November 2022 Vol. 77 No. 11

Editor's Log

Editor’s Log: Blame Game

Robert Carpenter | Editor-in-Chief 

(UC) — California Governor Gavin Newsom just can’t say enough dreadful things about the oil and gas industry. That mindset is apparently ingrained in his DNA and despite the facts, Newsom seems to live in his own mythical version of reality. 

He would have the American public believe that petrochemicals are the root of all evil and, through his leadership in California, he’s the anointed savior to lead our country out of a carbon-based economy. Sounds like positioning to run for president, to me. Despite the damage President Biden’s green-at-all-costs agenda has inflicted upon not only the U.S. economy at a critical, post-pandemic timeframe, but our relationships around the world, with mindless energy actions after Russia invaded Ukraine. 

In a recent video, Newsom makes an impassioned plea for the nation to follow California’s clean energy efforts which, according to the video, are leading the world to a better future, all because of the radical energy policies in California. (One has to take into consideration – and a great big grain of salt–that the video is sponsored by Climate Power, a marketing and lobbying arm created and backed by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club.) 

Newsom cites the massive investment in the clean, electric-powered car industry led by Tesla, due to California’s (and his) policies. Newsom fails to mention that Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, moved to Texas in late 2020 and in 2021 announced the relocation of Tesla’s headquarters to the Lone Star state. His reasons included a multitude of common complaints from business owners in California. Musk was also critical of the mandated factory shutdowns in California during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Further, while Musk says Tesla plans to keep the Fremont, Calif., factory running strong, “you can’t get stuff done” in California, you get sued a lot there and it takes much longer to get approvals for factories. Gigafactory Texas, home to the new 10-million-square-foot factory and manufacturing hub for Tesla Model Y and the future home of Cybertruck, was built in 18 months, a much shorter time than it would have taken in California, Musk stressed. 

Apparently, hammering the oil and gas industry will continue to be an ongoing theme for the Newsom West Coast crowd. He has been steadily blaming the oil industry for high gas prices in California, but again, experts dispute that supposition, saying the evidence just doesn’t back that up. 

Recently, economist David Kreutzer of the Institute for Energy Research told Fox News, “You’d have to explain why [oil companies are] ripping people off 50 percent more in California than the rest of the world and why they only choose to do it now. The big problem is we have policies in place, especially in California, that make it difficult to expand supply. When you have these rules and regulations that prevent markets from responding as robustly as they could, then prices are going to go up.” 

Housing, food and the cost of living in general has been much higher in California for decades. Kreutzer said the main reasons for inflated gas prices are excessive regulations, a gas tax of 54 cents a gallon, and an aversion to expanding refineries. Part of this involves creating a special blend of lower-polluting gas for summer months, when people drive more. And in general, he added, California has a “bunch of idiotic policies.” 

The price of California gasoline in mid-October was running about $2 more per gallon than the rest of the country, according to the American Automobile Association. 

Once the leader in U.S. population growth, families and business have been fleeing California at an alarming rate for years. This state of glitz, glamour and perfect weather is now in the middle of the pack for population growth. It’s no wonder states like Utah, Idaho and Texas lead the nation’s growth rates by almost 3 to 1 over California and are favorite emigration destinations of California migrants. 

Ironically, projections show that about the time California’s bizarre electrification program reaches its zenith, Texas could very well surpass California as the most populous state. Now that is an interesting plot twist for Hollywood. 

In his preaching video, Newsom states “You set policies, the market reacts.” That’s largely true but these days in California, that’s not a positive. With soaring prices and a multitude of damaging business and consumer policies, Californians pay, and will continue to pay, more for conventional power and clean energy, housing, taxes, food and just about everything else. 

People continue to rapidly depart the state along with businesses, both large and small. There will continue to be many Tesla examples, as companies increasingly become fed up with nonsensical, anti-business policies and appalled, in general, with the gerrymandering politics of the state. California is no longer a safe and pleasing place to raise your family, attend schools or find a career. 

So yes, Gov. Newsom, you set policies and the market has reacted – just not how you envisioned or in the manner of your imagination.

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