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California’s climate is made for demagogues – Orange County Register

The Californian climate was made for demagogues.

For as long as records have been kept, the state has generally experienced a series of dry years followed by a series of wet years. The weather aligns perfectly with election cycles. A few years of drought will prompt an excited politician to declare that the projections clearly show the end of the world is upon us unless California acts immediately. Depending on the circumstances, this action may be the election or re-election of a politician, or an oppressive law that takes effect after the perpetrators leave office, or voter approval of money borrowed to an overly expensive project that could be a waste of cutting edge.

In 2018, as Governor Jerry Brown prepared to enter the sunset of his colorful political career, he signed two new laws imposing permanent drought emergency restrictions on Californians. He did this despite the drought ending a year earlier. According to Brown’s philosophy, Californians must live as if the end of the world is constantly imminent.

Assembly Bill 1668 and Senate Bill 606 set permanent overall goals for water consumption, both indoors and outdoors. The laws were phased in, calling for an indoor use limit of 55 gallons per person per day by 2022, then 50 gallons per day by 2030. Water districts that exceeded the goals were liable costly fines from state regulators.

Supporters called it “Making Conservation a California Way of Life.” A more accurate name would be “Making Californians Feel Guilty About Living So They Don’t Complain About Higher Water Rates.”

Everything could have gone perfectly as planned, but the weather refused to cooperate. In August 2022, the Newsom administration gleefully released a pessimistic report titled “California’s Water Strategy: Adapting to a Hotter, Drier Future.” He called for more regulations and legislation to “enable the reduction of water rights”, cheerfully warning: “The last three years of record drought have made hotter and drier pressures on water systems painfully real.” water. »

Five months later, the state of California was so overwhelmed by rainfall that it was embarrassingly releasing water into the ocean.

The Metropolitan Water District, which had declared a water shortage emergency in April 2022 and imposed outdoor water use restrictions on Southern California residents, later complained that it was not sell enough water to cover its costs due to drought, but also excess precipitation. , and must therefore increase rates.

This sort of thing could make Californians cynical about the motives of government officials. Everything is a “crisis” and the outcome is always the same: they have more power, you have less money, and the freedom you once enjoyed to just live your life has been taken away from you by sanctimonious bureaucrats who claim to be saving the world. world. with their regulations and restrictions.

Perhaps regulators know they’re on ice with the public, as the California State Water Resources Control Board is close to finalizing its midstream water conservation regulations. urban, and it kicks in until later.

California Daily Newspapers

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