Prop 23 Update: A Lesson For California

Russ Steele

During the Prop 23 Campaign I warned readers about the negative economic impact of converting to alternative energy, that going green was going to destroy jobs, as companies left the state taking jobs with them. At that time I uses Spain as an example, who lost 2.4 industrial jobs for every green job created.  Now Spain’s unemployment rate is north of 23%, with the youth unemployment at about 50%. A dismal future for the country’s youth. Now this from Handelsblatt.

As a result of Germany’s green energy transition, electricity prices are exploding. Consumers and businesses are paying the price while Germany faces gradual de-industrialisation. Economists estimate that the cost of the green energy transition will total 170 billion Euros by 2020. This is more than double of what Germany would have to write off if Greece were to withdraw from the monetary union. “The de-industrialization has already begun,” the EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger has warned.

German corporations are moving energy consuming industries offshore, along with the core of the German economy. The same will happen in California as the cost of energy soars. While California is known for its innovations, those innovative companies are not building manufacturing plants in the state. They are moving manufacturing to low cost energy states and offshore.

Wake up Sacramento. Look at what where economic growth is taking place in the United States, the states that are revitalizing their energy sector. The markets are moving these state in the exact direction California should go — toward cheap, plentiful energy. We have the energy, in our shale gas formations and in offshore oil, yet our political leaders refuse to exploit it. Without learning the positive lessons of North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Wyoming and the negative lesson of Germany and Spain, California’s de-industrialisation and resulting job loss will continue. The lessons are there, it is time for our political leaders to stop ignoring them.


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

One Response to Prop 23 Update: A Lesson For California

  1. Wheels are coming of the wind energy bandwagon:
    The wind energy industry has been having a hard time. The taxpayer funding that has kept it alive for the last twenty years is coming to an end, and those promoting the industry are panicking.

    Perhaps this current wave started when one of wind energy’s most noted supporters, T. Boone Pickens, “Mr. Wind,” in an April 12 interview on MSNBC said, “I’m in the wind business…I lost my ass in the business.”

    The industry’s fortunes didn’t get any better when on May 4, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) wrote an editorial titled, “Gouged by the wind”, in which they stated: “With natural gases not far from $2 per million BTU, the competitiveness of wind power is highly suspect.” Citing a study on renewable energy mandates, the WSJ says: “The states with mandates paid 31.9% more for electricity than states without them.”

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