Aug 19, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Trump weaponizes California's power crisis


Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump is trying to use California’s electricity woes as a political cudgel against Democrats nationwide heading into the election, blaming Democrats for rolling blackouts in recent days.

Reality check: The nonprofit California Independent System Operator, which manages the state's power grid, is not a political entity.

  • "There wasn’t any party affiliation or other kind of input" into the rolling blackouts imposed Friday and Saturday, Steve Berberich, the group's CEO, told reporters Tuesday, per multiple reports.

The big picture: Grid managers in California are grappling with how to manage the state's increasing use of solar power and move away from natural gas, as explored by Greentech Media.

  • And Joe Biden's platform calls speeding the transition away from fossil fuels nationwide, though he didn't specifically endorse the sweeping congressional Green New Deal resolution.

Where it stands: "The exact root of California’s rolling blackouts is still unclear as more power outages loom, and that's allowed everyone to point fingers," Politico reports.

  • The piece notes experts have "cited a litany of potential causes," including "ballooning demand, inadequate transmission, an overreliance on renewable energy and natural gas plant challenges during hot weather."
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