Death Warmed Over: Obama Calls for 15% Cut in Electricity Use
August 7, 2008 • 7:29PM

In his August 4 speech on "energy" at Michigan State University, Democratic presidential candidate-presumptuous Barack Obama touted Enron-plagued California as his model for a huge Gore-y cut in electricity use in United States. In that speech, in which Obama also proposed $4 billion retooling credit for the auto industry to produce small and electric cars, he called for a drastic 15% cut in U.S. electricity use, on the California electricity model:

"Finally, the third step I'll take is to call on businesses, government and the American people to meet the goal of reducing our demand for electricity 15 percent by the end of the next decade.... The state of California has implemented such a successful efficiency strategy that while electricity consumption grew 60 percent in this country over the last three decades, it didn't grow at all in California. Think about that. The country as a whole, 60 percent more electricity usage over the last 30 years. In California, no change. And this is despite the fact that California's been growing in leaps and bounds."

In fact, California's electricity consumption per capita actually grew about 20% from 1975 to 2000, which is not much. But note that since 1999, California's cost per kilowatt-hour has been 50-60% above the national average, which has pushed consumption per capita back down nearly to the 1980 level: that's how Obama's "model" was "achieved."