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What Happens to Solar Power if Tim Draper Splits California into Six States?

Avatar for Dave Llorens
Published on 03/17/2014 in
Updated 12/28/2018
if california split to six states what it means for solar power

Whether California’s government is unwieldy or not, Tim Draper’s proposal to divide California into six states would leave the area in ruins with major economic and resource problems, and would damage California’s solar power industry

California’s solar subsidy has been the most effective subsidy in the United States. However, when subsidies get too small, few people will use them. On top of countless unseen affects the split would have on solar, it would almost certainly decrease the subsidy size. Opposing legislation across the new states could also make it more difficult for the solar power industry to grow. California has been the leader for solar power growth, and is currently booming, but if the industry becomes even more fragmented, all the progress that has been made with solar power in recent years could be reversed.

Tim Draper is a big name Venture Capitalist. He’s got a finger in Draper University of Heroes, which is an unaccredited, live-on-location, semester-long boot-camp for those types of entrepreneurs who are interested in starting the next Facebook. Draper University’s virtual doppelganger (who do it all interactive and online instead of live, and whom focus on the opposite of the “next Facebook” kind of entrepreneu such as yoga studios, food-trucks, graphic designers, etc) is the 60-Day MBA and was actually started by the same Dave Llorens that started solarpowerrocks.com with Dan Hahn.

California is the most populated state in America, with a population six times larger than the average state. Because of this and unequal distribution of socioeconomics across California, Draper argues California has “grown ungovernable.” His proposed new California states, which are divided by geographic regions, would include Jefferson, North California, Central California, Silicon Valley (which includes San Francisco), West California (with Los Angeles) and South California (has San Diego).

Here’s why Draper’s six state plan seems like it was hatched from the University of Dunces instead of the University of Heroes:

Unequal Distributions

Wealth is already unevenly distributed in California. If California split into six states, welfare liability would develop in California’s poorer corners. While Silicon Valley would instantly become the wealthiest American state (where Draper lives), Central California would instantly become the poorest state in the nation, but it’s home to 17% of the developed water in California. Since they wouldn’t have the budget necessary manage that natural resource, the rest of the area would be affected. Selling water access would certainly be an option, but the process of generating revenue aside from taxation is not an area most governments know how to properly administer.

With these unequal income distributions, it is unlikely that poorer states like Central California would have the tax revenue to pay for bigger solar power subsidies for their citizens.  With potentially different budgets, subsidies and demand for solar power across the six new states, the solar power industry may become fragmented.

Six California States and The Water Issue

Without smart water distribution, much of California would quickly become a parched desert with some grassland prone to forest fires. There is no incentive for the government of Central or North California to prevent it from using all the water, leaving Los Angeles and the rest of the Southern California farmers high and dry.

With Draper’s plan, even San Francisco’s water faces great risk. Most of the San Francisco water supply comes from water in a reserve in Yosemite, but under the plan there’s nothing keeping the Central California mayor from diverting this water back to Central California farmers.

Six California States Make Higher Education Even Pricier

With six states instead of one, how would tuition rates work for California universities? Would there be out of state tuition for students from Redding and Chico to go to schools like UC Davis, Berkeley, or UCLA? Out of state tuition rates for California state schools are usually 3 to 4 times higher than in state. California parents and students would be priced out of many of the top universities they are already sending their kids to.

Prisons for Each of the six California States?

Then there’s the prison issue. Many of the state prisons are located in specific areas of the state, far from major urban populations. With Draper’s plan, West California and Silicon Valley wouldn’t have any state prisons to house their inmates.

Taxes & Politics in the six California states

It is true that local California governments have little control, and most decisions for fixes to small problems like potholes and art centers must come from Sacramento.

However, state government and politics are already complex enough. It’s one of the reasons we created SolarPowerRocks.com – Each state has their own preferences for fostering renewable energy growth, penalizing polluting utility companies, and paving the way for innovative $0 down solar installations. Many of our states don’t do very well. Creating 6 new states would only mean making that six times more complex with six new state governments, six state constitutions, and six state supreme courts.  This is 6 more chances to hurt the solar power industry while it’s already booming.

And what about the senator issue? It’s unlikely that the federal government would grant the California states more senators and state representatives.

Taxes would definitely rise for everyone in the six California states. California state taxes cover the costs of government, and are currently spread over 38 million people. If there were 6 new states, each California state would require their own government and institutions, including prisons, police, DMVs, fire departments and more.  The decentralization of California government would increase the costs of governments spread over a smaller population of taxpayers, raising taxes even higher.

While California’s government may not be the best or most efficient of systems, splitting California into six states is a terrible idea with countless repercussions, especially for the solar power industry, many of which are still not yet seen.

Last modified: December 28, 2018

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Subsidy this, subsidy that. What’s the difference between food stamps and soloar subsidies? Enough of the subsidies already. That includes solar and it includes poor people. Fix the corrupt money supply and none of these subsidies will be needed anymore. Everything should exist or perish on its own virtues. Subsidies are the theft of someone else’s productivity in order to feed your consumption. Take economics before you try to preach it.

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