City Journal Winter 2016

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Tom Gray
California Needs a Crude Awakening « Back to Story

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In spite of all the bellowing and bickering about the evils of oil and gas extraction, California still remains the #3 producer in the US. Interesting as we think about the Paris COP21 talks, how did everyone get there? They flew! They drove around Paris in gas guzzling limos and they met with the lights...ON! The sheer hypocrisy of trashing fossil fuels while totally depending on the convenience they offer is beyond imagination.

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Who gives a crap about California? The sooner they go bankrupt the better.
California voters have bequeathed many municipalities with some of the highest sales tax rates in the nation leaving progressives euphoric. Such victories will only diminish economic vibrancy in the state.

Stratospheric sales tax rates also inspire work-around consequences. Examples: one locally purchased $14.00 product can be procured on the internet for $10.00 with free delivery to your door sans sales tax. Another web site, for trifling expenditure, provides a sales tax free out-of-state address to reship any items purchased anywhere. With certainty local contractors and others are already exploiting such stratagems to sustain bottom lines or home budgets.

Further California brilliance: Cap and Trade tax on greenhouse gases to indulge the climate change fantasy that addles the communal progressive wisdom; impacting spending income with rate increases for electricity, gas and construction. Even venerable Apple shuns California to construct a $280 million campus in Austin, Texas creating 3,600 jobs.
The latest acquisition of a progressive super majority in both legislative houses assures prolonged regression with importunate profligate spending. Results of progressive dominance of the legislature since 1970 have thus far been stellar… of Americans on welfare residing here, rank of 48th from the Tax foundation’s 2012 State Business Climate Index, deteriorating credit rating, 10.3% unemployment rate, unrestrained unions, colossal unfunded pension liabilities and $6 billion raised by Proposition 30 already spent and achieving zilch to diminish the deficit. Welcome to California the American Greece. As in Greece, rejoice in the Pyrrhic victory, hoist a glass of ouzo and shout “Opa!”
There are white enviromentalists but Hispanics and asians are not pro-drilling either unless they live in the areas like Bakersfield. Its the conservative whites that still exist thru out the state but have left in droves.
One thing that California farmers and some of the low skilled factory and service industry might adopt is the guest worker programs that are going about in Texas or Utah. Places like Orange County, San Diego, and the central counties will care less if most illegal Mexicans or Central Americans become citizens but what to use them, if the vista overstay problem could be solved maybe between a 500,000 to a 1 million Hispanics here illegality could be sent home in a 5 to 10 year frame and some of the native born might moved back which would hurt the Democratics that use Hispanic that votes now 70 percent Democratic and Asian around 65 percent.
You have to get the central part of the state ane Orange County and San Diego and some of La which is hard. This is why many of us dislike Joel Konkin who supports hispanics that usally opposed this more than white Republicans. Joel favored the demographic changes of Orange and San Diego that made them less red.
The problem with energizing California with crude is that it would indeed pay for the out of control state spending and regulatory interference, not cure it.
Here we go with the nonsense about California and global warming! These people never give up.

My favorite response to the warmists:

A theory doesn't need a public relations firm i.e. "The science is settled" the creation of a British PR firm.

Enough, I'm convinced that the people making the warming argument are a bunch of intellectually deficient hypocrites who are either conditioned by their communal echo chamber, or do it for the grant money and/or to keep their donors happy and in a giving frame of mind. They probably think even worse about those on the other side of the debate.

As for "green energy" I recall that someone once said something to the effect that - "Green energy and the jobs created by the green economy are the wave of the future and always will be." The irony in the statement was totally lost on the speaker.

The almost entirely white, wealthy elitists in the California green movement will soon enough be displaced by the new residents imported into the state by the Democrats. When these people firmly take control, the environmental restrictions on drilling will be swept away. It's only a matter of time.
Concerns about oil spills aside, we can't afford the carbon. The cost to the climate of going after every bit of oil in the ground far outweighs any short term profit.
See this enlightening article by Bill McKibben in a recent Rolling Stone -
The whole discussion about oil steers clear of the gorilla in the room: CO2-driven global warming. (With this year's new record summer low in arctic sea ice cover, and the damaging heat wave and drought in the U.S., it's harder than ever to deny that this is a reality.)

