THE ONE WITH GREEN ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE
At this point, the idea that Green Energy industry and regulations kill jobs and economy is a farce. Similarly, more severe weather grips the planet with each passing season and fossil fuels continue to be both a politically volatile international commodity and the primary green house gas culprits. As the weather severity changes, we must do all we can to adapt our national economy accordingly. The Pentagon has only been asking us to do this since 2012. Diversified Energy Independence is good business and good national security. Current increased stress on our electric grid in unseasonably hot summers means not enough power at some junctures, and too much at others. With San Onofre off line since 2012 and no new fossil fuel plants likely to go in locally, we must plan long term to modernize our infrastructure.
Here in CA we must continue to lead. We mentioned the farce above; California can prove it. Continuing on this path would mean updates, jobs, and increased productivity economically. The solar industry now employs more American workers than all coal, oil and natural gas power plants. The more we can get our local, State and Federal governments to rely on free and abundant sources of energy here at home, the stronger our nation will be. Even the oil centric city of Houston gets it. As those municipalities save money on power expenditures over the long term, taxpayers save as well. Some areas now produce too much power. For these areas we need to continue to install batteries to store/capture excess power, the way Los Angeles has begun to. Electric grids are not alone. Crumbling roads and bridges can be modernized for energy efficiency and create potentially millions of jobs in the process.
The tl;dr version:
Growing up in Riverside, CA in the 90's we routinely had 'Smog Days' where we were not allowed to go outside. No recess, no sports practice, no outdoor activity. As a public health warning the city and state would let us know that the air quality was so bad, we shouldn't overexpose ourselves to 'it.' While conditions in Southern CA have greatly improved, our cumulative air quality still needs work; real work.
Since the 1970's the Golden State has famously championed Green Energy industry expansion and regulation, in tandem. This partnership has spurred innovation out of the state en masse. Fuel efficiency standards that were once scoffed at nationally are now the norm. They told us we'd never be able to sell cars in the nation's largest car market, and that we'd be dooming ourselves economically over and over if we had the audacity to clean our air and water. They said we couldn't really clean it anyway, so what was the point?
We did clean up the air and water substantially. However, we still have work to do. The war against polluted air that kills millions annually is far from over.
The greatest parts of America, our Capitalism and our State Government structure, rely on natural competition. The Nation can survey new State strategies and consider them for wider implementation. The good ideas stay, and the bad ones go. This is a healthy economic ecosystem. California has overwhelmingly shown the nation the idea that Green Energy jobs are bad for the economy flies in the face of our state GDP being double that of the country. While at the same time, unemployment went down to 5%.
There was a time when the government needed to subsidize solar (the way we still subsidize corn and oil) for it to be cost competitive with other electric generation fuels/sources. That time is over. The cost of production for a watt of electricity (the only business math that matters) is now at parity with solar and natural gas and both are cheaper than coal or oil.
The most cutting edge solar panel/photo voltaic cells, bid to go into a plant in Dubai, can produce at a rate of 2.42 cents per kilowatt hour. Coal and gas in the U.S. currently average around 5-6 cents.
Inaction has real economic consequences... too much science!
It's time to lead, California - We Have Things To Do.