California Seeks to Cut Fossil Fuel Reliance, Prompting Concerns About Alternatives

December 6, 2019 Updated: December 8, 2019

California’s Environmental Protection Agency will identify strategies to manage the decline of in-state crude oil production, and decrease supply and demand for fossil fuel, as authorized in the 2019–2020 state budget.

The state’s latest move to combat purported human-caused climate change has led some to question how the state plans to replace the energy generated from fossil fuels.

“California is the only state in America that imports its oil,” Ronald Stein, co-author of the book “Energy Made Easy” and a policy adviser for the Heartland Institute, told The Epoch Times. Stein attributes that to the state’s restrictive climate policies.

“We’re sending $60 million a day to foreign countries for the oil to keep the fifth-largest economy in the world moving forward, and this [bill] is going to reduce the production in the state even more.

“There will be more and more dependency on foreign countries, and instead of spending $60 million a day, with this new bill, they will be spending $90 million a day for oil from abroad.”

California is one of the leading states when it comes to funding efforts to combat allegedly human-caused climate change. State leaders have hailed the funding in the budget as the next step in that fight.

In a video published by BakersfieldNow, Gov. Gavin Newsom praised the funding, while seeking to quell concerns about how it will affect the economy.

“This is an economy that built this state; parts of this state are dependent on it,” he said. “And I want to begin the transition, but I want to do it thoughtfully, and I want to paint a picture of what the transition looks like.

“I want to be honest with people that we’re not going to leave anybody behind, that we have a plan.

“That’s why we put money into the state budget to actually put the first state effort and energy into a real plan on transition.”

Stein says the state’s hopes of replacing fossil fuel and oil production with green energy sources aren’t realistic.

“Solar panels and wind turbines cannot operate the military, they cannot operate the airlines, and cruise ships, and merchant ships,” Stein said.

“Energy is a world market, but if you shut it down here, you would have to import it from other countries and other states. And other countries and states don’t have the same environmental controls as California, so doing that would actually increase the greenhouse gas emissions.

“Most importantly, though, importing oil from outside the state would increase its cost, which, in turn, would further drive up the cost of living in California.”

Stein pointed to Germany to illustrate problems that arise when entities try to replace fossil fuels with green energy.

Germany pioneered a system of subsidies for industrial wind and solar energy, dubbed Energiewende. But last year, the country was forced to acknowledge that it had to delay its phase-out of coal, and announced that it would fall short of meeting its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction commitments.

Meanwhile, Germans have the highest electricity costs in Europe. Earlier this year, Forbes reported that the Energiewende program has cost Germany 32 billion euros ($36 billion) over the past five years.