The Fiery Rage in California

The Fiery Rage in California

California has seen its fair share of wildfires in recent decades. Recent fires like last year’s Camp Fire, which made the news as the most destructive wildfire in Californian history, have consistently hit the news headlines. The chaos created from these infernos is angering many citizens causing even more fingers to be pointed toward the “true” culprits.

Currently, the Kincade and Getty fires are in the news as they ravage countless acres of land and threaten tens of thousands of structures. The Kincade Fire started on October 23 and is only 5% contained. High winds (reaching up to 102 mph gusts) are a major contributing factor to the rapid spread of the current fires.

Saving the Trees

There are a few big contributing factors to the proliferation of recent wildfires. A big one is California’s refusal to properly thin its forests, which increases the risk of fire and makes it harder to contain. President Trump called out California on this myopic policy last year, and it’s still coming around to bite them in the behind.

Aging Infrastructure

While there are many potential causes for a wildfire, many of these fires were caused by an aging power grid infrastructure. Downed power lines and malfunctioning transformers are among the most common causes. These assets are roughly a century old and many of them have fallen into disrepair.

Massive Blackouts

In addition to the many millions in damages caused by wildfires, electric companies like Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) have been forced to cut off power across the state. Over 1.2 million individuals have been notified of inevitable power grid shutdowns rolling out over the course of this week. Over 2.4 million customers lost power over the weekend alone.

Why Can’t Electric Companies Keep Up?

Many are wondering how these utility companies can drop the ball this hard and be so negligent of their obviously out-of-date infrastructure. The power companies certainly deserve some blame, but that’s not the whole story. A quick look at legislative influences reveals the systemic issues that force utility companies to deprioritize repairing their crumbling infrastructure.

In 2017, PG&E, for example, spent $1.5 billion on repairing and updating its aged assets. In comparison, Liberal lawmakers forced them to spend roughly $2.4 billion on investments into wind and solar power. While renewable energy sources have their benefits, the consequences of mandating companies to allocate resources to new systems instead of updating older ones can’t be overstated.

Utility companies are being forced to adopt a Liberal financial agenda and it’s going bankrupt them. Ultimately, of course, it’s Californians who are paying the price of short-sighted Liberal legislation.

If you want to blame the fires on anyone, blame the Democrats.

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