Pollak: California’s Blackouts Are a Preview of the Green New Deal

California blackouts (App Gomes / AFP / Getty)
Apu Gomes / AFP / Getty

California’s rolling blackouts last weekend were partly caused by the state’s increasing reliance on wind and solar power, which were unavailable because of calm winds and overcast skies.

Hundreds of thousands of customers lost electricity during a heat wave on Friday and Saturday — and were warned of a third wave of blackouts Sunday, though that was avoided.

The San Jose Mercury News noted:

When it later acknowledged it could not meet demand, [California Independent System Operator] blamed the unexpected loss of a 470-megawatt power plant Saturday evening, as well as the loss of nearly 1,000 megawatts of wind power.

Temperatures were hotter than expected, setting records in many places. Cloud cover in the desert — where the state generates the majority of its solar power — reduced solar energy production. Other Western states also suffered heat waves, meaning they had no extra power to divert to California. And it didn’t get much cooler when the sun set, so AC units ran into the night, as solar plants shut down.

Other factors included the sudden shutdown of two conventional power plants: “Two of the state’s major power plants were not online when we needed them. A 750-megawatt plant had been out of service for several days. Another 500-megawatt plant unexpectedly shut down just as the state approached peak demand around 5 p.m. Friday.”

Rolling blackouts are more common in the Third World. In California, they are the result of poor planning, bad management, and an ideological fixation on “green” energy.

California has been rushing to replace fossil fuel energy sources with “renewables,” primarily wind and solar power, in pursuit of its own version of the “Green New Deal.”

In 2018, then-Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a law requiring the state to obtain 100% of its energy needs from renewables by 2045, though no one could explain how the state would do that.

In 2019, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) introduced the Green New Deal, which aimed to achieve the same goal by 2030.

And in 2020, former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for president, adopted a version of the Green New Deal that commits the U.S. to reach 100% renewables in electricity generation by 2035.

If Biden and the Democrats win in November, they will almost certainly implement the Green New Deal, given that Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), is a co-sponsor of the Senate version of the legislation, and has already said she supports ending the Senate filibuster to ram it through.

If that happens, the nation will be stuck with the rolling blackouts California is experiencing today.

Rather than the world’s number one oil producer, we will be — in energy terms — a Third World nation.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.