Fox Business host Stuart Varney had strong words for California Gov. Gavin Newsom and his state’s political climate as wildfires continue to ravage the Golden State.
“The fires in California rage on, [with] hundreds of thousands evacuated. The utility, PG&E [Pacific Gas & Electric], has cut power to millions … they’re trying to stop the burn,” Varney said on Fox Nation’s “My Take.” “Your heart really goes out to a state in chaos, but you have to ask, ‘Why is this happening in one of the richest and most technologically advanced places on earth?’
“My opinion is that California’s political and regulatory climate is to blame,” Varney added.
THOUSANDS ORDERED TO EVACUATE AS WILDFIRES THREATEN LOS ANGELES-AREA NEIGHBORHOODS
Newsom declared a statewide emergency Sunday as multiple wildfires forced the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people from their homes. Mandatory evacuations were ordered Wednesday morning in Southern California when a rapidly moving wildfire ignited in Simi Valley, near the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
The biggest evacuation took place in Northern California’s Sonoma County, where 180,000 people were told to pack up and leave. Meanwhile, PG&E shut off power to 2.3 million people across 36 counties starting Saturday evening.
Varney doubled down on his attack of the “one-party state” government, accusing leadership in Sacramento of bowing to “climate warriors, public sector unions and the very liberal coastal elites.”
He also came to the defense of PG&E, whose employees have been targeted for harassment while out in public amid the mass shutoffs.
‘EXTREME RED FLAG WARNING’ IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AS WIND GUSTS UP TO 80 MPH MAY FUEL WILDFIRES
California Gov. Gavin Newsom surveys a home destroyed in the Kincade Fire Friday in Geyserville. (Karl Mondon/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)
“Just look at PG&E, which is getting all the blame for the fires and the blackouts. They’re not allowed to clear dead trees near their power lines … The ‘greens’ insist on minimal forest management. PG&E is forced to spend billions buying expensive wind and solar power … an extra $2.2 billion each and every year — money that cannot be spent on fireproofing,” Varney said.
The state Supreme Court has ruled that PG&E will be held liable for damage caused by their equipment, even if they were not negligent. And by law, PG&E must provide power in all areas — even those designated as having a very high fire risk.
CALIFORNIA POWER OUTAGE FRUSTRATIONS BOIL OVER AS PG&E OFFICE VANDALIZED, TRUCK SHOT AT ON INTERSTATE 5
“No wonder they’re bankrupt,” said Varney in response. “No matter what they do, they can’t win.”
“So now what?” the host asked. “Well, Californians are gonna be paying much higher electricity rates. They’re going to be paying much higher home insurance rates. And somebody has to come up with maybe a couple of hundred billion dollars to bail out PG&E.”
Newsom called on Warren Buffett to buy PG&E, but Varney questioned why the billionaire would pull together a serious bid to “run a business in that kind of regulatory and legal climate.”
“And it gets worse,” he continued, “Governor Newsom is committed to reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. You know what that means? Much, much higher energy prices for everyone. You think the climate crowd will back off? No, they won’t.
“Get real,” Varney said, “there is no short term fix.”
HOLMAN JENKINS ON CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES
Later in the segment, Varney cited an op-ed published Wednesday on FoxNews.com by The Wall Street Journal’s Holman Jenkins discussing whether “40 million Californians can suffer third world electric reliability without political upheaval.”
“He’s put his finger on the problem, which is California’s far-left climate change politics,” Varney concluded. “Maybe the current chaos will bring the change California so desperately needs.”
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