About the California "Energy Crisis."
About the California "Energy Crisis."    rev. 06.14.2008 Back to Lessons

Reported 11.07.2003 by Roger Conrad, KCI Communications, Inc.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has now either reached settlements or dismissed charges against 43 of the 47 companies it instructed last spring to "prove" they had not manipulated California's power market.
And the remaining four--City of Glendale, Coral Power/Duke Energy, Dynegy and Enron--are in negotiations. In contrast to the $9 billion demanded by Golden State outgoing Governor Gray Davis, the maximum award in the settlements thus far has been $7.3 million against Sempra Energy.
And with incoming Governor Schwarzenegger already striking a much more conciliatory tone, the California cloud which plagued the industry for nearly three years has finally blown away.

Told ya so, outgoing governor Davis.....

Before you rip the gas companies about their prices, click here to see some causes. Don't complain about the effects [fuel prices] when you don't know what's causing the prices to rise ... or fall...

San Jose Mercury News, Section E, Page 1, June 25, 2001:
"More competition, lower prices not guaranteed" ... "Although California's summer energy outlook seems to be brightening, state leaders still are counting on new power plants to boost competition and lower electricity prices in years to come. ... They may end up disappointed"

Does the Mercury News think its readers all are morons?

Of course, there can be no guarantee that more power plants will create lower prices! Because the number of power plants and their capacity is only one of many functions which affect the cost of power! Cost of fuel, such as natural gas or coal; actions taken by OPEC; the slight matter of whether or not the state's infrastructure (power lines, etc.,) can deliver the additional power made available, etc., etc., etc.

Get a brain, people! Having all the power plants in the world doesn't guarantee lower consumer rates if the fuel supplies are cut off. All the power plants in the world can't guarantee a low electric bill if the power lines are in disrepair and can't bring the power to the consumers. They're all part of the supply chain, and in a system this complex, the very idea of looking to one cause (more power plants) in order to create a "guaranteed" lower cost is one of the dumbest things you can ever think!

On the other hand, if there ever were a claim that "the media has a liberal slant", this could go some distance towards proving it. After all, if there's anything a liberal likes, it's a guarantee of low prices. Look at all of the government attempts to regulate prices, and the lessons will jump out at you. Liberal = Controls.

Controls Don't Work, long term. The long term pain has never been worth the short term gain. People Forget. Liberals take advantage of that little shortcoming. If people remembered, the Liberals would be laughed out of office and power.

Conservatives are just as bad, in their own ways.

Get A Clue, People! Think!

This is really getting stupid, you know?
The latest idiocy from Governor Davis is to, essentially, steal excess power generated by community-owned power companies, claiming that they're selling it to the State at rip-off prices. The companies' reply: they're mandated by their corporate laws to sell excess power at market rates. If the going open-market rates are very high, they're breaking covenant with their owners if they sell the excess capacity at less than those high market prices.

Gray Davis must be a Socialist at heart.

Or flat-out stupid.

Why is there an energy shortage?

Review my points, below.

Lack of supply, due to mismanagement by the California Government.

How to solve a lack-of-supply problem? Increase supply.

Housing is expensive in Silicon Valley.


Rocket Science:

Are you all pinheads, or what?!

You want faster traffic flow? Have more highways.

Public Transport?

There is none,anywhere, that pays its own way. They all are subsidized by the local people, many of whom still drive their cars on the clogged highways, paying twice for the insult.

Get a clue, people!

rev. 02.25.2001

It's a little hard to call, but all the indications are that Governor Davis of California is either just a power-hungry liar or a pinhead.

California institutes a rate freeze in 1996. Four years later, with demand up, increased supply curtailed, needing to import energy from a less-regulated generating and supplying market, ....... guess what? The utilities have to pay more than they are allowed to charge for the energy demanded by their customers.

And Gray Davis wants to take over the power generators in the name of the Public.

Listen up, America: there are few better examples of power-grabbing, pin-headed logic since the "bad guys" in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged

Quote from the San Jose Mercury News, 01.09.01: "....despite at least seven investigations, no proof has arisen that power generators, many of which are based out of state, are manipulating prices."

Maybe if they keep investigating, something will turn up. Maybe. I'm sure Ralph Nader would guarantee it.

Here's another quote, there, from Severin Borenstein, director of the University of California Energy Institute: "....how deregulation got started was disappointment with the regulatory process...."

Go, Governor, Go! Bring back the cause of the original discontent, in the name of ending today's concerns!


  • So, why is there an energy shortage in California?
  • It's so prohibitive to bring power generation on-line in California that portable gas turbine generators can't be brought on-line fast enough to meet emergency demands, due to licensing delays, even if the generators are available to connect to the power grid!
  • Nuclear power plants have inherent risks, yet radiation from burning coal has released more radioactive materials than power plants, and continue to do so.
  • Solar collectors must cover vast areas of land to deliver appreciable amounts of energy, thus impacting the ecology of those land areas. Will ecology-minded people permit it? Not likely. Catch-22.
  • While windmills and solar plants are attractive, the truth is that they do not necessarily produce power when it's needed, such as during storms or at night, and storage of electrical power is not yet practical on large scales.
  • As reported on the 11:00 news 12.27.2000, no new power plants have been completed in California in the past 15 or 16 years. While six are under construction right now, they won't be producing power for another year or two. And our Governor complains that deregulation hasn't worked. If anyone were to look at the definition of "free market," it wouldn't be applied to the energy environment we have today. The market isn't free, the market has not been deregulated and the "deregulation experiment" has not failed: it has not yet been tried!
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