-free energy generation in the next 15 years.

But the natural gas generator that failed was a backup system. It had been flipped on only because the state's energy capacity failed as the sun went down, the wind slowed, and Californians blasted their air conditioners to deal with a heat wave.

Still, Phadke insists that the real problem was a failure to adequately plan backup power.

"And in fact, I would argue that having a lot more renewable energy and storage would make the grid more robust," says Phadke.  

One additional factor is that as California has increased its reliance on renewable energy, it has also become increasingly reliant on energy imported from neighboring states, who failed to make up for the shortfall during the heatwave.

"Those neighbors need their power plants because they're hot, too," says engineer and investor Mark P. Mills, a faculty fellow at Northwestern University and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

He says that California's push to replace traditional power plants with renewables has created a shortage of what's known as "dispatchable capacity"—generators that can be flipped on where there's a spike in demand.

"What happened in the first blackouts is that they didn't have this dispatchable capacity and, worse than that, there was a wind lull," says Mills. "None of that would have happened if you're not losing conventional capacity. And the more wind you add, the less dispatchable you have, the more likely you'll have those events occur….It's just simple logic." 

Phadke thinks the solution is for California to build even more solar power plants and invest more money in giant batteries that can store power from the wind and sun during off hours.

"In the long run, if you have enough batteries to transfer that solar energy during the day into the evening hours, you are good," says Phadke. "And the good news is that the cost of those batteries has dropped by 90 percent since 2010."

While it's true that the cost of both solar panels and batteries has fallen dramatically in the past decade, Mills points out that the pace of that price decline has slowed, and he says manufacturers are likely approaching the physical limitations of solar energy conversion.

"The constant babbling about batteries is an embarrassing failure of arithmetic," says Mills. 

Mills has calculated that storing a barrel of oil's worth of energy in a battery costs at least 100 times as much as storing the oil and that it would take 1,000 years for the world's largest battery factory to produce enough to store two days' worth of America's energy needs.

"Batteries are never going to get cheaper to store energy than storing oil in a barrel," says Mills. "Until we develop a room-temperature superconductor." (If that happens, he says, "it changes the world.")

Mills also points out that the intensive mining required to produce batteries has a major environmental cost and, given the regulatory environment in America, would likely increase dependence on rare-earth minerals mined in Russia and China.

"The increase in mining that the green energy path will require will be the biggest increase in mineral extraction the world has ever seen," says Mills. "You may think that's fine, but it's a real cost that no one's counting. It's dishonest."

But the 2035 report estimates the cost of not quickly pivoting to renewables at $1.2 trillion in health and environmental damages and 85,000 premature deaths by 2050. It recommends a combination of emissions standards, government subsidies, and tax incentives to ramp up solar, wind, and battery production as quickly as possible.

Shellenberger says that nuclear would provide the clean and abundant energy that both sides want, if only California and other states would stop creating incentives for nuclear plants to close down and would allow new ones to open up.

"Just keeping the nuclear plants online would have kept prices down significantly," says Shellenberger. "My view is if California had a vision of being like France, 75 percent nuclear and our homes getting our cooking and heating from electricity, well, that could be a very good deal for both consumers and the natural environment, but nobody's talking about that." 

Mills says that the technological innovations that would be required to fulfill the environmentalists' dreams rely, ironically, on continuing to have abundant energy now.

"If you want to go from propellers to jet engines, if you want to go from combustion to nuclear fission…if you want to store electricity as cheaply as we store oil, you need a different, whole new solution," says Mills. "So you produce energy at the least possible cost to have as much profit to invest in basic science and invest in adaptation and resilience."

Shellenberger says the entire nation should view California as a cautionary tale, because its energy policy is the blueprint that some Democrats in Washington, D.C., want to follow.

"So if you are concerned about the blackouts, the sixfold increase in electricity prices above the [national average], if you're concerned about…bad management of our electrical grid that causes fires in places where we should have less fires…you should be concerned about what's happening in California and not want it to be imposed on the rest of the U.S." 

