Governor Gavin Newsom is giving his Department of Water Resources the authority to build and buy energy from facilities, including diesel generators and gas-fired power plants, to keep the lights on during the next few summers. 

Newsom is also making it easier for wind and solar farm developers to avoid environmental reviews and local government opposition. This energy decision would be exempt from standard public input regulations and procedures under California’s restrictive California Environmental Quality Act, the Coastal Commission, and local Air Quality Management Districts.  

As CNN wrote on October 7, 2003, “California’s electricity crisis of 2000 helped spark an unprecedented recall election three years later aimed at ousting Democratic Gov. Gray Davis.”   

Not only is Newsom trying to make sure there are no blackouts during his re-election against State Senator Brian Dahle, but he also seems to be looking beyond the November election into a possible presidential run. 

Newsom has opened himself up to criticism from the left and the right.

To keep the lights on, he alienates environmentalists who he will need in primary states in 2023 and 2024.

But he also exposes the folly of California, making him a national embarrassment. 

California pays neighboring states like Arizona and Nevada to take extra power that California cannot use and cannot store. Because of neglect, the power grid in California is not stable enough to handle and store excess energy. So on days when California has more power than it needs and cannot store, it pays neighboring states to take our power. 

With Biden and Newsom’s call to get rid of gas cars for electric, will Californians have to bring extension cords to their neighboring states to get their cars charged up?

CalMatters has more on this controversial story: