Unprecedented blackouts and continually rising gasoline prices are highlighting California’s energy crisis. While the price of gasoline soars, millions of Californians have just suffered a blackout induced by the state’s largest utility, PG&E, just so it isn’t blamed for starting more fires.
PG&E is already bankrupt and being sued by people in the state of California for starting wildfires, such as the Camp Fire. Now, to prevent more lawsuits and further financial devastation, the company has shut off power to millions of Californians all while the cost of a gallon of gasoline reaches crisis levels. California gas prices reached the highest level in the state since 2015, some Los Angeles area gas stations are charging more than $5 a gallon, according to Yahoo.
The gas price spike started last month after Saudi Arabia oil production facilities were attacked, and accelerated after three Los Angeles-area refineries slowed or halted production due to maintenance issues and no imported gasoline was available to make up for the shortfall, according to Jeffrey Spring, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s corporate communications manager.-Yahoo
There is some speculation that gasoline will be more than $6 per gallon in California soon, hitting consumers hard right in their wallets.
America’s most “environmentally-conscious” state also got a harsh lesson in electrical engineering. Many of the tens of thousands of people hit by this week’s blackout learned the hard way that solar installations don’t keep the lights on during a power outage. That is “because most panels are designed to supply power to the grid, not directly to houses. During the heat of the day, solar systems generate more juice than a home can handle. However, they don’t produce power at all at night. So systems are tied into the grid, and the vast majority aren’t working this week as PG&E cut power to much of Northern California to prevent wildfires,” reported Bloomberg.
Those Californians who still have “uncool” internal combustion engines are in luck; they just may have to pay nearly $6 per gallon soon to fill up.