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EVs, Solar, Wind Sidelined As State Budgets Slashed

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wind energy turbinesThe future of many climate-change and renewable-energy projects across the United States is in serious doubt as states slash budgets due to the fallout from the CCP virus crisis.

With fiscal black holes looming and taxation and other income having been decimated, state governors look set to cut back where they can to ensure the provision of essential services.

Rebates for EVs and funding for renewables such as wind and solar are at the top of the chopping list.

A prime example is California. Gov. Gavin Newsom faces a $54 billion budget shortfall due to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as the novel coronavirus.

His recent budgetary amendments were singled out for criticism by the California Sierra Club for “cutting and shifting funds away from key environmental programs.”

Energy Investment Plummets Worldwide

According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) recent World Energy Investment 2020 report, the global economy is currently facing “the largest decline in global energy investment in history.”

“At the start of 2020, global energy investment was on track for its largest annual rise in six years,” according to the report.

“But after the COVID-19 crisis brought large swathes of the world economy to a standstill in a matter of months, investment is now expected to plummet by 20 percent, or almost $400 billion, compared with last year.”

The IEA expects global GDP to decline by around 6 percent, with a U-shaped recovery “accompanied by a substantial permanent loss of economic activity.”

The reduced investment in energy-related spending is due to lower demand and reduced energy company income, particularly in the oil industry, as well as the impact of lockdowns and physical restrictions on movement.

“Spending is expected to plunge in every major sector this year—from fossil fuels to renewables and efficiency,” according to the IEA.

State Budget Crises

States and municipalities across America are struggling to find ways to plug the holes in their budgets and financial plans. An economic impact assessment for the State of New York (pdf) was drawn up by Boston Consulting Group in April that indicates a projected budget shortfall of $13.3 billion as a result of the CCP virus pandemic.

“The lost revenues would diminish the State’s ability to provide services to New Yorkers at a time when they need them most. In jeopardy is funding for health care, hospitals, K-12 schools, higher education, and infrastructure.”

Washington State is also facing a budget shortfall. On May 13, the Director of the State of Washington’s Office of Financial Management, David Schumacher, reported (pdf) that “collections over the next three fiscal years will be about $7 billion lower than was forecast less than three months ago.”

Schumacher directed agencies of the state to identify budget savings options for 2021, and to “propose reductions as part of their 2021–23 budget submittals.”

In addition to freezes on new hires and purchases of equipment, agencies were urged to “reduce, delay or eliminate programs” and to “identify programs or services that do not meet your core mission.”

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