Grumpy Editor feels the short answer to California Gov. Jerry Brown’s massive $26.5 billion budget shortfall in the oil-rich Golden State is simply to push for: more drill, baby, drill.
More oil production would yield more income --- including taxes to Sacramento --- from more sales, more jobs and more construction, boosting the state’s economy via an industry that has been sidelined lately. (Annual California field and offshore crude oil production has been in a steady decline since 1985.)
Seems editorial writers on most newspapers in the state haven’t figured that out. A boost, via more oil, in the economy also would lead to more advertising from businesses, thus lifting bottom lines for worried publishers.
After all, oil remains essential to power vehicles --- from Hollywood entertainers’ extended limousines to mighty Army tanks --- plus ships and aircraft. Wind and solar power won’t quite work in those categories.
Yet, Brown while marking his 100th day in office as a governor (again) and his 73rd birthday this week, signed legislation requiring California utilities to obtain one-third of their power from renewable sources.
The power firms have until 2020 to produce 33 percent of their electricity from solar panels, windmills and other renewable sources.
Such renewable origins for electricity generation will come at a higher price. Since power companies will have to bill customers at loftier rates, it would lead to less money in Californians’ pockets for other uses ranging from travel to buying homes.
“There are people who think we can drill our way to happiness and prosperity,” the Democrat --- who garnered the “Gov. Moonbeam” title in the 1970s while serving two-terms --- declared Tuesday at a solar panel plant near San Jose.
“Instead of just taking oil from thousand of miles away, we’re taking the sun and converting it,” added Brown.
Until recent years, the California economy mushroomed from growing production of oil, an active motion picture industry, housing construction and agriculture products highlighted by citrus output.