How California's Environmental Mandates Led to Blackouts

Critics say the state's dependence on solar and wind have made the power grid unreliable and overly expensive.
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California's rolling blackouts this summer were caused by decades of costly and poorly planned decisions to replace coal, nuclear, and gas-powered plants with solar and wind, according to some energy experts.

"It speaks to the delusion of California policymakers," says Michael Shellenberger, the president of Environmental Progress, which advocates for greater reliance on nuclear power as a way to reduce CO2 emissions and provide reliable energy. "They really convinced themselves that they could manage all of this increased demand on renewables, which are fundamentally unreliable." 

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Produced by Zach Weissmueller; opening graphic by Lex Villena; additional graphics by Isaac Reese. 

Photo credits: Mike Blake/Reuters/Newscom; Laura Dickinson/The Tribune/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Gina M Randazzo/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Maksym Yemelyanov/agefotostock/Newscom; Carolyn Cole/TNS/Newscom; Inciweb/Inciweb/ZUMA Press/Newscom; D 137610783 © Eberdova |, ID 47955708© Martinlisner |, ID 17908577 © Fesus Robert |; Ken James/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Paul Kitagaki Jr/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Music credits: "Premonition," "Viscous Void," "Lonely Astronaut," and "Fade Away," by Evgeny Bardyuzha. "Bad Habits" and "Apparition" by Stanley Gurvich. Licensed by Artlist.

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