The same California that has been the seedbed of world-famous companies — like the ones that make it possible for people to send widely viewed short missives of 280 characters or fewer and share and like images of grumpy cats — isn’t doing so well at keeping the lights on.
The same California that has boldly committed to drawing half of its energy from renewable sources by 2025 — and 100 percent renewable energy by 2045 — can’t manage its existing energy infrastructure.
The same California that has pushed its electricity rates to the highest in the contiguous United States through its mandates and regulations doesn’t provide continuous access to that overpriced electricity.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has to try to evade responsibility for this debacle while presiding over it, blames “dog-eat-dog capitalism” for the state’s current blackout crisis. It sounds like he is referring to robber barons who have descended on the state to suck it dry of profits while burning it to the ground.
But in fact, Newsom is talking about one of the most regulated industries in the state — namely, California’s energy utilities that answer to the state’s public utilities commission.
Milton Friedman said that if you put the government in charge of the Sahara desert, in five years there would be a shortage of sand. Put progressives in charge of the nation’s most advanced economy, and pretty soon you can’t even keep the lights on.
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Residents carefully plan long highway trips as if they were ancient explorers charting dangerous routes. Tourists warily enter downtown Los Angeles or San Francisco as if visiting a politically unstable nation.
Insatiable state tax collectors and agencies are viewed by the public as if they were corrupt officials of Third World countries seeking bribes. Californians flip their switches unsure of whether the lights will go on. Many are careful about what they say, terrified of progressive thought police who seem more worried about critics than criminals.
Our resolute ancestors took a century to turn a wilderness into California. Our irresolute generation in just a decade or two has been turning California into a wilderness.