The Left finds it tactically advantageous to talk about "a few dead birds". The Right is happy to just talk about how much money is to be had right now from drilling.

California cannot, on its own, perceptibly slow the rate at which world fossil fuel use puts more CO2 into our air. But then, no single polity can do that. California is trying to lead the way.

The problem is that right now, green tech hasn't reached maturity. Massive construction of green power installations, both wind and power, right now, would help with reducing CO2 emissions, but for the same money, spent 5 or 10 years down the road, we'd get better and more durable green power plants and thus avoid more CO2 emissions. The logical thing to do, then, is to push R&D in green tech, build modestly so as to keep green industry alive and move up the learning curve, and prepare to switch over massively as soon as the technology achieves the next 50% improvement in its efficiency, and drill sparingly in the meantime to tide us over.
November cannot come fast enough!
If the Norwegians can drill safely with todays modern technogly in the wild North Sea off of thier pristine Coastline/Fiords and highly valued fisheries California can surely drill safely in the relatively calm waters off of Santa Barbara. Wake up California!!!
Face facts about Californians. How many present day Californians moved here because of the Golden State’s Democrats and their brilliant financial administration? Go ahead, guess – 10, 20 maybe as many as 50 people? People move to California because of the state’s superb climate and natural beauty. And the majority of Californians believe the proper place for petroleum is under the ground. Just as the proper place for redwoods is in coastal forests north of San Francisco, the proper place for the San Ramon kit fox is living near San Ramon in spacious, well-furnished burrows, the proper place for the desert tortoise is – well, you get the idea.

Does that mean Californians are hopeless wack jobs or strange Save the Earth cultists who invite fiscal calamity through a stubborn refusal to see reason? There’s ample support for such theories but let’s assume for a moment we gave our state an additional $20 billion in revenue every year through relaxed drilling regulations. That would go far toward solving our state government’s financial problems, right? Maybe, but most Californians are convinced the state would simply find ways to spend an additional $30 billion each year, with much of this government windfall going to special interests.

Ordinary Alaskans receive a check, issued to them by their government each year, representing their individual share of their state’s massive natural resource royalties, fees, commissions, etc. The average Californian, on the other hand, wouldn’t see a penny of this additional drilling revenue. So, keep the oil under the ground, the Democrats infesting Sacramento and leave the rest of us to enjoy our abundant natural wonders.
LOL! The corrupt alliance of democrats, public employee unions, and extreme left wing interest groups, including environmental extremist will fight tooth and nail against developing carbon resources in CA, no matter how much damage they do to the state, their residents, and the country. They simply don't care. CA will never start to grow again and realize its potential until the people of the state rise up and end the corruption by throwing out the democrats and the corrupt alliance. However, more and more people that could lead that fight are just choosing to leave, leaving the corrupt alliance even more firmly entrenched. Nothing will happen until the entire state collapses, and at this point its a race to see if CA collapses first, or Obama, doing the same thing to the nation, collapses all of us into a pit of DEBT, DECLINE, and Despair. Too bad!!! CA is a beautiful state, but idiots run it, and there's a serious and growing price of that, as we see with Obama!!!!
When are you moving toTexas?
I don't think that this idea will ever fly with all the environment activists they have in the State. They need to fix the root cause, and that is illegal immigration, which is killing their economy. The taxpayers are paying for all the free benefits illegal immigrants are getting, and that needs to stop! But, until California stop catering to the left and illegals, they'll continue to be in massive debt!
The best thing that could happen for California is for Romney to be elected president and the Republicans to take control of the Senate. The Federal Government under Democratic control has and will continue to serve as an enabler for California's profigacy. Cold, harsh reality must and will slap California in the face eventually. The sooner, the better.
The Eastern Arizona high plains area has the biggest underground supply of CO2 known to man. However, plans to pipe it to California to help push oil to the surface have just been halted by the Obama EPA.
B. Samuel Davis brings up an interesting point:

"...this issue pits two Democratic interest groups against one another - public employee unions who will see oil as a way to increase state revenues to fund wages and benefits, and environmental groups."

This is but one example of how the Democrat Party is made up of numerous special interest groups, that, aside from an overarching sense of victimization and the belief that bigger government is the solution to every problem, have little in common, and often hate each other's guts.

I'm surprised that Republicans aren't more wise to this fact and aren't exploiting these divisions more.

