This is the sort of story we are, by now, accustomed to hearing from California. Regulators have “allowed power companies to go on a building spree,” according to the LA Times, and created a problem out of nothing: too many power plants, being paid for by fleecing consumers. The LA Times reports:
California has a big — and growing — glut of power, an investigation by the Los Angeles Times has found. The state’s power plants are on track to be able to produce at least 21% more electricity than it needs by 2020, based on official estimates. And that doesn’t even count the soaring production of electricity by rooftop solar panels that has added to the surplus.
To cover the expense of new plants whose power isn’t needed…Californians are paying a higher premium to switch on lights or turn on electric stoves. In recent years, the gap between what Californians pay versus the rest of the country has nearly doubled to about 50%.
California boasts that it is leading the world toward smart power; actually, crony capitalists, error prone regulators and bad planning have created a decade long slide into excess capacity (which of course means unneeded CO2 generation) and sky-high prices for consumers. The state’s regulators have created an environment that financially incentivizes the construction of new power plants, rather than prudent siting of facilities following the simple strategy of matching supply with demand.
As a result, the Golden state is now living with high prices that hurt consumers and business (50% higher than in the rest of the country) while also accelerating global warming—the worst of all possible worlds.