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California Governor Jerry Brown wants a green legacy regardless of the cost



California Governor Jerry Brown wants a green legacy regardless of the cost

They’re getting desperate in Sacramento. Specifically, Governor Jerry Brown is getting desperate. He has a short time to cement his legacy as the most environmentally militant major leader of our time and he’s fighting his own party to make it happen.

He may be “just” a governor, but California is the world’s 5th largest economy. Brown carries more fiscal clout than Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron, or Narendra Modi. That’s why the executive order he just signed is so important. In it he committed California to total, economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2045.

On the same day, he signed into law SB 100 to commit California to 100% use of zero-carbon electricity by 2045 as well.

These are now the most aggressive environmental policies in the world. California, under Brown, is leading the way to a greener, cleaner world. They’re also leading the state into fiscal free fall.

To put all of this into perspective, it’s important that we understand exactly what these two actions will do. Zero-carbon electricity is not very hard to achieve. They just have to get around the massive fossil fuel industry and they have the momentum to do so. The problem is, as always, cost. This will take already-outrageous energy prices and raise them dramatically. One expert I spoke to said electricity bills in California will be over double what the rest of the nation pays on average unless unexpected innovations are made quickly.

That’s the easy one. Carbon neutrality for a place like California will require a fundamental change in the way the state operates. It’s not just government agencies that will be affected. If Brown’s executive order is somehow able to stick. it will require massive changes to nearly every business across the state. These changes won’t be easy. They won’t be cheap, either.

The silver lining in this is that it’s an executive order. It can be reversed by the legislature or a future governor. Since it’s so untenable, one would expect that to happen, but this is California. Stranger things constantly happen.

Even leftist Vox is skeptical:

California Gov. Jerry Brown sets history’s most ambitious climate target its significance, Brown’s order could justly have served as a culminating announcement at the end of the big climate week, a kind of policy finale. It could have been a very big deal.

Instead, no one that I’ve talked to had any idea it was coming. It dropped without advance notice, alongside another major climate announcement (SB100), muddling and muting the media coverage. As a rollout strategy, it was some mix of incompetent and malicious.


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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Public Citizen

    September 11, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    California is the Fifth Largest Economy In The World.
    Which is a fact related to the steady drop from the Second Largest in the 1960s and can be directly related to the imposition of stifling environmental regulations that have driven once booming industries to flee California. And the purge continues. How long before Texas passes California on that list?
    Einstein stated that “Insanity repeating the same action and expecting a different outcome”.
    The government in California has been functionally insane for decades. Browns personal insanity is now on full display for the world to see.
    His personal legacy will be of an obsessive and self centered egomaniac, who will impose his demonstrably failed ideology on California despite the social and economic costs.

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