By John Semmens
This week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen predicted that “the Inflation Reduction Act will put us on our way toward a future where we totally depend on the wind, the sun and other clean sources of energy. We will free ourselves from our dependence on fossil fuels.”
Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm echoed Yellen’s remarks and cited “the tremendous progress being made in California under Governor Gavin Newsom’s leadership. He’s got his state on track to outlaw gasoline-powered cars by 2035. He’s pushing to wean the state off coal and gas fueled electricity generation and going all wind and solar. I wouldn’t be surprised if this visionary man becomes our next president.”
Granholm brushed off California’s energy difficulties, calling them “growing pains.” These pains include electric rates that have risen three times faster than in the rest of the nation and frequent blackouts. In just the last week, California owners of electric vehicles (EVs) were admonished to not recharge them during periods of peak-electricity demand (typically weekdays 5 pm to 9 pm).
“As we have said many times before, transitioning to a greener economy will require sacrifices,” Granholm said. “Higher energy prices will encourage more conservation. If it costs more to keep the lights on we can counter this by returning to a more natural lifestyle of rising at sunrise and going to sleep at sundown. In addition, a parked EV is more environmentally friendly than a moving EV.”
Meanwhile, the Swiss government has decreed that homeowners who set their thermostats higher than 66° during the winter will be fined up to $3,000 per violation and/or imprisoned for up to three years. Granholm called these penalties “harsh, but potentially effective. My Department will be monitoring events in Switzerland to determine whether any similar steps ought to be taken here.”
Further, the Biden Administration has drawn down our strategic petroleum reserves to their lowest level in 40 years—an action that Granholm insisted “is an essential ‘bridge-burning’ step to help speed our transition to a greener America. The sooner sources of petroleum are eliminated, the sooner people will have to adapt to a new way of life. The longer the ‘crutch’ of hopping into your gas-guzzling car and tooling off to wherever you want to go, the harder it will be to achieve the green dream.”