Gavin Newsom Suspends Environmental Rules to Expand Fossil Fuel Energy in Heat Wave

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 06: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom speaks during election night event on November 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Newsom defeated Republican Gubernatorial candidate John Cox. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom suspended several environmental quality regulations on Friday to allow fossil fuel power plants to produce more electricity as the state feared blackouts due to an ongoing heat wave.

Solar and wind energy, which the state has attempted to increase as it pursues zero emissions goals, are unable to meet the increased demand and famously failed last August during another heat wave, when there was little wind and skies were overcast over parts of the state.

Newsom signed an “extreme heat proclamation” on Friday that allowed the California Air Resources Board to allow “maximum discretion” to allow the use of generators on land, and to let ships in port use auxiliary engines for power, rather than connecting to the onshore grid.

In addition, Newsom suspended “daily average and instantaneous temperature limitations in waste discharge requirements for thermal power plants,” and lifted restrictions on “the amount of power that a facility may generate,” as well as air quality rules “that prevent the facility from generating additional power during peak demand hours.”

Newsom signed an additional proclamation specifically pertaining to auxiliary engines on ships docked in local ports.

Last year, Newsom said that the state needed to “sober up” about the limitations of renewable energy sources, though he has continued to pursue a “green” agenda, promising to phase out the internal combustion engine in vehicles in the state.

The Wall Street Journal noted Monday that California is also drawing on power generated by and for other states that happens to pass through it, thanks to a favorable ruling from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

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). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent 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.


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