Governator Encourages the World to Be More Like California — But Should He?

The Governator is back, only this time he’s here to promote California’s failed energy policies on a global scale. Two-term governor of California and Terminator legend, Arnold Schwarzenegger presided over a climate conference which was hosted by his group “R20 Regions of Climate Action”. The conference ended in an unbinding pledge by several regional groups to join the fight against global warming.

In his remarks at the conference, Schwarzenegger touted California’s success:

“Our organization, the R20 and I, we are big believers in a regional approach, in the sub-national approach, that while maybe the UN does not come to an agreement right away, and hopefully when they have the negotiations in Paris they will come to an agreement, but to utilize also the sub-national governments because we in California have been very successful without the help of the national government.” [Emphasis added]

In truth, Schwarzenegger’s policies in California have only continued the state’s legacy of expensive energy.

As governor of California, Schwarzenegger pushed hard for “green” energy policies in the name of climate change, including a mandate that 33 percent of retail electricity sales come from renewables by 2020 and a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS), which forces transportation fuel producers to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions used in the manufacturing of fuel or to purchase credits to offset their impact.

As a result of California’s energy policies, the state now suffers from some of the highest electricity costs and gasoline prices in the U.S.:

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And if it weren’t enough to harm California’s energy situation, Schwarzenegger has taken it upon himself to promote these types of policies around the world through R20 Regions of Climate Action. The truth of the matter, though, is that a bigger global problem than climate change is energy poverty.

In 2011, 1.3 billion people did not have access to electricity, almost a fifth of the global population. Developing nations are focused on increasing access to affordable energy for their citizens, not on implementing policies that will make energy more expensive. In fact, the leaders of China and India skipped the recent UN climate summit because the UN’s renewables push would threaten reliable energy and human development in both countries.

We may not be able to go back in time, as Schwarzenegger did in Terminator, and warn Californians about Schwarzenegger’s disastrous policies, but countries should look to his failures as an example of what not to do.

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