« Fixed Bug in Slash 0.4 Comment Submission Mechanism That Blocked Posting of Longer Comments | Main | NY Times: Microsoft Rehires Former Employees Who Tried Their Hand at Dot Coms »

California's Long Dark Night

Dave Aiello wrote, "Rolling blackouts finally hit Northern California yesterday, and perhaps now the consumers will adopt a more realistic attitude toward all of the players in the electricity market debacle. The people of the State of California must look in the mirror this morning when trying to find someone to blame for spoiled food, stuck elevators, and all the other inconveniences that were theirs yesterday and perhaps for days to come."

"But, I would be foolish to say these things smugly because many of us take for granted that what happens in California is a harbinger for the entire United States. We must begin, today, to build the electric generation and transmission capacity that will be necessary to fuel our nation in the year 2010. We must do so in the cheapest and safest way possible-- not necessarily in the way that makes individual consumers feel most comfortable, and certainly not in the most politically correct way."

Dave Aiello continued:

When you get done reading all the information that exists on the Internet about the electric power situation in California, you will inevitably find that Californians successfully defeated attempts by the utilities and third parties to build electric power plants that, if they existed today, would take this crisis off the table. All of the scientific sounding but baseless scare tactics were used in pursuit of the goal: no more smoke stacks or cooling towers within site of the average taxpayer.

The fatally flawed deregulation plan, which allowed for unlimited wholesale electricity prices but capped retail electricity rates, simply exacerbated the problem that was created by not building enough power plants to meet projected future demand. As any business person knows, you cannot operate a business at 99 percent of its productive capacity forever, especially if you must serve an increasing demand for a commodity.

But, politicians seized upon the fears and flawed dreams of the consumers and created a plan to deregulate the retail electricity market. In the future, electricity would be cheap and plentiful because the local utilities would be in charge of delivering electricity generated elsewhere. Consumers would be able to influence power producers by buying power that was produced in "clean" ways and by not buying power from coal or oil-fired, or nuclear power plants.

When the market failed to develop as they expected, the politicians aligned themselves with community activists. They demonized the local utilities in California, using rhetoric worthy of Marx and Engels.

Now, the consumer blames Pacific Gas and Electric and Edison International for cramping his lifestyle and increasing the stress in his life. These companies are teetering on the brink of bankrupcy. And, many employees and investors in these companies stand to lose, in the immortal words of Dick Cheney, "big time".

I would think that the average consumer would be at least as upset with Governor Gray Davis for this mess, and his complete mismanagement of the problem to date, as they were with his predecessor for pursuing government policies that were considered anti-immigrant. So far, this has not been the case. Perhaps they will realize the magnitude of the problem when companies begin relocating facilities and jobs to areas with more reliable sources of power.

The rest of America need not repeat this disaster. But, we must begin to build now. We have waited too long already.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


CTDATA Venutures (CTDATA) develops Internet and Intranet applications for corporations and non profit organizations. Our services include:

  • Consulting services for Movable Type and TypePad-based publishing systems (visit our Weblog Improvement website for more information),
  • Financial services business process consulting,
  • Content management system and knowledge management system consulting,
  • Apache web server engineering and hosting,
  • MySQL, Sybase, and Microsoft SQL Server architecture and development,
  • SOAP, REST, and XML-RPC system architecture and programming, including Amazon Web Services and
  • Weblog publishing.
For more information, contact Dave Aiello by email at dave [at] daveaiello.com or call him at +1-267-352-4420.
Copyright © 1995-2010, CTDATA Ventures. All Rights Reserved.
Powered by
Movable Type 4.25