Produced by Zach Weissmueller; opening graphic by Lex Villena; additional graphics by Isaac Reese. 

Photo credits: Mike Blake/Reuters/Newscom; Laura Dickinson/The Tribune/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Gina M Randazzo/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Maksym Yemelyanov/agefotostock/Newscom; Carolyn Cole/TNS/Newscom; Inciweb/Inciweb/ZUMA Press/Newscom; D 137610783 © Eberdova | Dreamstime.com, ID 47955708© Martinlisner | Dreamstime.com, ID 17908577 © Fesus Robert | Dreamstime.com; Ken James/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Paul Kitagaki Jr/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Music credits: "Premonition," "Viscous Void," "Lonely Astronaut," and "Fade Away," by Evgeny Bardyuzha. "Bad Habits" and "Apparition" by Stanley Gurvich. Licensed by Artlist.

NEXT: Citizen vs. Government (Vol. 4)

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  2. Meanwhile, China has more coal plants under construction that will spew more CO2 into the atmosphere between now and 2035 than California’s mandates could possibly eliminate.

    Regardless of whether you believe AGW is a serious problem or whether you don’t, the fact is that the worst possible outcome is the one where we make big sacrifices to our standard of living–and those sacrifices don’t make any difference.

    Meanwhile, all the major progress on eliminating greenhouse gas emissions is being made without government mandates. Musk just announced, the other day, that he soon expects to have a Tesla model priced at less than $25,000.

    If we eliminate the issue of greenhouse gas emissions, it’ll be because consumers choose different options–and not just the ones in the United States but also the 95% of the world’s consumers who don’t live in the United States.

    If you want to make rednecks drive electric pick up trucks, build a pickup truck (and a system to power it) that’s so great, they’ll pay a premium to drive one. If you want to make consumers hate electric cars, mandate them. We’d hate pizza and beer if we were forced to buy it.

    1. But Democrats will tell you that China has lower emissions per capita, as if nature cares about that and not total emissions.

      1. Yeah, that’s because their coal plants are still under construction.

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    2. “Regardless of whether you believe AGW is a serious problem or whether you don’t, the fact is that the worst possible outcome is the one where we make big sacrifices to our standard of living–and those sacrifices don’t make any difference.”

      Ken, you seem to assume that the enviro justice warriors want (others) to sacrifice primarily to achieve enviro goals–which you correctly suggest may not come to fruition. But what if the goal is more about forcing others to behave in “proper” ways, including self-induced hardship?

      1. My arguments are mostly aimed at people in the middle of the road.

        1. When you concede the field, you’ve already lost.

    3. Regardless of whether you believe AGW is a serious problem or whether you don’t, the fact is that the worst possible outcome is the one where we make big sacrifices to our standard of living–and those sacrifices don’t make any difference.

      They make a difference. You’re sitting in the dark while feeling smug.

  3. Newsom wants the state to outlaw the sale of gasoline cars in 15 years. So, on a hot day not only will Californians not be able to cool themselves, but they will be stuck at home. A recharge of an electric car takes about as much electricity as a home uses all day.

    1. You assume that in 15 years the average person will be allowed to own a personal vehicle of any type, and be free to leave home when they want to.

      1. Or have the money to own one.

    2. Fire trucks run so well on electricity especially after PG$E cuts the power so often now

      1. Don’t blame PG&E. The money that they wanted to spend to clear the brush out of transmission line right of ways was stolen by the state for finding the renewable energy that can’t meet demand.

        With all of the trash in the right of ways, it was only inevitable that disasters would occur. They did.

        Now, PG&E has only a single option for avoiding more such disasters, and that is cold-lining areas when the wind speed gets into risky territory.

        The irony is that when the wind speed gets too high, the windmills are taken offline. Thus, they put no power into local distribution, at the same time out-of-district distribution is cold.

    3. California may have unreliable electric delivery, but at least we have some of the highest income, gas and sales taxes in the nation. Taxes are good.

  4. It’s way too simple for politicians. Solar and wind are temperamental and literally unreliable: clouds alone make solar unpredictably intermittent, and everyone knows how winds fluctuate.

