Apr 14, 2022

Global energy markets are in turmoil, and several European countries have quickly and decisively adjusted their approach to energy security.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

“Germany’s government is expediting terminals for liquefied natural gas. Europe is working to get more gas through pipelines from Norway and Azerbaijan … The U.K. may restart onshore fracking and ramp up North Sea drilling. Norway plans to expand Arctic exploration.”

The flurry of activity pales in comparison to California, where Governor Newsom has rejected bipartisan calls to increase domestic energy production and doubled down on policies to shut down the state’s oil and gas operations.

That’s right: in response to the biggest energy crisis in decades, Newsom’s impulse is to leave the state’s consumers and businesses at the mercy of an unstable world for the vast majority of its necessary energy supplies.

What gives? Both Europe and California have long been global leaders on climate. Why is Europe changing course while the Golden State continues its reckless march to complete dependence on unstable sources of foreign oil?

The difference is simple. Even as Europe aggressively pursues renewable energy, leaders there recognize the reality that traditional fuels like oil and gas will remain essential commodities for decades to come. Meanwhile, despite all evidence to the contrary, Newsom ignores that reality and accepts the false ideology that cutting the supply of oil will magically end the economy’s need for it.

Newsom’s energy policies are making the state vulnerable to the whims of dictators and unstable global geopolitics. These failing policy choices are hitting family budgets and businesses hard: Californians are paying a more than 30% markup over the national average for gas.

To be sure, California is right to pursue renewable energy whenever possible, but it must do so wisely. Shutting down in-state production of oil and gas won’t help California speed its transition away from these fuels – it only leaves the state dependent on foreign oil for its everyday energy needs.

Experts agree the transition to the new energy future is going to take decades. Newsom could promote renewables while also still producing the oil the state needs during that long transition. Instead, the Governor is choosing to blindly push California energy policies ahead of our energy realities.

A recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal put it this way:

“No one is giving up on renewables, but nobody is any longer pretending they are the basis of energy reliability or security. Fossil fuels will remain for decades a currency of global power.”

Unfortunately, Governor Newsom is still pretending, and Californians are paying the price.