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Cooper Hefner Statement on California’s Energy Grid and Heat Wave Emergency

08•19•2020
  • Statement

Over the past days, millions of Californians have experienced power blackouts while record-breaking heat covers the state. This does more than disrupt lives, it kills. The energy crisis currently being experienced alongside the heat wave is yet more evidence of the need for California to invest in a modern electricity grid, switch even more rapidly to renewable energy, and closely regulate the behavior of utilities to keep them from unnecessarily subjecting citizens to these dangerous conditions.

California has not experienced statewide rolling blackouts due to energy shortages since 2001. However, with blackouts due to fire prevention and outages associated with aging infrastructure, the frequency of energy distribution issues over the past years is unacceptable. California requires a modern energy grid, not an unreliable one that resembles a developing country. Widely distributed solar power capabilities on residential buildings, along with further investment in municipal clean energy production, would go a long way to fixing current capacity issues. But we also need to invest in innovations in the electric grid, power storage, and more efficient buildings. Combined, we can create a cleaner California where no one is sitting in the dark, struggling with unbearable heat, or unable to access the digital services they need.

For those currently experiencing outages or unable to access air conditioning, please see the list of cooling centers in Los Angeles County here. The cooling centers are following social distancing guidelines and doing their best to keep people safe and cool.