    This leaves no way to bring backup plants online in time. You either need huge batteries (a full year of Tesla battery production would only last a few minutes) or backup plants running all the time.

    Renewables are a joke.

    1. As opposed to figuratively unreliable?

    2. Renewables are a niche technology, and can work very well in specific applications.

      We installed a 6 kW solar electric system on our roof primarily to power our AC system on hot sunny days. We live in a dry climate, so heat loading scales directly with sun intensity–as does solar electrical production. And at current grid rates, our system should pay off in about 12 years.

      But we have also seen the reality of solar electric. Even a slightly cloudy day causes a drop in production of 30-50%, and very cloudy overcast days induce a drop of 70%. For us, that is not a big deal since the AC demand also drops. But for a regional grid supply, that would be catastrophic. And the seasonal variation is more than expected: during bright sunny winter days we get only 25% of the power of peak summer days.

      1. It’s not just that output drops when clouds pass over, but that it drops so suddenly and so capriciously. Only batteries could react fast enough to compensate, and batteries are not only expensive, but environmentally terrible. Turbine generators have a flywheel effect to cover up small fluctuations; wind turbines have a little of that, but solar panels have nothing.

      2. Don’t forget to add in the price-tag of your 6KW solar system.

        CA “green energy” forced more than just competitive energy to compete – it also created the HIGHEST intercontinental per KWH cost. Due to tyrant dictatorship; the lack of CHOICE has made solar feasible to individuals (i.e. Solar is the only choice policy-makers allowed) but that’s FAR different than actually being feasible in a non-tyrant environment.

        For conservative states; the cost of solar takes well over 30-years to even break even with the assumption nothing will need a penny of maintenance.

    3. You mean leftist, “progressives” came up with a scheme and didn’t think about the consequences?
      Say it isn’t so.

      1. They thought very carefully, and correctly, about the only factor that matters; they get to stay in power.

        1. Thanks for sharing the information regarding it

  5. “To meet its climate goal as stipulated in the Paris agreement, China will need to reduce its coal power capacity by 40 percent over the next decade, according to Global Energy Monitor’s analysis. At present, this seems unrealistic. In addition to roughly 1,000 gigawatts of existing coal capacity, China has 121 gigawatts of coal plants under construction, which is more than is being built in the rest of the world combined.”

    —-Wired

    https://www.wired.com/story/china-is-still-building-an-insane-number-of-new-coal-plants/

    Sacrifice as an end in itself is a religious exercise. Gavin Newsom should be free to practice whatever religion he chooses, but he has no right to use his position as the Governor of California to inflict his religious beliefs on the rest of us.

    I’m just sayin.

    1. Based on China’s historical carbon emissions increase, if the U.S. completely eliminated emissions tomorrow, China alone would make up for it within ten years. That doesn’t even consider India an the rest of the Developing World, who have increases similar to China’s.

    2. But the Progressive Movement is the new religion of many on the left. It fulfills what seems to be an inherent need for many people to embrace a sacred ideology, indulge the urge to “believe”, and band together with others in a visible and noisy tribe.

      1. “…It fulfills what seems to be an inherent need for many people to embrace a sacred ideology, indulge the urge to “believe”, and band together with others in a visible and noisy tribe.”

        Further, anytime wild fires are mentioned, the watermelons pray that “we” do something about climate change.
        Ask them what we realistically should do and when it will have an effect on those fires, and you will be reviled as a ‘denier’.

    3. This is why the real solution is population control.

      1. Simply crank up the abortion mills and mandate family size, which works so well for the chinks.

    4. Fags, dykes, and trannies: “Remember how we said we weren’t trying to impose our preferences on anyone else, we just wanted the government to leave us alone and stay out of our bedrooms? Well forget it! Bake that cake or we’ll rape you in the bank account, you bigoted Bible-beating fundie gay-bashing Islamophobe!

      Democrats: “Remember how we said the First Amendment absolutely prohibits any and all establishment of religion? Well… [etc.]”

