Companies are continuing to leave California. From 2001 to 2011 California Manufacturing has declined 11% more than the United States. Joel Kotkin writing in the Orange County Register in his article Energy Running Out of California has the details:
The recent decision by Occidental Petroleum to move its headquarters to Houston from Los Angeles, where it was founded over a half-century ago, confirms the futility and delusion embodied in California’s ultragreen energy policies. By embracing solar and wind as preferred sources of generating power, the state promotes an ever-widening gap between its declining middle- and working-class populations and a smaller, self-satisfied group of environmental campaigners and their corporate backers.
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In all but forcing out fossil-fuel firms, California is shedding one of its historic core industries. Not long ago, California was home to a host of top 10 energy firms – ARCO, Getty Oil, Union Oil, Oxy and Chevron; in 1970, oil firms constituted the five largest industrial companies in the state. Now, only Chevron, which has been reducing its headcount in Northern California and is clearly shifting its emphasis to Texas, will remain.
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California clearly is squandering an opportunity to restart a large part of its economy. Texas energy has created some 200,000 new jobs over the past decade, while California has barely mustered 20,000. These energy jobs pay well, roughly $20,000 a year more than those in the information sector, according to EMSI. In 2011, this sector accounted for nearly 10 percent of all new jobs created in the nation. This has transformed much of the vast energy zone, from the Gulf to North Dakota. Houston, despite strong in-migration, now boasts an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent, almost four points below the jobless rate in Los Angeles.
What about “green jobs”? Overall, California leads in green jobs, simply by dint of size; but on a per-capita basis, notes a recent Brookings study, California is about average. In wind energy, in fact, California is not even in first place; that honor goes to, of all places, Texas, which boasts twice California’s level of production.
Ironically, one reason for this mediocre performance lies in environmental regulationsthat make California a tough place even for renewables. Even the New York Times has described Gov. Jerry Brown’s promise about creating a half-million new jobs as something of a “pipe dream.” Even though surviving solar firms are busy, in part to meet the state’s strict renewable mandates, solar firms acknowledge that they won’t be doing much of the manufacturing here, anyway.
Full article is HERE. Koel concludes:
. . . it’s hard to imagine a reversal of our current energy costs. The grip of green interests and their corporate allies in places like Silicon Valley suggests Californians will continue to endure ever-higher energy prices, lagging construction and manufacturing as a regular feature of the economy. This may make the green clerisy in the state happy, but is likely to have the opposite effect on the rest of us and on our economy as it becomes ever more narrowly based and fragile.
It is clear that until leadership in Sacramento changes, California’s economy will not recover like the states that are embracing fracking and reliable fossil fuel energy resources, especially clean natural gas.