Newsom Has a Plan to Keep the Lights On in California — Using Fossil Fuels

A controversial plan from Gov. Gavin Newsom would reshape how business is done on the California power grid, potentially helping to extend the life of beachfront gas plants and the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, making it easier for solar and wind farm developers to sidestep local government opposition, and limiting environmental reviews for all kinds of energy projects.

State lawmakers could vote as early as Wednesday night on the polarizing legislation, whose text was revealed late Sunday.

The bill would give the Department of Water Resources unprecedented authority to build or buy energy from any facility that can help keep the lights on during the next few summers — including polluting diesel generators and four gas-fired power plants along the Southern California coast that were originally supposed to close in 2020 but were rescued by state officials.

Those decisions would be exempt from the normal public input process under the California Environmental Quality Act — and from approval by agencies such as the California Coastal Commission and local air quality management districts.

A separate provision would allow companies building solar farms, wind turbines and lithium-ion batteries — as well as electric lines to connect those facilities to the grid — to opt in to an accelerated approval process that doesn’t require sign-off from county governments. State officials would be required to conduct environmental reviews and approve or deny those projects within nine months. Legal challenges to any project approvals would need to be resolved by state courts within another nine months.

The legislation is technically a follow-up to the state budget approved by lawmakers earlier this month. It’s part of the Newsom administration’s frenetic effort to address twin challenges: the risk of blackouts and the growing dangers of the climate crisis.

It’s been almost two years since brief rolling blackouts roiled the state on two brutally hot August evenings when there wasn’t enough electricity supply to power millions of air conditioners after the sun went down and solar panels stopped generating.

Electric utilities have managed to keep the lights on since then — barely. But preventing outages is only getting harder as fossil fuel emissions heat the planet, extreme drought drains hydropower reservoirs and worsening wildfires disrupt power lines.

Newsom responded last month by asking lawmakers to approve a $5.2-billion “strategic electricity reliability reserve” that would pay for emergency power supplies over the next few years. But he surprised many observers with Sunday’s proposal to let the Department of Water Resources secure those supplies through a special review process at the California Energy Commission, which critics say could limit opportunities for public input and lead to more pollution in low-income communities of color.

The strategic reserve “is an insurance policy that will only be used when we face potential shortfall during extreme climate-change driven events (e.g. heatwaves, wildfire disruptions to transmission),” the Newsom administration says in a bill summary.

Click here to read the full article in the LA Times

Comments

  1. Democrats only fix problems they cause with MORE problems………and they like throwing enormous amounts of money we don’t have, at problems that don’t exist, for solutions that don’t work!!!

  2. richard daybell says

    open up the oil fields, build desal plants and more nuke plants, reopen San Clemente nuke plant,

  3. Boris Badenov says

    So my question is, exactly HOW MUCH ENERGY do we actually get from the massive wind and solar installations? What are the environmental costs? BTW I know the answers and it’s a MASSIVE waste.

    The Earth isn’t warming, in fact it is cooling and has been for 10 years. But of course the GENIUS, Gates is pushing forward with his plan for a massive sun block in space to cool the planet, what will THAT do for the already useless solar plants?

    Everest is 100% correct all the Dims do is create more problems that are not fixed with more solutions they come up with but indeed create more problems requires more worthless government employees that will vote Dim to keep their jobs and create more problems in the process.

  4. Mr_Pickle says

    Seems everything these days are Green, of which ALWAYS costs more as environmental mandates come down the pipe. Name anything green related, and this is the case. The lowest cost items for energy in this country is oil + Nat Gas + Coal. Now the hypocritic Dems are going back to what has worked in this country since the last century and NOT the wind blown nor sun provided energy they want. If one wants GREEN power, it MUST work along side existing, proven methods over a LONG period of time to test, implement, prove out
    TOGETHER and not the crush rush environmentalists demand, hence the higher cost we TODAY that are carrying the high financial costs……………. CARB states 99% cleaner air today, and wants to spend billions on pie in the sky solutions they propose………. This Governor is retarded to drink in the cool aid. Having BBB aka Biden Basement Boy is not helping and worst of the worst leaders ever……

    Come on folks, get moving and take the time to communicate with leaders YOUR 2 cents or live (or die) to turn things around. Fed & this state leaders have NO clue what they are doing……. As always, Follow The Money! Your money………………. These folks state they know best, but is not true and records show this. Grrrrrrrr. VOTE THEM OUT!

  5. There is no such thing as man made climate change. It’s a smoke screen (lie) to cover the goal of gaining centralized power and control with select elites at the top, and everyone else at the bottom. Control food, energy and water and their grip is solid. Their greatest weapon is fear.

  6. hal schwartz says

    Kalifornias contribution to global warming is microscopically measurable. Its less than dry pissing in a very large bucket.

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