In wake of record-breaking heat wave that has smothered California for days, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Sept. 7 that “all of our models have been thrown out” when it comes to climate change.
“We’ve never seen this kind of extreme heat for this extended period of time,” Newsom said from the Code Conference in Beverly Hills. “And so we have thrown all of the old books and rules and regulations out, and we are moving in a completely different mindset in order to stay a step ahead of Mother Nature.”
In Northern California, several cities saw record highs on that day, threatening power outrage.
Newsom said that the heat is straining the energy grid during peak hours when many Californians come home from work and turn on their air conditioners. He said alerts notifying residents to be cautious of their energy usage prevents California from blackouts along with energy imports.
The governor said California needs more aggressive climate actions to deal with climate change. He said updates the state has made within the recent past are what allowed it to avoid many blackouts this time around.
“Had we not done what we’ve done in the last two years we would have had rolling blackouts over the last week,” Newsom said. “Almost without question.”
He pointed to the state's $53.9 billion investment in climate change solutions, increased battery storage and longer backup generator lifespans.
Additionally, Newsom criticized Texas' energy policy, which he characterized as being more inclined to rely on fossil fuels.
“In the state of Texas, year to date, they have consumed some 22.9 million tons of coal, polluting the planet, making conditions worse, impacting climate, exacerbating the very conditions they're trying to mitigate in terms of their energy reliability," Newsom said on a speech in late August.
California, by contrast, had consumed just 18,000 tons of coal during that time period, Newsom added.
“It’s ironic that Governor Newsom is attacking the national leader in energy the same day he barely avoided statewide blackouts,” Renae Eze, press secretary for Texas Governor Greg Abbott, said in a statement.
Despite attacking Republican governors from red states like Florida's Ron DeSantis, who is anticipated to run for president, Newsom declared he had no intention of entering the election.
“I have no interest,” he said.