Thursday, April 14, 2011

Just Drink The Kool-Aid

Shown in his earlier political career is California Governor Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown with political ally Rev. Jim Jones of the People's Temple. Brown has a lot less hair now, and Jones has gone off to his particular place in hell. Brown's obsessive need to get the people of the State of California to commit suicide has survived the years.

The heavily-Democratic state legislature has just passed Brown's plan to require California to get one-third of its power from "renewable sources" by the year 2020. The current goal was one-fifth. When the legislature first proposed this measure, it was too much even for muscle-head governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who vetoed it. The one-third figure must be reached by using solar panels, windmills, landfill gases, small hydroelectric and other "renewable" resources. Well, those are neither coal nor oil, but I'm not sure how they're any more "renewable."

I'm often amazed at the sheer chutzpah of politicians like Brown. Bought and paid for by California unions and the green weenie lobby, his faux Wall Street reasoning is that the economy will be improved by giving reassurance to the renewable energy investment sector. No mention at all of how it will affect the other 99% of investors and employers. But if Spain is any indication, for every four jobs created, nine will be lost, energy production will fall precipitously, the economy will continue to slide into the abyss, and energy prices will soar.

The bill was signed on Tuesday at SunPower-Flextronics located in Milpitas (southern tip of the San Francisco Bay Area). US Energy Secretary Steven Chu was in attendance, and a spokeswoman for Chu stated: "Instead of watching from the sidelines, America needs to get back in the clean energy race, and that's exactly what California is doing." Note the use of the word "clean" instead of "renewable." More about that later. SunPower-Flextronics is one of several companies that has benefited from government subsidies and Democratic special treatment. If you know you have the government and the taxpayers' money behind you, investment is indeed secure.

Now I know you will not be surprised to find out that General Electric stock will also be going up with the help of this happy-happy act. I have two hopes in regard to GE. First, that in its rush to hire foreign workers overseas, it will have a little room to hire out-of-work Californians at home. Second, I am hoping that SunPower-Flextronics will pay some taxes, unlike GE. Politics does make for strange bedfellows, with crypto-socialist politicians joining crypto-capitalist big corporation CEOs on the Posturepedic.

The green weenie corporations get rich, pay little in taxes, put more workers out of work than they hire, and set goals that no reasoning human being can believe can ever be accomplished without skulduggery, creative accounting, and serious damage to an already-fragile economy. California's unemployment rate is officially well over 12%, much of it attributable to other green and envirowacko initiatives. Just ask the farmers in the Central Valley.

Business groups have conservatively estimated that the cost to consumers will go up no less than seven percent almost immediately. That's bad enough, but electricity rates in California are already fifty percent higher than the national average. But the bill "guarantees" that no such increases will occur because the government will control costs. That theory is not merely both obnoxious and crazy, but California has already seen what government control of real costs can do. Anybody remember the rolling blackouts and brownouts that cost Jerry Brown's close political ally, Governor Grey Davis his job?

Democrats had promised that if Davis were elected, the government would reimpose cost regulations. Republican governors had de-regulated so the Democratic-Socialists re-regulated. Consumer energy costs had been rising at almost exactly the same rate as the overall cost of living, but the Democrats made it sound as if those costs had soared beyond the working man's ability to keep up. So Davis's Public Utilities Commission strictly capped retail prices. Like all good socialists and statists, the Democrats don't understand either the market or simple accounting. Costs to the utility companies kept climbing, but they couldn't raise the consumer price because of the rigid caps. Result: California went dark in large areas on a regular basis. In San Francisco, I was given the joy of complete power failures, scheduled by the State no less, on three separate occasions before the people recalled Davis and elected Schwarzenegger.

Try explaining to a Democrat that if your costs go up, your selling price has to go up. Not subtle enough, I guess. So here we are eight years later, and Brown has found another way to mess with the market, favor an unproven industry still in its infancy, and disallow the logical use of oil, coal and natural gas while the green industries develop. As for hydroelectric power, California has abundant water and places to put hydroelectric dams. But the same people who are behind this new act have used their eco-freak shock troops to stop development of any new dams and want to shut down the existing dams.

