President Donald Trump attempted to politicize a series of power outages in California on Tuesday, saying without any evidence that Democrats have “intentionally implemented” them and suggested that Green New Deal proposals were somehow to blame.
“In California, Democrats have intentionally implemented rolling blackouts — forcing Americans in the dark. Democrats are unable to keep up with energy demand,” he tweeted about the power outages, which are the most widespread the state has experienced in decades.
A statewide heatwave is putting a strain on the state’s electrical grid, forcing power outages for hundreds of thousands of Californians, but that has nothing to do with Democrats or any other political party. The widespread blackouts have been carried out by the California Independent System Operator, a nonprofit that manages most of the state’s power.
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has called the blackouts “unacceptable” and is seeking an investigation into the matter. The nonprofit’s president said Monday that he tried to warn the California Public Utilities Commission that there wasn’t sufficient electricity lined up for a heatwave like this. Temperatures have broken records across the state for days, with Death Valley reporting 130 degrees Sunday, the highest U.S. temperature in more than a century. The lingering heatwave has put a strain on the electrical grid as cranked-up air conditioners add to normal power needs.
In a follow-up tweet trying to link his likely Democratic opponent to the blackout, Trump warned the “Bernie/Biden/AOC Green New Deal plan would take California’s failed policies to every American!”
In reality, the Green New Deal, backed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), is a nonbinding framework of proposed legislation to deal with climate change. It doesn’t yet have support from presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who says the main thrust of the plan ― getting the U.S. to convert to 100% renewable energy in 10 years ― is too expensive.
Trump’s comments come a day after a former member of his administration said the president had a strong vendetta against the people of California for not supporting him and had tried to stop funding for communities that had been devastated by wildfires.