A new analysis by the National Center for Public Policy Research found that Gore's Tennessee home "guzzles more electricity in one year than the average American family uses in 21 years." In one month last year, the report found, Gore's home consumed more electricity than the average family uses in 34 months. The electricity used just to heat Gore's swimming pool would power six homes for a year. And this is after Gore spent tens of thousands of dollars installing "green" upgrades, which he was embarrassed into doing when his energy-hogging home first came to light a decade ago. In fact, according to the NCPPR report, Gore's home used more electricity last year than it did in 2007, before he installed all those energy-reducing features.
California currently imports about 33 percent of its electricity from outside of the state. Of that 33 percent, 6 percent is from coal. This is compared to the 25 percent of energy imported into California in 2010 from outside states and it's clear California is headed in the wrong direction. California will need to flip the trend in energy importing and begin to produce enough energy to become self-sustaining. Not an insignificant task.
California is also the third largest oil and gas producing state, despite what Californians may tell you. California produced on average 500,000 barrels of oil per day in 2014, third to Texas and North Dakota. This means several things. One, that California will need to eliminate its oil production in the state by 2045, leaving behind accessible and profitable hydrocarbons in the ground. Secondly, the rest of the United States will no longer have its third largest oil producing state, meaning potentially higher gas prices at the pump around the nation. This could be minimal if a reduction in oil production is gradual, but it will certainly have an impact.
The oil and gas industry supports approximately 456,000 jobs in California, many of which will be eliminated if the state transitions to 100 percent renewable energy. This equals $38 billion in Californian's pockets from well-paying oil and gas jobs and accounts for 3.4 percent of the states GDP. In addition, California receives a kick back for all oil produced in the state, equaling $21 billion in revenue. These numbers ignore the positive impact of a burgeoning renewable energy sector and the jobs, GDP, and tax revenue it will generate. However, throughout such a significant change in a large state's energy system, there will be an interim period where there are likely to be negative economic consequences.
It is clear that meeting the Paris climate target of not exceeding 2 degrees Celsius (2°C) (and making best efforts to reach 1.5°C) global warming over this century will require a radical (that is, to the root) restructuring of energy supply and transmission systems globally.1 Furthermore, the technologies assumed to populate the clean energy shift (wind, solar, hydrogen and electricity systems) are in fact significantly MORE material intensive in their composition than current traditional fossil-fuel-based energy supply systems (Vidal, Goffé, and Arndt 2013). Our analysis in Chapter 2 indicates a rapid rise in demand for relevant technologies and corollary metals between reaching a 4DS and 2DS climate objective. Relevant metals demand roughly doubles for wind and solar technologies, but the most significant upsurge occurs with energy battery storage technologies—more than a 1000 percent rise for metals required for that particular clean energy option. . . . However, there is also an increasing sensitivity that supplying clean technologies required for a carbon-constrained future could create a new suite of challenges for the sustainable development of minerals and resources. Simply put, a green technology future is materially intensive and, if not properly managed, could bely the efforts and policies of supplying countries to meet their objectives of meeting climate and related Sustainable Development Goals. It also carries potentially significant impacts for local ecosystems, water systems, and communities.
While Germany has succeeded in increasing the share of wind and solar in German electricity production to over 30 percent, the average German household spent 50 percent more on electricity in 2016 than 2007. German firms open new manufacturing facilities not in Germany, but in Slovakia and other countries with much cheaper electricity. Even with all this, German carbon dioxide emissions grew in 2015 and 2016, while those in the U.S. fell by an average of two percent per year.
Republicans were not just casually supporting this bill. After countless negotiations with the governor, industry groups, taxpayer associations and community groups, Republicans have finally attained an equal seat at the legislative table. To echo the California Manufacturers Association, the California Chamber of Commerce, and countless other groups that share the common interest of the taxpayer, a free-market based cap and trade program is much better than a costly “command and control” alternative.