The act includes language that requires the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to set limits for what utilities should have to pay and allows the standards to be relaxed if not enough renewable power or transmission capacity is available to meet them. So the green weenies built their own escape route into the bill. It is a near-certainty that the goal will not be met (see the results in the nations which signed on to the Kyoto Accords). And exactly how do they plan to control how much utilities will themselves pay for their power? So the imaginary cost-controls will still end up costing the consumer more money. At the same time, the tried and true sources that they hate so much will have to provide the power that green technology isn't close to being able to provide.

Now, back to "clean energy." This has become the new slogan for green weenies and other envirofreaks. Somebody forgot to get the memo to Moonbeam. As I mentioned before, the inadequate sources of power that the act addresses are not really renewable, just depletion-neutral. Coal, oil and natural gas are finite sources. So it's depletion-neutral versus finite sources. Not very sexy, so a new pejorative had to be applied. Since nobody wants "dirty" energy, how about "clean" energy instead? It's hard to say that you support dirty energy, isn't it? It's a bit like turning baby-murder and abortion-on-demand into "choice." Now who's against choice? The same people who are against clean energy.

Before you laugh too hard at the misfortunes of the vast majority of Californians, just remember that as California goes, so goes the nation. Delta smelt sandwich, anyone?

22 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

I wonder if B.O.T.U.S. borrowed from moonbeam the horrible notion that the government should legislate an automatic tax increase whenever they overspend. This is out of control and HAS to stop. It really hurts that you guys (generally speaking) actually re-elected this guy.

LL said...

The Republican Party has a history of running freaks and wierdos...sort of like the Democratic Party in California. Meg Whitman was a terrible candidate and Moonbeam Jerry Brown became the alternative.

Think McCain/Obama. John McCain was bad enough that independent voters went with the soviet style cur who ran against him.

THAT is the problem (the cause) and the effect is this sort of silly and impossibly expensive and ultimately worthless legislation.

StanH said...

God help you Lawhawk. You will be the canary in the gold mine, in this case the Golden State. Of course it will be easier for the Commentarama posse to rescue you from Caliente, than SF. Do people regularly run around naked slapping themselves on the head in CA, covered in their own fecal matter?

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: I'm afraid it will get worse before it gets better here. As big businesses and small employers leave the state, the proles continue to grow, many of them out of work and looking for the gummint to take care of them. This state has resources that make nations like England, France and Germany look like third-world wastelands, but the voters continue to elect the socialists and welfare statists who refuse to use those resources reasonably. From the mountains to the prairies to the oceans white with foam could describe California all by itself. But we're starting to look more like the State of Chihuahua.

LawHawkRFD said...

LL: Whitman wasn't my first choice in the primary. Or even my second. There were two (then just one) conservatives in the race. Whitman bought the nomination, then didn't know what to do with it. The Republican Party in California has a long history of nominating rich nonentities, spending huge sums of money, and losing to better-known professional Democrat politicians. Until we break that cycle, Republicans will continue to lose. The Tea Party in California was still in its infancy by the time the nomination was clinched, but it was starting to grow and doing surprisingly well. In a more adult manifestation, with success in other states, the Tea Party could change that formula. Only time will tell.

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: Can a hawk be a canary? Actually, I suppose in California that's quite possible. Very zen.

I don't intend to run or surrender, and you need to save the troops for the big battle. I'll just put up a sign on my property that says "Alamo" and hold 'em off until the rest of you are strong enough to win. It is a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done.

Hold on, I'm starting to believe my own propaganda. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

Off Topic (or maybe not): Paul Ryan is not only brilliant, but he's developing an edge that could serve him very well in the future. Contemplating Obama's teleprompter rehash of a budget that doesn't exist but still pulls out all the harps and violins, Ryan described Obama as "a pyromaniac in a field of straw men." Now THAT'S a memorable quote!

AndrewPrice said...

Actually, I don't see the nation following California anymore. The rest of us don't see California as the Golden State, we see it as the hopelessly whacko state. Any idea coming out of California is now immediately suspect.

In fact, Jim Jones is like the perfect mascot for modern California.

And why am I not surprised that GE will benefit from this stupidity?

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I think you're right, but I'm not comfortable. The vision of California as Hollywood still has a strong attraction for people who ought to know better. A scary number of people outside California still think that Martin Sheen was or ought to have been the President of the United States.