But on to a more relevant point: Much of what makes California California was made possible by the wealth generated by oil; for example, its university system, physical infrastructure, and overall (former) quality of life.

Politicians in California would be wise to note that...but since when have politicians in California been wise?

Sooner or later California oil will be recovered - it's only a question of how much being poor its residents will tolerate. Ironically, this issue pits two Democratic interest groups against one another - public employee unions who will see oil as a way to increase state revenues to fund wages and benefits, and environmental groups. It is a question of time, and, also ironically the changing makeup of California will also have an effect. The environmental movement, at least its public face, are typically wealthy and almost exclusively white, who are increasingly a minority in California.

It will be interesting to watch these groups competing against each other.
CA, the next boom state? Probably not for a while.
Doesn't AB 32 kill new drilling even if you get approval?
Tom - you're an idiot.
California the Golden state, Obama and the Democrats model for American future, is fast becoming the poster child for an bankrupt third world State!

An unholy alliance of Socialist Democrat politicians, Unions, Left wing loony,s and Illegal Aliens supporters are feasting like hogs at the trough of tax payers paid benefits while taxing & regulating business and the tax paying public into poverty.

The corruption and pandering of Left Wing Democrat Politicians to their constituency of Unions, Illegal Aliens and open border supporters, are driving business and citizens to other states & countries, while leaving the parasites, welfare leeches and Hollywood perverts in an increasing bankrupt, crime ridden, dysfunctional state!

For years California has ignored economics 101 and imported Criminals, Uneducated Parasites, and poverty from Mexico, which increased Medical, Welfare, Crime, Prison, etc. & adding a estimated 22 billion per year to Calif. State expense to support the invading horde of Illegal Aliens while exporting business and educated tax payers.

Like all Socialist countries the results have been a astronomical increase in social welfare, schooling, prison cost etc. and a lowing of Living standards, Heath care, Education standards, Tax receipts & finally Bankruptcy.

The policies of Comrade Obama and Wash. DC Democrats are intent on following Calif. policies and Pro-Illegal Aliens, Pro-Unions and Anti-tax paying citizens and are endorsing the same socialist process of rewarding the Corrupt, Stupid, Foolish, Lazy, Greedy & Criminal while punishing the responsible, honest, law abiding citizens of American.

Failure to abide by our Constitution against invasion & enforce our Immigration laws and constraints on wages and benefits for public employees will result in turning the Golden State into MexiCalif and the end of the Calif. Dream and the beginning of the MexiCalif. Nightmare!

Amnesty & Citizenship as a reward for their invasion of the USA, with chain immigration will result in the rest of the USA turned into a Spanish speaking third world cesspool and follow California into a polluted, over populated, Spanish speaking, third world Slum of Crime, Corruption, Poverty, Cruelly & Misery modeled on Mexico!

This will result in a population depending on Welfare and the Democrat party, thus assuring the lock on power for the Socialist Democrat party of the United States of Mexico!
Tom Gray must be one of those anti-environmental crackpots who doesn't believe there is such a thing as global warming, or ocean acidification. I wonder if he drives a Hummer, the paragon of automotive excess.
California will remain mired in a fiscal death spiral until the voters come to. With more takers than makers, however, and with the entrenched left wedded to green worship, the auguries for recovery are dismal.
Too bad Tom, most Californians are clueless about the discovery and supply chain of energy. The folks on the coast think we should pay much more for fuel and drive a hybrid. (That's we, not me on the coast). On the inland, they ate so broke with so little money coming in and no political muscle that no one pays attention to them. A low cost of energy is crucial to wealth and economic gain. But, it hasn't yet registered on California residents in the power position. Millions of free money to a teeny electric car company, Tesla, nothing to exploration, drilling and refining. Pitiful.
Let me get this straight. California owns the oil along its shore, and if it is developed, the State stands to get $100 million a year in revenues? And the oil companies get billions, even trillions? I'd advise the Californians to bring in the Norwegians who are real experts at offshore drilling to help with drilling the oil for a reasonable fee, with the State taking in the billions/trillions. They could put it all in endowment funds invested all around the world, as the Norwegians have, and pay for everything the citizens will ever need - pensions, total health care, longer vacations, good housing for all, and on and on, as they do in Norway. Why should oil companies got, or take, a penny out of the State?