Gavin Newsom’s 10 favorite myths about energy and climate, refuted

By Alex Epstein

During Thursday's debate with Ron DeSantis, Gavin Newsom repeated several of his favorite myths about energy and climate. Here are answers to those and some of his other favorites.

Originally published on December 17, 2019

As a Californian who studies energy for a living, I am acutely aware of the very damaging energy ideas and policies of our current Governor, Gavin Newsom. I was thus very happy to see Governor Ron DeSantis quickly demolish Newsom’s “government-dictated green energy policies” (the exact right term, which I’ve actually never heard anyone besides myself use).

Here are my answers to Governor Newsom’s favorite energy myths.

  1. Myth: Newsom’s energy policy drives progress.
    Truth: Newsom’s policy of government-dictated “green energy” makes energy unaffordable and unreliable while preventing real, cost-effective innovation. We need an energy freedom policy welcoming all forms of cost-effective energy.
  2. Myth: Supporters of fossil fuels are “climate change deniers.”
    Truth: They are “climate change realists” (or “climate change thinkers”) who recognize that any negative climate changes influenced by fossil fuels are greatly outweighed by the benefits of FFs—including how they protect us from climate danger. This Climate Crisis is a Fossil Fuel Crisis
  3. Myth: 97% of climate scientists agree that we face a climate crisis that requires the rapid elimination of fossil fuels.
    Truth: Most climate scientists agree that we have some climate impact. This does not at all justify the rapid elimination of fossil fuels.
  4. Myth: CA is a “climate leader,” showing the way to China and others.
    Truth: CA is a “climate sucker,” making its energy unaffordable, unreliable, and dependent on China-centered solar, wind, and batteries—all while China has more than >300 new coal plants in the pipeline! How CA Pretends to Lead the World on Energy
  5. Myth: The US should lead COP 28 in committing to net-zero by 2050.
    Truth: Net-zero by 2050 is a death sentence to any economy that adopts it (China won't) and to the developing world that desperately needs fossil fuels. The US should be leading energy freedom conferences.
  6. Myth: CA’s electrification efforts are a model for the US.
    Truth: This absurd “model” consists of reducing the supply of reliable electricity (via shutting down natgas and nuclear plants) while dramatically increasing demand for reliable electricity (via mandating EVs). Installed Electric Capacity in California
  7. Myth: CA’s grid is a model for the US.
    Truth: Since Newsom’s 2019 boast that his “climate policies are good for our economy,” CA’s policy of opposing fossil fuels + nuclear while privileging solar + wind has led to rapid price increases, chronic power shortages, and blackouts. CA electricity prices
  8. Myth: CA is solving solar and wind's reliability problems with batteries.
    Truth: Batteries can't make solar and wind self-sufficient, because they're so expensive that just 1 days of global backup using Elon Musk’s Megapacks would cost $190 trillion, about 2X global GDP! Tesla battery prices
  9. Myth: CA’s ICE ban is a model for the US.
    Truth: 6 days after announcing this ban, CA, due to its shutdowns of reliable natural gas and nuclear plants, had to tell citizens there wasn't enough electricity for their EVs. Imagine what would happen if there were 10 times more EVs! Flex Alert in CA preventing EV charging
  10. Myth: CA’s anti-oil efforts are a model for the US.
    Truth: CA has made drilling, refining, transporting, and using oil-based fuels excessively expensive; CA gasoline is $1.80 more than FL's. Instead of taking responsibility, Newsom blames a “mystery surcharge” for higher prices! CA gasoline prices

Check out my comments on the DeSantis/Newsom energy debate, plus COP 28 and a new study about the reliability of EVs, in my feature interview on Fox Business yesterday. (Although I think the content is really good, apologies for my mediocre appearance in the poor lighting of my Wyoming hotel room.)