The police are doing a great job in the fentanyl case.

DID YOU KNOW? Bonnie Donovan

Did you know would like to thank the Santa Barbara Police Department for their diligence in locating and arresting the man who allegedly sold fentanyl to the man who overdosed in April on the 100 block of State Street .

After a 4-month investigation, local law enforcement arrested the suspect and the district attorney’s office charged him with murder following the death of one of his alleged clients. We encourage our readers to express their gratitude to the police and the district attorney’s office, which have been threatened with possible defunding of their agencies, while often operating understaffed.

It will be interesting to see if the suspect is convicted of murder and what sentence is imposed, versus murder with a weapon. We won’t be surprised if a plea deal is offered. But hopefully any deal will uncover more suspects and the contacts in Mexico responsible for the trafficking.

When death is caused by the distribution of a lethal substance, we believe that anyone involved in the manufacture and distribution of that substance should be convicted of murder. We commend outgoing Acting Chief Bernard Melekian who was at the helm during this investigation.

Another hot topic in California last week was that the power grid was being taxed by the power used to beat back the heat wave of temperatures up to 117 degrees in Sacramento. It’s September. It’s a heat wave. Citizens received emergency alerts and robocalls asking them to limit their energy consumption during the evening, and owners of electric vehicles were asked to refrain from charging their electric vehicles.

In San Luis Obispo, some restaurants were closed due to power outages, and in Santa Barbara people lost power during the heat. The town of Carpinteria has just announced that it has joined a group of auxiliary electricity generators to avoid a grid outage.

What will they do when fossil fuels are no longer available to power backup generators and the energy demands of the millions of electric vehicles charging on the grid are twice as high as they are today? Many state agencies and even major grid operators in California rely on diesel generators to support California’s inefficient power grid.

Speaking of electric vehicles and regulations prohibiting the use of fossil fuels for power, did you know that California had over 29 million vehicles registered in January 2022? Did you know that of these, 1.13 million are electric vehicles? The total number of electric vehicles registered in the country is 2.64 million, of which 43% are registered in California.

In a population of 39.35 million, most California households own at least one or two vehicles. Imagine what the power grid will need to power these future electric vehicles.

Across California, we are once again facing warnings of power outages and calls to stop consuming energy during the hottest and riskiest times of the day. We are here, the fifth largest economy in the world, the largest state in the union, and we cannot guarantee to keep the lights on. So much for high-tech California.

Yet we are only 3.8% of the way to eliminating fossil fuel vehicles and even less towards eliminating the use of fossil fuels in industry, commerce, agriculture and the houses. Even at this low level of transformation of energy sources, our electricity grid cannot cope adequately.

We know that temperatures will continue to rise each year. Hasn’t the government been telling us that for decades? So where is California’s blueprint for energy security, as the state seeks to eliminate the only reliable sources we already have?

In last week’s article, we predicted an imminent risk of energy starvation in California, which is already happening in Europe. The Europeans are warning us. They have gone too far too fast in the transition to wind and solar without sufficient electricity generation to replace fossil fuels and without the necessary new grid infrastructure in place to efficiently store and distribute wind and solar electricity. at all points of need.

Did you know that 46.54% of our electricity in California comes from natural gas? And it’s cleaner than ever. And 11.4% comes from large hydroelectric plants, 2.18% from small hydroelectric plants and 9.38% from nuclear. Did you know that only 13.99% of electricity comes from solar and only 7.23% from wind?

When will we have in place all the building blocks necessary for efficient and more than adequate generation of non-fossil electric power and reliable, disaster-proof distribution highway networks to all points of need?

The answer is never.

What is the plan? Where is the funding? What is the program ? How does this sync in advance, with the order to stop the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035?

Let’s use a favorite example from our governors past and present to be our guide.

The California High-Speed ​​Rail Authority was established in 1996. In 2008, Californians voted to approve a high-speed rail link in Proposition 1A for $9.95 billion. Nine billion dollars has been allocated to the authority to begin construction, and $995 million has been allocated for regional and local connectivity projects.

After massive delays, specification changes and huge cost increases, now estimated at $105 billion, the high-speed rail is not expected to be fully operational until 2030. The expected time to build this relatively short rail system is at least 22 years old. , subject to further modifications. We already know, compared to a statewide power grid, that something as simple as a desalination plant takes 14 years to build in California.

By contrast, in 1869, the 2,000-mile American transcontinental railroad was built in six years, almost entirely by hand.

The high-speed railway will rely exclusively on renewable energy sources to provide electricity, so a new reliable network will be a key source of supply. Otherwise, the shiny new high-speed locomotive won’t be so fast after all. Passengers traveling back and forth by train will need reliable stations to charge their electric vehicles.

Will all car parks be EV charging stations? We need huge changes in design and construction to produce a new grid that can handle 100% of all California’s electrical power needs for the next century, from now.

A salute and a toast to a great leader and a great lady. Queen Elizabeth II was a real queen. Elegant, strong, smart. Defined steep upper lip. She saw it all – and with grace and decorum. They don’t make them like that anymore. If only we could take a lesson. Rest in peace.

Bonnie Donovan writes the “Did You Know? column in collaboration with a bipartisan group of local citizens. It appears on Sundays in the Voices section.

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