Despite Newsom’s statewide policy decisions that are driving up costs of energy in the state, only a few Californians are upset with the ever-increasing costs for their electricity and gasoline, resulting in the excessive costs of living, increasing homelessness and crime. But most voters have just showed their approval of the bizarre energy policies that Newsom promotes and wish to incur four more years of financial torture.
The continuous exodus of residents from the state has resulted in a loss of a representative in Washington for the first time in its 171-year history. Departing residents are being followed by large corporations and privately owned businesses that have moved their headquarters out of California in 2021 at twice their rate in both 2020 and 2019 and at three times their rate in 2018.
California has a history of having the highest gasoline prices in the country. Why? For one, the West Coast fuels market is isolated from other supply/demand centers as California is an energy island. The Sierra Mountains are a natural barrier that prevents the state from pipeline access to any of that excess oil. As such, the West Coast is susceptible to unexpected outages of West Coast refineries as it is unable to backfill an unexpected loss in supply by quickly supplying additional products from outside of the region.
Newsom is emphatically complaining that the oil companies are making outlandish profits, but he may be out of touch with reality as two California refineries have shut down under his current watch and two more may be closing in his new term.
Under Newsom’s watch in the last few years, two of California’s refineries have virtually shut down and are no longer manufacturing gasoline, aviation fuels, or any oil derivatives. Those two, Phillips66 at Rodeo and Marathon at Martinez, are now only focusing on renewable diesel.
More financial sad news may occur under Newsom’s next term with the permanent closure of two more California refineries, the Chevron Refinery at Richmond and the PBF Refinery at Martinez. If the courts uphold the 2021 Bay Area Air Quality Management (BAAQMD) rule 6-5 for a further reduction in particulate emissions, both have stated that they will shut down before spending one billion dollars to retrofit their refineries to comply with further particulate emission reductions.
The world has seen the impact on Germany and Britain with their dependency on Russia for most of its energy, but for the 4th largest economy in the world, in California, Newsom already has the State more than 56 percent dependent on imported crude oil, but continuously seeks further reductions of in-state oil production that places greater dependency on foreign countries.
California’s growing dependency on foreign countries is a national security risk for all of America. Does Newsom expect a better outcome than what Germany and Britain experienced by not controlling more of its energy future demands?
I’m sure that Newsom had a chance to view the 2006 movie “Blood Diamonds” starring Leonardo DiCaprio that portrays many of the similar atrocities now occurring in pursuit of the “Blood Minerals” i.e., those exotic minerals and metals to support the “green” movement within wealthy countries that continue promoting environmental degradation to landscapes in developing countries, and imposes humanity atrocities to citizens with yellow, brown, and black skinned workers being exploited for the green movement of the few wealthy nations.
Despite the Biden administration’s declaration that EV battery materials from China may be tainted by child labor made with materials known to be produced with child or forced labor, Newsom continues to support subsidies to procure EV’s and build more wind and solar when those subsidies are providing financial incentives to the developing countries mining for those “green” materials that promotes further exploitations of poor people in developing countries. I personally thought that Newsom had higher moral and ethical standards that would stop him from exploiting the poor in developing countries.
Newsom seems to be oblivious to the reality that everything that needs electricity is made from the oil derivatives manufactured from crude oil, but Newsom continues to support wind and solar that only generate intermittent electricity but cannot manufacture anything for society. Newsom has yet to identify a replacement for the oil derivatives that are the basis of more than 6,000 products and fuels for our various transportation infrastructures, and the economy.
Life Without Oil is NOT AS SIMPLE AS NEWSOM MAY THINK as renewable energy is only intermittent electricity from breezes and sunshine as NEITHER wind turbines nor solar panels can manufacture anything for society. Climate change may impact humanity but being mandated to live without the products manufactured from oil will necessitate lifestyles being mandated back to the horse and buggy days of the 1800’s and could be the greatest threat to civilization’s eight billion residents.
In Newsom’s all-electric world, Newsom’s bizarre energy policies reflect his believes that all the infrastructures developed in less than two centuries, from the products manufactured from crude oil, are NOT needed by future societies, such as medical, electronics, communications, and the many transportation infrastructures such as airlines, merchant ships, automobiles, trucks, military, and the space programs.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), California’s high cost of electricity is already fifty percent higher than the national average for residents, and double the national averages for commercial, and are projected to go even higher.
California is the nation’s top producer of electricity from solar, geothermal, and biomass, but the inability to replace the closure of continuously uninterruptable electricity from nuclear and natural gas power plants with intermittent electricity from renewables is causing the state to import more of its electricity.
Again, under Newsom’s watch, the EIA says that California imports more electricity than any other US state, more than twice the amount of Virginia, the second largest importer of electricity.
Newsom’s policies continue to force California to be the only state in contiguous America that imports most of its crude oil energy from foreign countries. That dependence has increased imported crude oil from foreign countries from 5 percent in 1992 to 56 percent today of total consumption.
At today’s price of crude oil approaching $100 per barrel the imported crude oil costs California more than $150 million dollars a day, yes, every day, being paid to oil-rich foreign countries, depriving Californians of jobs and business opportunities, and drivers to pay these premium prices for fuel.
Richer countries now have higher gasoline prices, while poorer countries and countries that produce and export oil have lower cost for fuels. A review of global petroleum gasoline prices per gallon in U.S. dollars shows the international intelligence and trends of gasoline prices of the wealthy countries that have opted to go “green” at any cost, compared with poorer countries and countries that produce and export oil.
Another issue that Newsom will not discuss is funding for future road maintenance. Newsom has mandated no sales of internal combustion engine vehicles after 2035 but appears incapable of acknowledging that heavier EV’s contribute nothing for road maintenance and repairs. California has almost 400,000 miles of roadways that are heavily dependent on road taxes from fuels that contribute more than $8.8 billion annually, the same tax base that also funds the environmental programs that will be diminishing in the decades ahead.
Maybe Newsom will produce a plan in the next four years to finance the billions of dollars for the roads being used by EV’s or just pass that problem on to his predecessor.
California voters had a chance to recall Newsom in 2021 but chose to support his bizarre and expensive energy policies. Following the failed recall, Newsom was just re-elected by the voters that are willing to accept the highest energy costs in America. Voters support his avoidance of addressing those tough energy policy questions that would expose his limited energy literacy over the next four years of financial torture upon the working class that voted for him.
Ronald Stein, P.E.
Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure
via Watts Up With That?
November 10, 2022