I keep musing over how Californians haven't figured out how suicidal their beliefs are. They all remember Jonestown, but how may remember that the first person killed before the Kool-Aid testing party began was the Democratic Congressman who went there to clear Jones's name?

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, The problem is that most people are ignorant of history and even they weren't, the Democrats never admit they were wrong. . . "Clearly, Jones must have been a Republican."

darski said...

I'd like to feel sorry for Californians but they keep choosing to die by a 1,000 papercuts. never offer a hand to a drunk when he is drunk.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: LOL You're undoubtedly right about that.

LawHawkRFD said...

Darski: That's why there's a huge number of us (enough to populate several other states) who would love to break California up into two or three separate states. Let Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento have their welfare states, and we in the Central Valley will have our industrial/agricultural success story.

T_Rav said...

LawHawk, you're absolutely right about Ryan. I listened to clips of him rebutting Obama's "speech" yesterday, followed by his interview on Mark Levin, and it was just 15 minutes of pure awesomeness. I don't think I've ever seen someone in the GOP leadership go after Obama like that before.

JB1000 said...

What's the difference between California and the Titanic?

The passengers of the Titanic did not VOTE to ram the iceberg.

If I was Nevada, Oregon or Arizona, I would be building powerplants on the border and when all this goes to hell I would make a killing selling power to California.

LawHawkRFD said...

T_Rav: I just hope people don't start touting him for President. I have no doubt that he would do an excellent job, but he is exactly the kind of guy we need in the House right now. Every time I see him in action, I'm more impressed. And in keeping with Andrew's post today, I think he recognizes the difference between the ideal and the possible. He says right up front that there are probably holes in his proposal, and he's willing to listen and even incorporate reasonable suggestions. He understands the ancient truism: "The perfect is the enemy of the good."

LawHawkRFD said...

JB1000: And the passengers on the Titanic weren't concerned about how energy-efficient the lifeboats were.

I like your investment suggestion a lot.

LawHawkRFD said...

The New York Times strikes again! The Old Gray Whore of journalism has regularly made fun of California's ballot initiatives and insisted that governing should be left solely to the governor and the legislature. That would be great if it were a principled stand. The initiative and referendum process has serious flaws (even though it's a pure Progressive concept, brought to fruition in California early in the Twentieth Century).

So, as recently as 2009, The Times criticized California voters for ballot initiatives restricting some government spending and outright rejecting others. Quoth the Times: "In California, democracy doesn't pay the bills." And even better: "California voters reject measures to keep state solvent (by increasing taxes with no cuts in spending)."

Now cometh Jerry Brown, who failed to get even his own party into full agreement, and who was rebuffed by the Republicans in his effort to make "temporary" tax increases permanent. What's a poor boy to do? Go the the people, and let them vote on it. Yep, Moonbeam is taking it to the streets with a ballot initiative. And the Times reaction? Columnist and California-watcher Adam Nagourney praises the governor for taking the bill out of the hands of the legislators and passing it on to those same people that the Times doesn't want making fiscal decisions.

LawHawkRFD said...

BTW: Brown based his decision to go to the people by stating that legislators who thought there was any other way to close the budget gap were "delusional." Mind you that Californians were conned into approving an initiative last year that made passing a budget a matter of a simple majority rather than a 2/3 vote in the Assembly. It was supposed to eliminate budget impasses. He couldn't even get that simple vote, despite a hefty Democratic majority.

T_Rav said...

LawHawk, (sigh) as much as I'd like to see Ryan as President--the debate opportunities are endless--you're right. He needs to be exactly where he is right now. Maybe someday, when the time is right...

LawHawkRFD said...

T_Rav: He's a star, and if he can just maintain his present pace, he has plenty of time to run for President later. I'm picturing a future Rubio/Ryan or Ryan/Rubio ticket. But as I've often cautioned, let's see what happens first. Of course I don't want to leave out my favorite governor, who has kept his word and stuck with his state, Bobby Jindal. Our current bench is not half-bad, our future bench is stellar.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: But wait--there's more! Today Brown had a press conference and admitted his 1/3 goal was his backdown position. He's working on getting another bill through, perhaps next year, where the figure goes to 40%.

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