California Warns: Here Come the Blackouts, Don't Charge Your Car

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

California’s energy overseer warned of blackouts starting Wednesday and urged residents to “avoid using large appliances and charging electric vehicles, and turn off unnecessary lights.”


The state also wants those thermostats set no lower than 78 degrees.

Called a Flex Alert, the California Independent System Operator says households should “reduce energy use from 4-9 p.m. when the system is most stressed because demand for electricity remains high and there is less solar energy available.”

“The power grid operator,” the notice says, “expects to call on Californians for voluntary energy conservation via Flex alerts over the long weekend.”

And not drive anywhere, I suppose, if you’re the owner of one of the nearly half-million plug-in EVs registered in the Golden State.

I remember a night in college when it was just too hot to sleep, so I went to the parking lot, started my car, cranked the A/C to max, let it run for a bit, and then finally got some shut-eye in my cooled-off, gas-burning Ford.

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Call me crazy, but you’d think that a state subject to heatwaves — not to mention those seemingly inevitable sundowns — would make itself less reliant on solar power and electric vehicles.

To be fair, the state is expecting a record-breaking heat wave from north to south. Then again, if Sacramento still took seriously the needs of its own people, it’d be building desalination plants and nuclear facilities to power them. That would take care of Cali’s two most enduring problems: Heat and drought.


Instead, the state is actively tearing down water infrastructure, even though its existing water system was built for a much smaller population than it has today. It’s eliminating power plants, too, at a time when the government is actively — and expensively — encouraging residents to switch to electric vehicles.

Less power, less water… and more demand for both.

California has banned the sale and registration of new gas and diesel cars by 2035, but I’m sure the weather will be fine by then.

I really couldn’t say for sure if Sacramento is trying to drive millions of poor people out of the state, or if the Democrats in charge just get their jollies out of making miserable their own most reliable voters.

Either way and in almost any weather, it sucks to be a Californian of the non-superrich variety.


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