Past Editorials
The Manufactured "Power Crisis" in California

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Posted:
1 December 2001
 
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Power Crisis Gone in California (guru)..
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2001 09:20:22 -0600
From: Roy Beavers <guru@emfguru.com>
Reply-To: roy@emfguru.com
Organization: EMF-L List
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
 

Hi everybody:

I wonder if any of my readers remember that I largely pooh-poohed the so-called "crisis" of last year in the energy industry.....???

It was largely manufactured, I tried to say -- for obvious reasons -- by the industry itself.....

Well.....  Read the New York Times article below.......

One of the principal villains in the manufactured energy crisis was a Texas company called ENRON, headquarters in Houston.

They engage in the purchase and sale of electric power (and other energy components) on a wholesale basis......  They were possibly the largest single contributor to the "let's buy ourselves a president" $$$$$$$$ campaign that funded the George "Dubya" Bush presidential campaign. (Reportedly more than a million $$$$$$ from ENRON alone.) Funding that had put 70 million $$$$$$ at Dubya's disposal -- even before a single vote had been cast in the primaries.  While most other candidates, like Mrs. Dole or John McCain

were struggling to reach the double figure of ten million or so in campaign funds.....

Well ... you might be interested to know:  over the past year the price of the ENRON company stock on Wall Street has fallen by 90%.......!!!  It is now about to be bought out (by another Texas energy company) for roughly ten cents on the dollar of its price a year ago.

It has also become implicated in a huge public fraud case ... for allegedly misrepresenting the actual earnings of the company -- typical BIG $$$$$$$$ corporate "creative" accounting.

The case reminds me of the savings and loan scandals (which robbed the public treasury for a decade) of twenty years ago......  Also an example of too much "bought" influence in Washington by a greedy industry......

I am making a point of sending this to you ... because I want to (once again) remind my readers of the kind of government -- and society -- we are getting as a consequence of the breakdown in our formerly Jeffersonian "egalitarian" democracy.   We are being given, instead, the resultant American oligarchy!!!!

The result is a system of public exploitation by BIG $$$$$$$$ corporations that dwarfs anything America has ever seen in its past -- even the days of the "robber barons" at the turn of the century.  Teddy Roosevelt (a Republican!) finally went after them..... (Just as John McCain tried to do this past election.)

I hope you will think of such matters the next time we are confronted by a similar manufactured crisis...... Brought to us by our "bought" federal government -- and those BIG $$$$$$$$ corporations who have bought the political 'machinery' through their campaign contributions ... under laws that the congress is refusing to change.......!!!

In the meantime -- new records are being set by political parties in raising "soft" $$$$$$ for the next election......  You are largely cut out of that process -- as you are (evidently) unaware of what is going on.....

Otherwise -- surely somebody (besides the guru) would be raising hell about it........

Cheerio........

Roy Beavers (EMFguru)
roy@emfguru.org

It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.....

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
........Edmund Burke (1729-1797)


The New York Times on the web

November 23, 2001

Power Crisis Gone, California Now
Welcomes Holiday Lights

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SACRAMENTO, Nov. 22 Last holiday season, Californians were asked to conserve power by forgoing festive light displays, or at least turning them on later in the evening.

Not this year, now that the electrical-supply crisis has passed.

"We understand it's going to be a very special holiday season, and we're not asking people to do without holiday lights," said Stephanie McCorkle, spokeswoman for the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state's power
grid.

"We don't want to put a damper on everyone's spirits" in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, Ms. McCorkle said, although the system operator would not discourage Californians from dimming the lights during periods of peak demand.

The conservation efforts last fall helped stave off blackouts when, in December, the state reached its first Stage 3 electrical power alert the most severe stage, called when reserves drop to less than 1.5 percent of capacity.

Holiday lighting displays add about 1,000 megawatts of consumption, roughly equal to the production of a typical nuclear power plant. Last year that consumption alarmed grid managers, who were scouring the West to find enough energy to prevent blackouts.

So when Gov. Gray Davis presided over the state's official Christmas- tree lighting then, he immediately switched the lights off again to save power. Throughout the holiday season, the tree's lights were turned on after 7 p.m., when power demand typically drops. State officials have not decided whether the 50-foot Christmas tree at the Capitol here will be on a more traditional schedule this year, with the lights turned on at dusk.

The tight margins of last year were complicated by financial issues, with generators fearing that they would not be paid if they sold power to California's big publicly traded utilities, which were on the brink of bankruptcy. Since then, the state has stepped in to buy power for customers of three cash-starved utilities, and federal regulators have adopted an order that requires generators to bid in the California market.

State officials also credit long- term energy contracts with stabilizing the volatile energy market, and conservation efforts with reducing overall and peak demand for power.

Darla Davis, spokeswoman for Sea World, in San Diego, said it would light its Christmas tree next week but was ready to cut back if the state's power outlook worsened.

Last year the Sea World tree was lighted on a limited schedule. This year the hours will be expanded, Ms. Davis said, and the park will also be brightened by its 320-foot tower of lights, which was turned on late and off early each night last year.

"We are still very conscious of our energy use," she said. "If we need to, if they put out a warning, we'll cut back."


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