California Using Band-Aids for Homeless Wounds


The problem with the California economy is not greenness. It’s homelessness. Get these people off our streets first. Make living like a human being affordable again. If there is no incentive to work, why work.

Every year there are over 2,500+ new bills expected to fill the annual calendar of the 80 Assemblymen and 40 Senators of the California State legislature. Fortunately, most never make it to the Governor for signature.

Of the 1,000 or so new bills that get signed into law EACH year, each usually targets a particular industry with more regulations, fees, or both, but very few bills achieve the goal of “being good for all 40 million residents of the State”. Most bills are not discriminatory. They address specific perceived ills with the intent of bettering particular industries like food, health, transportation, hospitality and energy. Most fall flat, with their achievements only resulting in more red tape rather than any overall improvements. The extra costs imposed via added fees are initially absorbed by the targeted industry, but are ultimately passed on to the consumers, usually the blue-collar workers, who use the services or products provided by these industries in their everyday lives. That is a sad but true inevitability of mass governing today.

It’s time to begin healing the homeless wounds rather than just using Band-Aids of subsidized housing and medical care over the wounds as electricity and fuel are the basic ingredients that causes the cost of all products and services used in our daily lives to be elevated and ultimately gets passed onto the consumer’s pocket book. Addressing the obvious causes to poverty and homelessness is required to heal the wounds, not just continue to apply Band-Aids to cover the wounds. No handouts, please. Open the doors to self-sufficiency. Create jobs not handouts.

Obesity cannot be healed with Band-Aids, i.e., medications, as meds only prolong the problem but never heals the obesity. To heal the obesity wound, individual’s needs to consume less food, focus on nutritional eating habits and compliment the new diet with exercise.

Similarly, homelessness cannot be healed with hand-out Band-Aids, nor by adding more than 1,000 new bill into law each year, but by addressing the two prime causes of homelessness, the costs of electricity and the costs of fuels, both of which are among the highest in the nation, here in California.

• Today, intermittent electricity from low power density renewables is expensive to consumers and have been contributory to California household users are paying more than 50% more, and industrial users are paying more than 100% than the national average for electricity according to 2018 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Continuation of that emissions crusade at the expense of our 40 million citizens.

• Cost of fuels for Californians continue to pay almost $1.00 more per gallon of fuel than the rest of the country for transportation fuels. Some of the costs hidden in the all-in posted price of fuel at the pump are: Federal tax, Excise tax, State tax, Local sales tax, Cap and trade program compliance costs, Low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) program compliance costs, renewable fuels standard (RFS) program compliance costs, and refinery winter and summer reformatting costs. The high cost of fuels, fuels (no pin intended) the growth of our homelessness and poverty populations.

• As the Cap & Trade and Low Carbon Fuel Standard Programs kick into higher gear in the coming years beyond 2019, more costs onto fuels are projected by 2030 which may add another $1 to $2 dollars to the cost per gallon of fuel that consumers will pay at the pump.

Most of our citizens may not be aware that California is an “energy island” to its almost 40 million citizens, bordered between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The state’s daily need to support its 145 airports (inclusive of 33 military, 10 major, and more than 100 general aviation) is 13 million gallons a day of aviation fuels. In addition, for the 35 million registered vehicles of which 90 percent are NOT EV’s are consuming DAILY: 10 million gallons a day of diesel and 42 million gallons a day of gasoline. All that “expensive” daily fuel is a heavy cost to consumers.

The loss of any of the in-state manufacturers would be devastating to the California economy and to the worlds environment, since foreign refineries, and domestic refineries outside of California all have less stringent environmental regulations than California, any aviation, diesel, or gasoline refined outside the state for California’s use would lead to increased global emissions, and excessive costs to import them into California.

Taxing the rich seems to be one of the Band-Aid solutions for California, but that’s dangerous as the 70% of the General Fund is already provided by personal taxes on 5% of the population. Scary similarities with California increasing its crude oil imports from foreign countries from 5% in 1992 to a whopping 57% in 2018 at a cost of $60 million a day for that foreign crude oil, because there is no delivery system over the Sierra Mountains or across the precious Mojave Desert to get the oil produced here in America to the energy island known as California and no one is saying a word about it. We’ve got most of our fund sources (rich folks) and energy sources (foreign imports) concentrated in one basket!

Even though the state sits on or adjacent to the largest shale and ocean reserves (potential oil producing entities) in the country, namely the Monterey Shale and Pacific Ocean, the legislature led by the current governor will not increase or discuss in-state production of crude oil. Their minds are made up and the silence is deafening if not deadly. However, funneling $60 million a day into the economy would provide a wealth of jobs, careers, and self-esteem to those working, as we cannot ignore the role fossil fuels play in creating thousands of products we use in our everyday lives.

More and more of the Governor’s constituency are going broke every day. Energizing California with deep earth fuels is more affordable right now than excessively high undependable “green” energy rates. The changeover is hurting us. And will be more painful as we move to 100% renewable electricity by 2045. Taxing the few to feed the many is counter-productive.

The result of throwing more funds toward homeless, may be incentivizing more to ride the free train (no pun intended) being funded by Californians,

This piece originally appeared on Fox & Hounds.

Ronald Stein is the Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure at PTS Advance headquartered in Irvine, California and a researcher and commentator on climate, energy, environment and public policy.

Photo Credit: Levi Clancy [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons