MOSCOW, 09 Oct 2021, RUSSTRAT Institute.
The adherents of “green energy” in the USA have a feast: an oil spill occurred on the coast of California. As a result of the breakdown of an underwater oil pipeline near the town of Huntington Beach in the southern part of the state, no later than the evening of October 1, about 3,000 barrels of black gold – about 477,000 litres – entered the Pacific water.
By the way, these figures are still just an estimate. It is based on theoretical calculations of 2012, when it was necessary to assess the maximum damage in the event of a complete cut of the “pipe” three miles from the shore. And in the framework of the worst-case scenario, these figures were named – 3,000 barrels, or 126 American gallons of oil. And it’s them that are considered as reference now.
The accident immediately led to predictable consequences. The American media began rivalling each other in showing the footage with oily film on the sea waves. Social networks were filled with reposting photos of dead fish and birds smeared in oil, not always from California. Angry surfers have been complaining about ruined beaches for the fourth day. The shares of the Houston-based culprit company, Amplify Energy Corp, collapsed by 51%. And the authorities of Huntington Beach, which at time went up especially thanks to oil, are constantly shouting about an environmental disaster.
State politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, joined the screaming. On the fourth day, the “blue” governor of California, Gavin Newsom, even declared an emergency in the affected Orange County. Although against the background of, to say, the 1969 oil spill, when 80,000 barrels entered the sea of the California coast, the current accident hardly counts as a catastrophe. And of course, it is nothing compared to the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, when an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon platform turned out to be more than 5 million barrels of oil in the ocean.
So, why then do Californians work so hard? Their screaming has two purposes. The first one is to get federal funding from Washington to eliminate the consequences of the spill. The second one is to close the still operating oil platforms off the coast of the state, and at the same time more oil pipelines across America.
Аnd Governor Newsom is also at one with the “greens”: he insists on a complete cessation of drilling in California, though only by 2045. Now, apparently, this happy day may come sooner. And along with it, the complete rejection of the “Golden State” from hydrocarbon energy, also planned for the distant 2045. It’s not for nothing that California is considered a leading state in the United States in promoting the values of “clean energy”.
Peaceful atom: Americans against the “unclean ones”
So far, however, it’s a long way to the goal. According to the results of 2020, only 33.09% of California’s electricity generation was generated from renewable sources. In the first place is the good old natural gas (37.06%). Another 21.5% of the generation was given by nuclear power plants and large hydroelectric power plants — and it’s with them that everything is quite interesting.
In the eyes of Americans, both do not belong to “clean energy” — that is, they should be mercilessly reduced. And if large hydroelectric power plants are simply unlucky with their size (their small counterparts are considered quite “green” and give the state a modest 1.39% of generation), then the reasons for enrolling nuclear power plants in the category of “unclean” are, let’s say, ideological in their nature.
It would seem what were the NPPs guilty of? After all, their work does not lead to any greenhouse effect. But it turns out that there are even more opponents of the peaceful atom in California than there are supporters of climate protection.
And it was precisely public opinion, largely brainwashed by propaganda from environmental brands, that pushed through the most important decision — the closure of the last operating Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in the state already by 2025.
This was largely due to the accident at Fukushima in the spring of 2011 and the fact that the Devil’s Canyon, according to some scientists, is also in the zone of possible earthquakes. At the same time, Americans’ fear of a repeat of the Japanese catastrophe layered on the already traditional phobia of a terrorist attack, born on September 11, 2001, and gave a “synergistic effect”.
Among other arguments against nuclear power plants, the need to “put somewhere” spent nuclear fuel and even a completely eco-friendly process for dumping back into the ocean of seawater that cools the reactor, are regularly mentioned.
As a result, already in 2016, the owner of Diablo Canyon, the infamous California company PG&E, agreed with environmentalists that both power units of its NPP would be finalised only before the expiration of their licenses – that is, until 2024 and 2025. Although these units could supply the state with clean electricity for another 40 years.
“Critical breaking point”
So, what do we see? Guided by the “only true” environmental doctrine and mercilessly exploiting public fears, the California authorities are heading for a complete rejection of carbon energy and simultaneously ruin their nuclear generation. At the same time, the “dirty”, but still non-carbon hydropower is out of the game — as happened in 2020, when due to drought and heat, the state’s hydroelectric power plants gave 44% less current than a year earlier.
All this is accompanied by accidents, rolling power outages and grandiose fires, caused, among other things, by the extremely worn-out power grid of the mentioned PG&E, as RUSSTRAT has already written about. In order to somehow make ends meet, Californians every year are increasingly taught to save light and to not use electrical appliances after 21:00.
And September 10, 2021 due to the infinite state of emergency, drought and fires the US Department of Energy even issued an emergency order allowing the gas power plants in California to work two months without restrictions on pollution (!), if only the state could meet its energy commitments.
By the way, the addressee of the ministerial order, the California network operator CAISO, predicted a little less than a year ago that the decommissioning of the “devil” nuclear power plant in 2025 would lead to a “critical turning point” for the entire state. At such a moment, the California power grid simply will not be able to work reliably without increasing the use of… yes, yes, all these same hydrocarbons in the form of fuel. And any solar panels with wind turbines will save the case.
But Californians, like those mice from the joke, continue to “scream, to prick themselves, but still eat the cactus” of renewable generation. People are ready to kill their own energy and naturally return to the stone age every evening after 21:00, just not to turn off the path of accelerated decarbonisation. And it seems that this is already a sect.