  6. What is always a surprise to the STEM-illiterate policy and justice types is that the physical world does not respond to delusional wishes.

    To be fair, what is always a surprise to us STEM types is how determined the ideological policy wonks can be, including their abilities to ignore physical evidence–and generate more propaganda.

    1. Well, remember, they’ve had a lot of practice doing the same thing with Marxism: “No, no, you unwashed ignoramuses, the USSR, North Korea, Zimbabwe, and Venezuela are not and were not true socialism! When you practice socialism properly, everyone starts producing according to his and her ability and sharing according to need without any need for government intervention whatsoever. Then the state withers away and true Communism arrives; that’s how true socialism works!”

      Of course, when South Africa and/or California end up just like these previous examples, we’ll be hearing the exact same song and dance from the same fools (“intellectuals”) next time too; and a discouragingly large number of foolish young college students mis-educated in government schools will lap it up and call for more Marxist BS just as previous generations did.

  7. some of the blackouts are on purpose since now anytime the wind exceeds 25mph PG$E turns off the power to prevent fires, so even if you have power you aren’t going to get it and Newsom likes California run like a 3rd world nation.
    BTW PG$E is trying to remove dangerous trees near power lines in Nevada City and the local idiots got a judge to stop them. Hope the town doesn’t burn down.

    1. PG&E is just reacting to the environment. Californians wanted PG&E punished for fires. They got their wish. PG&E will take the PR hit for the safety shutoffs over the liability of a fire.

      1. PG&E is actually a public utility. Here in California, the other provider is always described this way, “SMUD, AN EMPLOYEE OWNED COMPANY”. By the way, most people here work for the state.

    2. some of the blackouts are on purpose since now anytime the wind exceeds 25mph PG$E turns off the power to prevent fires

      That’s coming over about the next four-to-six weeks as we get our last heat waves before the first rains hit.

      The ones earlier this summer were mandated by state regulators because the green grid wasn’t producing enough power. Those were statewide – not just PG&E.

      1. “That’s coming over about the next four-to-six weeks as we get our last heat waves before the first rains hit.”

        And the government will be shocked, shocked, that there will be massive mudslides!

  8. If you haven’t already left CA, then this is your wakeup call and it is past time to put together your exit strategy.

    1. It’s difficult to find sympathy with a complainer of California political policies yet remains a resident. Like beating yourself with a switch and rejoicing when you stop.


  9. Some defenders of renewable energy even say that that fossil fuels are the real culprit and that critics like Shellenberger are distorting the facts in service of their preconceived biases

    The August blackout, they point out, was directly caused by the failure of a natural gas generator.

    If the blackout was caused by a natural gas generator failure, than this still means ‘renewable’ energy failed to meet demand without real capacity running in the background. That they are willfully lying about that seems par for the course.

    1. It also means those other nat-gas plants shouldn’t have been shut down:

      “Three NRG Gas-Fired Power Plants Closing in California”
      […}
      The closures are also the result of policy decisions to ban the use of seawater for plant cooling, as well as an aggressive push to mitigate climate change through reducing the state’s carbon footprint. The latter has made natural gas-fired power generation less attractive to state policymakers…”
      https://www.naturalgasintel.com/three-nrg-gas-fired-power-plants-closing-in-california/

    2. So nothing can be fossil fueled powers fault very convenient

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  11. Solar and wind power as ‘environmentally friendly’ are about as believable as Danny Devito as Tarzan of the Apes. They materials they are made from are next to impossible to recycle, and often toxic over time when placed in landfills. Talk of battery backup is either astonishingly ignorant of outright deception; the amount of batteries needed makes it prohibitive and the batteries are another toxic nightmare to dispose of when they die. Both wind and solar require HUGE footprints, and anyone who tells you that wildlife can get along with either but will be devastated by an oil or gas pipeline needs to be kicked in the head.

    Furthermore, the earth may be warming, but it’s kinda hard to tell, seeing that the Climate Change brigade has corrupted to data to the point where it is fundamentally unreliable. And while I can imagine well meaning persons doing that to data that supported their assertions, it’s a stretch. A BIG one.

