California, a state blessed with vast natural resources, has recently been suffering from rolling energy blackouts due to the state’s strict and sometimes militant “climate change” policies. The blackouts, which deny air conditioning and electricity to millions of people in the state during a heatwave, have affected vulnerable communities, such as the elderly, as they suffer through the COVID-19 pandemic indoors.
One would think a state with such plentiful resources and a massive economy of $2.9 trillion would not have such crippling problems. Still, unfortunately, the extreme environmental policies enacted in the state over the past few years have created this crisis that would only be imaginable in a Third World failed state like Venezuela.
Last October, California’s Pacific Gas and Electric cut off power to countless residents’ homes. Over the previous decade, instead of renewing critical funds for maintaining the state’s power lines, they diverted such funds to pay for renewables. In turn, the renewables shot up utility prices to six times more than the rest of the United States from 2011 to 2019.
The recent blackouts are due to insufficient reliable power from natural gas and nuclear plants. The state has to rely on renewables, like solar and wind, which are weather-dependent, and which have a high cost of storage and transmission. And these renewable plants were all turning off as blackouts began.
Another factor in the blackouts occurring was (former) Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who shut down a large nuclear power plant in southern California due to environmental reasons, which further decimated energy resources in the state.
A report from California’s PG&E concluded that over the next 15 years, the utility’s customers could see blackouts double and over the next 30, quadruple.
In New Mexico, we are heading in the same direction as California. Our governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, signed the Energy Transition Act, also referred to as the “mini” Green New Deal, which will wipe out all oil and gas by 2045. Much like California, New Mexico is set to close the San Juan Generating Station by 2022, which will undoubtedly wipe out countless jobs and leave us without a large power source in the state.
New Mexico’s shift toward so-called “renewables” may leave us looking similar to California, relying on rolling blackouts and unreliable energy sources, which will negatively impact us for years to come. A radical shift from a reliance on our state’s natural resources, such as coal, oil and gas, to solar panels and wind, is not sustainable.
The oil and gas industry is vital to our state, providing more than 40% of our state revenues. The industry also accounts for more than 100,000 New Mexico jobs.
Suppose we don’t elect pro-oil and natural gas candidates to stand as a bulwark against radical environmentalists in the next election. In that case, we can expect to follow the Golden State. If California, one of the most “advanced” states in the nation, can’t survive on radical environmentalist policies, it’s almost guaranteed such harmful initiatives will also leave New Mexico in the dark.