While there are geological limits to growth (such as Peak Water in Saudi Arabia), OD has always been fascinated by the interplay of other factors upon the energy question.
Some of the limits to growth are purely political … such as the development of California’s offshore oil reserves, or the national influence of the Democratic Party in Congress:
“Sixty-percent of the electricity in Los Angeles, a key bastion of Obama support, comes from coal-fired plants in Utah and Arizona; much of the natural gas that provides nearly half of the power for California’s grid is imported . . .
Nowhere is the element of choice inherent in energy policy more evident than in California, home to five of the nation’s twelve largest oil fields and energy reserves equal to those of Nigeria, the world’s tenth-largest producer. As high-paying energy jobs swell payrolls in the Great Plains, the Intermountain West and parts of the Gulf, the Golden State has double-digit unemployment, a collapsed inland economy and a series of bankrupt municipalities. Amidst a great national energy boom, California’s energy production has remained stunted even as the state’s draconian “renewable” energy mandates are slated to drive up its already high electricity rates. The state’s high cost of energy has impacted industry: despite its vast human and natural resources, the Golden State, with 12 percent of the nation’s population received barely 2 percent of the country’s manufacturing expansions last year.
Such inattention to California’s resources may be popular in wealthy precincts of Silicon Valley, San Francisco and west Los Angeles, but the state’s green approach has helped place traditionally manufacturing-oriented communities such as Oakland, east Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Stockton in deep distress. Despite central California’s vast deposits of oil and gas, unemployment rates in some oil-rich areas there are over 15 and sometimes even 20 percent.”