Big Green and California politicians responsible for the massive fires
NY Post Editorial:
Between the raging wildfires and the blackouts, California is now offering an abject lesson in the perils of wishful thinking. The state’s leaders may blame climate change or big utility companies, but in reality it’s their own damn fault.Being Big Green means never having to admit you have been wrong about forrest management and the consequences of failed policies. Instead of suing PG and E into oblivion, California politicians should be looking in the mirror and taking on the goofballs of Big Green who are responsible for this destruction. Turn loose the loggers and clean out these overgrown fire traps. Yes. use gas chainsaws to clear the deadwood and the underbrush along with big equipment using gas engines to clear the underbrush.
By Monday morning, Pacific Gas and Electric had broken its record for households blacked out — the company’s effort to avoid the downed live power lines that can start fires. Yet high (but not record-setting) wind gusts are still triggering wildfires, and not just in PG&E’s service area.
Why have 10 of the state’s 20 largest, most deadly fires ever occurred in the last decade? Because its forests are now twice as dense as they were 150 years ago — when the population was a fraction of today’s.
Behind that unnatural density: state and federal rules that make it nearly impossible (and insanely expensive) to lay a finger on any of this precious overgrowth.
Green sentiment has beaten back the timber industry, which might have put life-saving access roads into wild areas. It has prevented controlled burns (for fear of disrupting animal habitats) and barred even minor brush-clearing programs.
When last summer’s disastrous fire killed 85, the state found reason to blame PG&E — which was sued into bankruptcy and is still deep in Chapter 11. (Utilities that aren’t privately owned, meanwhile, don’t face the same liability under California law.) Hence its precautionary blackouts now.
And since it’ll be years before the utility can secure its lines against high winds, its customers must now expect rolling blackouts every fall when the powerful, hot “El Diablo” winds roll in.
President Trump had it right last summer: “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor.”