CALIFORNIA'S TROUBLED GREEN FUTURE
Exclusive: Roger Hedgecock highlights absurdity of Golden State's climate agendaPublished: 22 hours ago
Enjoying the Super Bowl in California is something of a guilty pleasure. All that raw testosterone, all that physical competition, all that awful capitalist advertising. In a state that banned dodge ball as a threat to self-esteem, the Super Bowl is, like, so yesterday. But the new California is so tomorrow.
California is where Obama's second term is being born.
Cap and trade to raise the cost of doing business? Sure. Bullet train to nowhere? Yes! Solar electricity plants to "skyrocket" consumer utility bills? Check. Higher taxes? Of course. Permanent high unemployment and government deficits? Yes. It's the price of doing the right thing.
California is going green – if it doesn't go broke first.
The state Legislature passed, and Gov. Jerry Brown signed, a balanced budget last June. By last month, the state was on track to spend $2.6 billion more than budgeted, and revenues were below projection by another $2.6 billion. The governor's tax increase plan, even if approved by voters next November, would not cover this chasm of a shortfall. It's out-of-control government spending "balanced" by fairy dust revenue expectations. It's the new normal.
Forget the bankruptcy of Solyndra and other green companies, California is going green no matter the cost.
Congress wouldn't act, so California will. California can't wait. California's unique state cap-and-trade legislation to lower CO2 emissions is now being translated by the California Air Quality Board into reams of new regulations and higher costs for every remaining California business.
The planet is saved. Mother Gaia will be pleased. New carbon taxes stimulate the economy almost as well as unemployment checks or food stamps (hat tip Nancy Pelosi). Happy days are here again.
Cars are so yesterday in the state that glorified the car culture back in the '60s.
The Air Quality Board has mandated zero-emission electric cars for California consumers by 2025, whether they want them or not. More progressive members of the board wanted to mandate cars with perpetual motion engines, but they were defeated in a close vote. They vow to keep up the fight.
Other green leaders want to get rid of the car altogether. Voters have approved a bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Cost estimates now run more than $100 billion, and construction hasn't even started. The state has only $12 billion to pay for the construction and no money for operating expenses.
Gov. Brown has fired doubters from the California Rail Authority and replaced them with true believers. Move over Boston's Big Dig – your record waste of taxpayer money is about to be eclipsed.
The first phase of the train will link the towns of Borden and Corcoran in California's Central Valley. Both towns are famous for their state prisons, and locals have dubbed the train the "Conjugal Visit Express."
Brown has waived environmental laws to speed construction of the bullet train. Unions trumpet the fountain of new jobs to be created in the shovel-ready project. But there are no steel or railroad construction companies left in the state. The Chinese provided the steel and the workers to rebuild the San Francisco Bay Bridge. The Chinese, who built the railroads in the 1800s, will be back to provide the steel and build the bullet train in the 21st century. Oh, brave new world.
The California green agenda marches on.
Twenty-one large-scale solar-energy projects are planned or under construction in California's deserts, mandated by state laws requiring state public utilities to get a portion of their electricity from green sources.
The same environmentalists who lobbied for this requirement and who for decades have preached the need for alternative energy, particularly solar, are outraged.
As documented Sunday in the Los Angeles Times, these solar-panel farms will shade almost 1 percent of the fragile ecosystem of the desert, causing untold damage. Something must be done to stop this wanton desecration. The utility companies will now undergo more rigorous government regulation to mitigate the damage. All costs will be borne by the consumer, of course.
Sadly, one of the environmental groups occupying the moral high ground in these debates took a credibility hit last week.
The Sierra Club, founded by the most revered Californian of all time, John Muir, was in hot water when it was revealed that the Club took $26 million from a natural gas company to fund its "Beyond Coal" campaign. The Club also took $1.3 million from Clorox to promote that company's "Green Works" brand of products. And it took $101 million from an individual who told the Club not to oppose immigration.
The Canadian government recently found that environmental groups opposing oil drilling in Alberta were funded by the Saudis. But, no conflict of interest of course. The environmentalists' hearts are in the right place.
This week, our noble California environmentalists called on the governor, in the name of safety and to protect the planet, to shut down two nuclear power plants in California, limiting a perfectly safe and cheap source of electricity.
The San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant (known to locals as the Dolly Parton) leaked a wisp of steam last week, shutting down the whole plant. The steam was contained in Dolly's structure and did not leak into the air. Nonetheless, Shepard Smith warned his Fox reporter to be careful lest the plant "blow up." Shep Smith was Jane Fonda in the "China Syndrome." It's not a pretty sight.
While doing routine maintenance last week, a worker at the San Onofre plant fell into the cooling pool surrounding the reactor. If this were a Hollywood propaganda movie, the worker would have been a crispy critter when fished out of the pool. In reality, the worker was exposed to 5 millirems of radioactivity. A chest X-ray ranges from 5-10 millirems. The feds won't reveal what an airport X-ray nudie scanner does to you.
Anti-nuke activists used these incidents to demand the immediate closure of both nuclear plants, despite a 40-year record of perfect safety and electricity costing consumers less than one-tenth the cost of solar-generated electricity. The facts, including costs, just don't count when you're doing the right thing.
None dare ask how those electric cars will get charged if we close the nuclear plants and stop the solar plants in the desert. We'll cross that bridge to nowhere when we get there.
The green agenda is central to the Obama regime, and a second term would feature a national roll-out of the programs that are rolling out today in California. You have been warned.