Tracy Leach

Tracy Leach

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, our state’s politicians somehow manage to surprise. Yes, the latest insanity involves an outright ban on the energy source for most of California’s 40 million residents.

As California’s middle class continues to struggle under the high cost of living that is rampant in our state, some Sacramento politicians are moving to create an even more expensive and elitist environment.

Senate Bill 100, which would ban electricity produced from anything other than “renewable sources” by 2045, is wending its way through the political world, completely removed from the realities that everyday Californians face.

Yes, you read that right, the petroleum industry that provides over $26 billion in overall tax revenue to the state will simply be banned as a fuel stock for electric power. The oil and gas businesses that employ nearly 400,000 Californians will be disinvited from supplying clean, affordable natural gas to millions of homes and businesses.

In the ivory towers of Sacramento, many remain oblivious to these middle-class residents who are already struggling to provide for their families, while paying the nation’s highest taxes, housing and energy costs. Under the proposal, affordable energy will be an illegal substance.

In a typically inadequate attempt to “phase in” the latest pummeling of California families, the same piece of legislation would start by mandating that “only” 60 percent of our energy comes from renewable sources by 2030. Even this goal is completely unrealistic and at odds with federal research (aka “facts”) on the subject. The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that by 2040, fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, coal) will still comprise 80 percent of the nation’s energy portfolio.

So to be clear, federal researchers state that 80 percent of our country’s energy will come from fossil fuels in the year 2040, but state politicians will prohibit any Californian from accessing that resource to provide electricity. Makes a lot of sense right? Instead, they will mandate you spend even more of your hard-earned dollars on expensive energy sources that are currently attainable by only the wealthiest of residents.

The swanky coastal estates inhabited by California’s elites, with mild weather year round, are far removed from the harsh realities of paying the power bills that are a necessity in the scorching Central Valley summers.

According to the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, and relying on IRS data, California is experiencing an alarming number of residents packing up and abandoning the former Golden State. In fact, since 2010 our state has lost over $36 billion in income – per year, as the profile of those leaving tends to be middle-aged people making between $100,000 and $200,000 annually. This demographic is critical to a healthy economy and the bureaucratic class is inexplicably pushing them out with both hands.

Texas, Arizona and Nevada are the biggest recipients of these productive, taxpaying, former California residents and with this onerous anti-affordable energy bill, those states appear poised to continue to benefit. To the detriment of those who are barely hanging on to calling California home.

Tracy Leach is the director of Kern Citizens for Energy and the founder and president of Providence Strategic Consulting Inc.