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Gavin Newsom’s Energy Hubris Relates Directly To “Peak Oil”

Gavin Newsom’s Energy Hubris Relates Directly To “Peak Oil” thumbnail

Three big oil and gas-related stories this week were all interrelated with one another, though few really understand that to be the case. Those stories were:

For Governor Newsom, banning hydraulic fracturing – or “fracking” as it has come to be called – in his state is a relatively simple matter in what has become, for all intents and purposes, a one-party state. All he has to do is convince his overwhelming majorities in both houses of California’s state assembly to pass a bill mandating that all fracking operations cease within the state’s borders by a date certain.

Such a move would of course eliminate thousands of oil and gas-related jobs in the state, but most of those are concentrated in Republican Kern County and the surrounding parts of the Central Valley, over which the assembly’s Democrats would have little concern. Besides, they can all just respond to Republican and industry complaints with the Obama-era pretense that all those lost jobs and more will be made up by the heavily-subsidized wind and solar industries. It will be akin to former President Obama telling West Virginia coal miners and Ohio steel workers that their jobs are never coming back and they should all go learn to code.

 

Replacing the state’s millions of gas and diesel autos with electric vehicles will be a far more complicated enterprise. Newsom’s order gets that ball rolling by requiring the California Air Resources Board to implement the phaseout of new gas-powered cars and light trucks in the coming years, and also require medium and heavy-duty trucks to be zero-emission by 2045 where possible. Sounds simple, right?

But here’s the thing about all of that: The generation and provision of energy is basically a zero-sum game. When you ban one energy source, you must figure out a way to generate the same amount of energy by another source. You either do that or you accept the reality that energy will become scarce, and thus far more expensive so that consumers demand less of it, and write off the negative economic and quality-of-life consequences that will inevitably result.

The latter approach is in fact the trade-off California Democrats, along with a pair of liberal Republican governors, have written into law for their power generation sector over the past 25 years or so. We witnessed the inevitably resulting scarcity of power generating capacity in California this summer, as millions of residents were subjected to rolling blackouts during heat waves and wildfires that impacted much of the state.

Think about it this way: Newsom contemplates the elimination of millions of cars that generate their energy through the use of gasoline and diesel in just 15 years. He proposes to replace them all with EVs or supposedly hydrogen powered cars as their feasibility continues to advance.

The thing is, those millions of new EVs have to have their batteries charged regularly, just as users of gas-powered cars must fill up their tanks every few hundred miles. The energy needed to power the charging stations which charge those batteries must be generated either by hooking them up to the state’s power grid, or by hooking them up to a generator, most often one that is powered by either gasoline, diesel or natural gas.

Oh.

The big complication for Gov. Newsom here is that the policies he and his predecessors have adopted for his state’s power generation sector have rendered the building of substantial new baseload power plants fired by fossil fuels or nuclear economically and environmentally unfeasible. In fact, the state’s final nuclear facility is scheduled to be decommissioned by 2025, eliminating that source of clean energy for California consumers entirely.

What Newsom and his supporters propose to affect here is a massive transfer of energy generation capacity from the state’s transportation sector, in the form of internal combustion engines, to its power sector. They apparently believe that enormous transfer of generation capacity can be handled entirely through the installation of more windmills and solar panels, given that they have basically made the building of any other energy generating source unfeasible, if not illegal.

This seems like energy hubris on an historic scale.

BP, in contemplating the possibility that the world has already reached “peak oil” demand, sees proposals like Governor Newsom’s as a trend that will be rapidly adopted by other U.S. states and other nations around the world. ConocoPhillips, in stating its belief that global demand for crude will recover fairly quickly and continue to grow, sees the adoption of policies designed to force dramatic transfers of power-generation capacity from one sector to a second sector, while at the same time severely restricting that second sector’s ability to grow as something that will be far slower to come about.

Put another way, BP’s European-based management sees command-and-control governance and energy scarcity policies as the wave of the near future, while ConocoPhillips’ U.S.-based management anticipates a near future in which free markets and consumer demand for plentiful and affordable energy will continue to prevail.

A decade from now, we’ll be able to do a look-back exercise to see which company’s vision turned out to be more accurate.

QNews



4 Comments on "Gavin Newsom’s Energy Hubris Relates Directly To “Peak Oil”"

  1. print baby print on Sun, 27th Sep 2020 4:06 pm 

    2035 they are fucking us in our brains.

  2. ANAL REAPER on Sun, 27th Sep 2020 8:22 pm 

    Gavin Newsom is the dumbest Governor in the US. The people who voted for him are even dumber. That state has gone downhill since retarded liberals took over the state. People are getting out of that state in droves they are sick of the asshole laws in that state.

    Fuck CA. It’s full of illegals and liberal FAGGOTS.

    TRUMP 2020 fuckers!

  3. ANSEL REAPER on Tue, 29th Sep 2020 10:45 pm 

    On This Day…
    Sep 29, 2013: Peshawar, Pakistan
    Innocents at a packed market are torn to shreds: 42 Killed

  4. antius on Tue, 29th Sep 2020 10:50 pm 

    New Jersey Mosque Makes $550,000 Off Local Taxpayers…

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