The U.S. may have exited from the Paris climate agreement, but that's not stopping California from pursuing what critics call a symbolic, feel-good effort with renewable energy.
Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) and others want California to get 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by the year 2030.
"What has been the source of our prosperity now becomes the source of our ultimate destruction, if we don't get off it," Brown said at a 2015 signing ceremony in Los Angeles.
Environmental groups applaud California's goal. That includes the National Resources Defense Council, which has called this a game-changer.
Norman Rogers of ClimateViews.com is not in that camp. He thinks California is setting the nation's worst example for a renewable energy marketplace.
"First of all, they're raising the price of electricity for all the people in California," Rogers tells OneNewsNow. "Second of all, it's really not practical to get 50 percent of your energy where a lot of wind power and solar power is involved, because it's too erratic."
Faced with this shortfall, Rogers says California is buying power from other states and using electricity from natural gas.
"Renewable power providers in California sell renewable power certificates (RPCs) to the state so California can pretend that they are providing renewable energy to all, even though wind turbines in Palm Springs are not powering office buildings in San Diego," he explains.
Hypothetically, if California were to achieve its goal, or even get close to 50 percent, does that mean it is that more environmentally friendly? Solar panels and wind turbines contain things that have to be mined, manufactured, transported, etc., and all those methods have an impact on the environment.
"It's not so much that, but it's just a total waste of money," answers Rogers. "If you even believe the theory there is going to be a global warming disaster from putting carbon dioxide in the air, that's on very shaky ground as far as science goes, because the earth hasn't really warmed in the last two decades."
Meanwhile, Rogers says China is still burning a lot more coal than the U.S.
"So this whole action by California is purely a feel good, symbolic thing. It has no meaning whatsoever in the real world," he concludes.