Gavin Newsom turns to fossil fuels to keep California's power on

Newsom has recently made a series of moves aimed at ramping up power-generating methods he previously vowed to do away with.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
Self-proclaimed climate crusader Gavin Newsom has been forced to temporarily shelve his plans for a green future in order to ensure people across his state have access to electricity in the present.

To mitigate the societal and political ramifications of another series of blackouts, the California governor recently made a set of moves aimed at ramping up power-generating methods he previously vowed to do away with.

As Politico reports, when Newsom ran for governor in 2018, he campaigned on shutting down the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility, which three years earlier had been the site of the largest methane leak in American history.

He recently stated, however, that it may be necessary to not only hold off on closing the facility, but increase the amount of gas stored by nearly 69 billion cubic feet. 

The Public Utilities Commission, whose members were all appointed by the governor, is scheduled to vote on whether to go ahead with the plan on Thursday, amid growing protests from activists, concerned citizens, and politicians, all of whom continue to call on the government to shut it down for good.

Newsom's administration has also renewed the use of three natural gas plants in southern California, and moved to keep the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant operational. Newsom fought to close the facility during his stint as lieutenant governor, and it was slated to be nixed in 2025. Earlier this year, officials petitioned regulators to grant a 20-year extension, however, a final decision has not been made. In the interim, the plant has been allowed to remain open.

Former governor Gray Davis justified Newsom's decisions, pointing out that citizens will "ultimately hold [him] responsible for maintaining the grid" and keeping their lights on.

Newsom and other Democratic politicians have attempted to fast-track the switch to renewable energy, however, reality appears to have sunk in and revealed that it will take time before such technology can keep up with demand and make fossil fuels a thing of the past. 
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