California is currently baking under a heat wave, with triple-digit temperatures and excessive heat warnings from Northern California all the way south to San Diego. The state is expected to stay overheated past Labor Day.
As a result, the California Independent System Operator (CISO), which oversees the state’s electrical grid, announced a heat warning “Flex Alert” asking users to limit energy consumption each evening, “when the grid is most stressed from higher demand and less solar energy.”
The alert suggests consumers “conserve power by setting thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits, avoiding use of major applicances [sic] and turning off unnecessary lights.”
It also asks consumers to not charge their electric cars in the evening.
As critics of the state’s automobile and energy policies pointed out, the timing of the CISO alert was especially ironic, as it came less than a week after the state doubled down on eliminating gas-powered cars.
On August 25, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced it had adopted “the trailblazing Advanced Clean Cars II rule.”
According to CARB, “The rule establishes a year-by-year roadmap so that by 2035 100% of new cars and light trucks sold in California will be zero-emission vehicles, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.” Sales of new, gasoline-powered cars will be banned in the state at that point.
Beginning in model year 2026, the state is requiring 35% of new car sales to be almost all electric, zero-emission vehicles, along with some hybrid vehicles.
CARB said the new standards would lead to “clean air and climate benefits,” especially for “the state’s most environmentally and economically burdened communities along freeways and other heavily traveled thoroughfares.” The state agency calls this “environmental justice.”
The board’s website notes that California went from 186 smog alerts in 1967 to zero in 2019. According to CARB, black carbon has been cut 90% since that same year.
But critics noted that the state’s coming ban on gasoline-powered vehicles could actually harm the environment and that the electrical grid was already overtaxed.
Michael Shellenberger, author of Apocalypse Never and San Fransicko, tweeted about the ban on gasoline-powered cars and the COSI flex alert:
Imbed Tweet, please: https://twitter.com/ShellenbergerMD/status/1565026009497227264
Shellenberger told Fox News that it was “incredibly poor” management to “push for electric vehicles during an ongoing energy crisis.”
“This is what you get when you convince yourself that the end of the world is nigh and that climate change is something that is going to basically destroy civilization within the next 12 years,” he said on America’s Newsroom.
Fox News reported that Shellenberger “warned the state’s power grid isn’t equipped to handle the current number of EVs [electric vehicles], much less the millions more that will be on the road when the ban on gas-powered cars takes effect in 2035.”
Zachary Faria, writing for the Washington Examiner, also disparaged the coming CARB ban on gasoline-powered vehicles at the Washington Examiner. He said the state “can’t meet its current energy demands,” and that more electric vehicles will only exacerbate this.
“Over the last several years, the state has repeatedly failed to meet energy demands during heat waves, leading to rolling blackouts,” he wrote.
In an op-ed about the COSI heat alert, Faria added:
These voluntary energy cuts, which so often turn into involuntary rolling blackouts, mean that the state does not want people to charge the electric cars it is trying to force them to buy. There are just under 600,000 electric cars being driven in the state, and yet that is enough to bring the current system to its knees during a heat wave.
The Heritage Foundation also critiqued the coming higher quotas for sales of battery-operated vehicles, noting that the “electricity for battery-powered vehicles is coming from coal and natural gas, rather than renewables.”
The conservative think tank also stated that the production of batteries causes carbon emissions and the mining of minerals for batteries causes environmental damage, so the requirements could be counterproductive.
Photo from Shutterstock.