    So, renewable energy is functionally useless, environmentally damaging, and arguably pointless.

    The next time some enthusiastic little environmentalist twit babbles at you about ‘renewable energy’, kick them in the fork. HARD.

    1. It’s pretty certain that the climate is warming, at least to some degree. However, it’s also pretty obvious than when the planet is exiting an ice age that this would be expected regardless of what human’s do.

      And going on and on about CO2 when it’s been way over triple the amount we currently see in atmospheric PPM that it’s beyond absurd to claim we have any control over it. In fact, if they were being honest, they’d notice that we were at critically low PPM CO2 quite recently. If it falls below ~170PPM we all die, yet you never hear this.

      1. A week or so ago in the wildfire thread, every time some lefty shit like Tony or Jackand Ace claimed we needed to address climate change, I asked for specifics on what humanity (including the governments) could realistically do and when might that activity have some measurable effects on the wild fires.
        Not one single proposal.
        Invoking ‘climate change’ as a solution is the left’s equivalent to some fundy offering ‘prayer’ that the hurricanes won’t be so bad.

  12. WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING?!!?!!?

    1. As I put it:

      Them: “Critics say the state’s dependence on solar and wind have made the power grid unreliable and overly expensive.”

      Me: “Gee, ya think!?”

  13. The August blackout, they point out, was directly caused by the failure of a natural gas generator.

    So why didn’t wind and solar pick up the slack?

    1. And what is their plan when they do all electric cars in 2035? It’s not like that will be less than a MASSIVE drain on an already overtaxed grid out there.

  14. Environmentalist logic: Global Warming is an ‘existential’ threat, but nuclear power is ‘too dangerous.’

  15. I used to think of California as a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. Now I don’t even want to visit there.

    1. It’s a big state. Some places are great, like most of Orange County. Best climate in the world, relatively conservative, little fire risk, tons of things to do. The state-wide B.S. doesn’t affect one on a daily basis. But of course, you have to put up with high taxes and cost of living. If you have the money, it’s like living in a resort.

      1. Like being robbed by a priest, no?

  16. Renewables are great to supplement other forms (I’d like nuclear, but that’s not happening). The only way to store large amounts of energy is pumping a bunch of water uphill, usually not practical. You still have to have enough juice to supply the full load when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. So stupid

    1. “…The only way to store large amounts of energy is pumping a bunch of water uphill, usually not practical…”

      And in CA, the same watermelons who made sure the forests were ‘pristine’ (full of kindling) would tie up proposals to do so for many, many years.
      Fact:
      Moonbeam was governor of CA during the prior drought; late ’70s. He, and every governor who followed, did absolutely nothing regarding increasing water storage in CA while the population doubled.
      We don’t have a drought; we have a government-mandated shortage of water storage.

    2. How come you were the only person who states the obvious, that the power should be stored as water pumped up hill.
      Batteries are the stupidest idea for power storage for the entire state.
      Filling up some reservoirs while the sun is shining and the wind is blowing and then letting the water flow downhill through turbines wind and solar aren’t in sufficient supply is the logical idea.

      How they plan to charge for those electric cars in 2035 is mysterious to me as they turn off the power when the wind blows 25 miles an hour.
      Of course they could just build zero carbon emissions nuclear power plants, but that is too logical an idea

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  19. If you listen to Coast to Coast AM, or if you read much besides the hatestream far left media, you will have found that certain extremely cheap technologies / devices can produce huge amounts of power.
    This would of course bankrupt a few industries, so we are never allowed to seriously consider them. The power battles are, then, just a big joke … what flavor of debt slavery do we want? There is one the size of a football that could power a few thousand homes.

    If you have learned of unearthed tunnels with glass-smooth walls, created thousands of years ago, you will read that they are lit by devices with no seen power source. Lamps that burn forever. Ask any alien (so to speak) and you will find that they are just being polite for not ridiculing our energy wars. : )

    1. Finally!
      A well cited, factual response with a practical plan to resolve the issue.

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  21. $11 Billion tax-dollars taken from YOUR paycheck to fund “green energy” power shortages. Astonishingly; Democratic nominee’s are still sponsoring “the green new deal”…

    Stupidity does kill.

