View Full Version : California Power Crisis
01-17-2001, 09:39 PM
I just got an email from my office in California. IT was telling everyone to prepare for a 2 hour brownout, that PG&E was warning everyone in their "zone" that it could happen early evening.
Amazing. Who would've thought that the economic powerhouse state in the economic powerhouse country would have electical shortages.
Sounds like Gov Gray Davis is about to burst a blood vessel.
From what I could gather, it sounded as though the deregulation that the state enacted wasn't well thought out, did a lot for the customers, but not much for the utilities.
Who needs fiction. Real life is entertaining enough. :)
01-18-2001, 12:06 AM
Ouch. That sucks.
We had a similar situation here last summer, as a result of privatisation of the state's power services - when they wanted to sack half the workforce, the union stepped in, and we had a nasty industrial dispute that left us on power restrictions for two weeks.
01-18-2001, 11:56 AM
Explain something to me, because I am sure that I just don't understand. If the utility has been deregulated in California, how come there are fixed prices that the utilities have to charge the customers? My understanding, which could be way off, is that the wholesale price the electric companies are being charged is going up, but they are not allowed to charge their retail customers more to reflect that.
How much sense does it make to force companies to sell their products at a loss? I wonder why they are going out of business. This doesn't sound like deregulation at all.
01-19-2001, 02:33 AM
My wife was talking with a friend out there this evening. Apparently, PG&E is losing money hand over fist.
They weren't allowed to raise rates and with the cold winter their costs went way up, and... well, you do the math.
The state of California is buying electricity on the spot market, which has got to be expensive. This is supposed to buy the legislators time to come up with something. This is the result of their bungling in the first place.
My wife's friend said that natural gas is now in short supply.
What a mess. Gov Gray Davis looks like he's about to pop a blood vessel.
I'm glad I moved. :)
This seems wimpy compared to the huge blackout of August 2003.
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