“A new study provides a road map to a carbon-free future [for California]. Just one problem: Something has to produce the juice for all those electric cars, and it can’t be just the sun and the wind.”
Investors Business Daily editorializes:
It’s been five years since California passed its ambitious law to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. So far, the state shows no sign that it really understands what it has set out to accomplish.
The near-term goal of cutting greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020 is tough enough. The 2006 law also requires a further 80% cut in the following 30 years.
A new study in the journal Science concludes that the 2050 goal is achievable without major changes in behavior or breakthroughs in technology. But the state would need a whole lot more electricity, since everyone would be driving electric cars by then.
One of the authors, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory biogeochemist Margaret S. Torn, says the state would have to add 1 1/2 to 2 nuclear power plants a year through 2050 to meet the electricity demand. That’s nearly 60 plants — at the low end of the estimate.
California currently has just two plants. What’s more, it has had a ban on new plants in effect since 1976 — a moratorium to be lifted only when the federal government establishes a permanent site for nuclear waste…