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  23. Blackouts and a shortage of electricity and now a EV mandate on top of growth mandates. My State is full of complete dumb asses. The EV thing is a nice idea, but build some freakin’ power plants you fools.
    As a reformed 70’s liberal, I can’t see any of the crowd that I hung with in those days buying much at all of what today’s liberals are selling.

  24. “”Renewables have not caused this issue. This is a resource issue, not a renewable issue,” California Independent Systems Operator CEO Stephen Berberich said in an August 18 press briefing.”—The lack of adequate, reliable and affordable renewables HAS caused the blackouts, Steve, along with decades of PG&E and CA state govt corruption. Aside from the cowards at pge diving under the bankruptcy umbrella, nothing has changed. Same lack of inspections, repairs and replacements. Same fires and blackouts.

  25. >>>Mills has calculated that storing a barrel of oil’s worth of energy in a battery costs at least 100 times as much as storing the oil and that it would take 1,000 years for the world’s largest battery factory to produce enough to store two days’ worth of America’s energy needs.

    “Batteries are never going to get cheaper to store energy than storing oil in a barrel,” says Mills. <<<<

    What a mind boggling pile if Shite

    That oil storage is so cheap, lucky thing the oil in it doesn't cost anything…..oh wait it does? Yeah, cost of fuel is a thing, not the cost to store it. Batteries last for years, oil burns in a day, and then we must buy more

    So, 2 days of storage?
    Why would we need 2 days of storage for any reason whatsoever?
    If the sun doesn't come up for 2 days, we have other problems

    98 percent of grid usage, you have plenty of power. 102 percent you have blackouts

    SO what percentage storage do you need? Not 100 percent, ever.

    wind is cheaper than nuke TODAY

    Texas Idaho and Montana could keep the west going on their own.

    You want 100 percent renewable capacity, you do not need 100 percent actual use. Gas plants will be here for many decades, but their percentage of actual use on the grid will diminish

  26. Back in the 1960s and 1970s the environmentalists forced the cost of nuclear power plants to astronomical heights. The method used was the courts. These environmentalists took the companies that were planning a nuclear power plant to court over a single concern. This concern would take years to resolve and in the meantime the construction stopped. If it appeared that that case was about to be resolved another group of environmentalists would file a suit on a different concern and the procedure would start over. All these lawsuits caused the plants to no longer be feasible and the companies were forced to abandon the project at a very high cost to them and to the supply of electric to the nation. At that time the environmentalist preferred either coal or petroleum to be used instead of nuclear. Because of these same environmentalists the cost of electric has been forced to increase for two reasons. The first reason is a shortage of electric power and a higher demand caused the price per KW increased. The other reason the companies who had tried to build these nuclear power plants had to recover the cost of the failed attempt to build these plants some of them were will along in building when they were shut down by regulatory agencies or because of costs. Without recouping the cost these power generating companies would have gone bankrupt and all customers would have been SOL.
    Now these same environmentalist and those who have taken their place now are forcing the power generating companies to shut down these coal and natural gas powered generating plants. Wind and solar will not be in a position to replace these CO2 generating power plants and we wind up with what is going on in California. We saw this playing out i California in the early 2000 when Enron a company that had started during the Clinton administration had a contract to supply electric power to California to supply the shortfall in electric created by the state when it did not allow the companies to expand its power generation to meet the needs of its companies. California created this shortage in a couple of ways first they limited the what the companies could charged for the power that generated instate and the other major hindrance to local production were ever increasing environmental regulations and restrictions. This made the cost of generating electric in California unprofitable. It also caused the power transmission companies to short their maintenance on their transmission lines which have been the source of wildfires like the ones that has been experienced this past year. This caused PG&E to file for bankruptcy protection. But I notice that the State of California is not willing to take over the operation of PG&E as a state own company company. The governors know that would not be feasible and would put the state at greater risk and a revolt of states voters.

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