Newsom: ‘Not Transitioning’ to Green Energy Is ‘Bigger Risk’ — We Avoided Blackouts, Partially Due to Natural Gas

While speaking with Bloomberg TV host David Westin on Wednesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) stated that California managed to avoid blackouts, and is “keeping our agenda” on green energy, and stated that “not transitioning is the bigger risk and the bigger sacrifice.” He also said that the state was able to keep the power on thanks to backup generators powered by natural gas.

Newsom said, “Well, the energy security question, flip that upside its head. Texas, where they had more extreme problems, and that was based on they’re all fossil fuel plants and they’re aging infrastructure and the fact that they’re doubling down on that with natural gas and other fossil fuels. … We were just stressed test[ed] in the most extreme, had no blackouts. We were challenged, but we kept our wits and we’re keeping our agenda, and we’re maintaining our policy principles that, I think, will allow us more resilience in the future. So, no, I don’t think you have to sacrifice one for the other. I would argue not transitioning is the bigger risk and the bigger sacrifice.”

Westin then asked, “Transitioning is an important word in that sentence. It’s not all one or all the other, isn’t it? Because a lot of experts say, yes, certainly, we have to get to renewables, but you can’t just give up, for example, on natural gas, that that is actually part of the path for the transitioning. Do you agree with that?”

Newsom responded, “100%. In fact, we were able to keep the lights on because we kept a lot of our once-through cooling plants online, we were able to do backup generators. We are not naive about the situational challenges. But that doesn’t mean we don’t accelerate…in areas like battery storage.”