From the invaluable Rich Lowry at the New York Post: “California is staying true to its reputation as the land of innovation — it is making blackouts…a routine feature of 21st-century American life.”
Turns out that, in pursuing well-intentioned alternative energy benchmarks — and subsidizing such efforts heavily — California’s utilities and political leadership ignored the much more basic mandate to maintain the grid and clear out tinder-box forests.
If California regulators wanted, they could have pushed the utilities to focus on the resilience and safety of its current infrastructure — implicated in some of the state’s most fearsome recent fires — as a top priority. Instead, the utilities commission forced costly renewable energy initiatives on the utilities.
Who cares about something as mundane as properly maintained power lines if something as supposedly epically important — and politically fashionable — as saving the planet from climate change is at stake?
From our perspective, progressive programs almost always feel good in theory, and then end up resulting in worse outcomes for everyday people. Such as, the average people who need to keep the lights on to maintain the basic standard of American life.
But, in today’s polarized political environment, where social media politics often trumps reality, the results often don’t matter to these people… and whether it’s Obamacare or minimum wage hikes that put people out of work, they always seem to find a conservative bogeyman to blame when their own programs backfire on the people they were supposed to help.