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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Plenty of blame to go around for fires and power shutoffs

Uploaded: Dec 3, 2019
Assemblyman James Gallagher wrote an opinion piece for that offered a perspective that’s too often been missing from stories detailing the utility’s problems.
The Yuba City Republican correctly cites PG&E’s mismanagement as “the primary culprit in multiple wildfires,” but then goes on to recognize that the Legislature, the governor’s office and the Public Utilities Commission also share some blame.
Gallagher is rightly critical about the October power shutoffs that cost Northern Californian’s millions of dollars in lost food and other frozen products to say nothing about productivity without electricity and risk to people using electric-powered medical devices.
Given that PG&E executives are saying it will take a decade to upgrade the grid so there can be more surgical power shutoffs, the situation likely will be a boon for storage battery makes such as Tesla and the solar panel industry. Notably, the much smaller San Diego utility already upgraded its system so power shutoffs can be limited to areas of immediate concern.
Gallagher goes on to write, “the ratepayer was to be the ultimate master. But this concept has been distorted by government policy. The result is investor-owned utilities such as PG&E have many more masters to serve at the expense of safety and ratepayer interests.”
He points out that the PUC has allowed Wall Street and profits to outweigh the need to invest in the system. Throw in government regulations concerning tree trimming and mismanagement of the publicly owned forests
Gallagher then ties in the demand that utilities use electrical sources with renewable power instead of natural gas or other carbon-based fuels. The state requires utilities obtain 33 percent, 50 percent and now 100 percent of the electricity from renewable sources. That means lots of money spent on more expensive electricity.
What’s more is that hydro power was not considered renewable—it was only wind and solar thanks to the Democrat-dominated Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown.
Gallagher wrote that “PG&E spends roughly $2.4 billion annually to uphold the legislative mandate to buy renewable power. In 2017, the year before the Camp Fire ravaged parts of the district I serve, PG&E spent only $1.5 billion to update its century old infrastructure.”
“The result: California customers pay the highest rates in the nation for power that is no longer safe or reliable; and we are losing the climate battle.”
Gallagher and state Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Red Bluff, have proposed pausing the renewable portfolio requirement so money can instead be shifted into upgrading infrastructure. That’s a smart proposal—but not likely to go far in the Legislature.

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Jake Waters, a resident of Birdland,
on Dec 3, 2019 at 12:03 pm

Jake Waters is a registered user.

How did we get here? The religion of man-made climate crisis (or what ever they are calling it now, because as time goes on they continually change the label to stay ahead of the creditors) has many in the country running in all directions. It reminds me of the piece in 1933 when “James Thurber published ‘The Day the Dam Broke', recalling his memories of 12 March 1913 when the whole of his town in Ohio went for a run." Read it and you will get the point.

Have any of these climate zealots asked themselves why their prophets in Sacramento, Congress, rich elites, and Hollywood gods have not walked away from their beachfront property, SUV's, private jets, and yachts? Have they questioned why the Paris Climate Agreement hasn't sent China, India, and Brazil the climate memo? Furthermore, I know I dare not discuss the new Al Gore Mini-me (Greta Thunberg) for fear of blasphemy.

Has anyone out there taken the time to read books on the subject, articles, or listen to discussions by those other than the hairless wonders on CNN or MSNBC? Or is being dumbed down easier than taking the time to investigate. Did you ever consider all the prognostications since the 70's that haven't come true? Did you ever consider that weather predictions are very difficult to predict even 72 hours in advance? Ever notice that alleged authorities on the subject present you graphs (their starting point of fear) only to find out that when you examine it closely, they did their slight of hand movement and took your eye away from the long history of weather that tells you the real story of this resilient planet. Did you know that the court ruled against Michael Mann and his ‘hockey stick,' because he would provide the data? By the way, what ever happened to peer review?

California taxpayers (country as a whole) are being pickpocketed for more and more money only to place the failures of leaders and corporations onto the back of a guess, a hoax, a manufactured fear. What I can tell you is what this state should address as real problems, because we are the number one in the country for: poverty, homelessness, welfare, illegal aliens, disease, high taxes, high cost in fuel-homes-rent, and more. Perhaps our politicians should spend more time addressing those problems.

So I ask, why are we running?

Posted by Another Example, a resident of Birdland,
on Dec 3, 2019 at 5:44 pm

I read in the WSJ today that Nancy Pelosi and a Congressional delegation flew off to Madrid to for a UN climate change meeting.

I wonder how much carbon was pumped into the environment.........

They couldn't use technology (she is from the Silicon Valley area) to reduce their carbon foot print? Telepresence, etc?

Think she took the bus or car pooled to the airport?


Posted by albert987345662, a resident of Canyon Meadows,
on Dec 4, 2019 at 1:49 am

albert987345662 is a registered user.

When you visit the NBI Clearance Outlets, you should show both your Valid IDs and adequate identification...

Web Link

Posted by Rick, a resident of Danville,
on Dec 4, 2019 at 9:19 am

Rick is a registered user.

As long as NeoProgs remain in charge, California will become "progressively" more economically uninhabitable.

Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Dec 4, 2019 at 7:30 pm

I have an issue with the power shut offs that occurred in Pleasanton.
The first power shut off did not impact the areas along Foothill Road between I-580 and Bernal Avenue, west of the I-680 which included the Stoneridge mall which also remained powered up.

Th second power shut off impacted all of the areas south of Stoneridge Drive including Bernal avenue and all points south, while leaving Stoneridge mall powered up.

It seems different people were flipping switches with no clear plan or direction as to what was to be powered off. All of the above areas mentioned have all electrical power lines under ground.

The power shut offs was loosely managed and apparently without clear direction and or proper supervision and management.

Posted by James Michael, a resident of Val Vista,
on Dec 4, 2019 at 8:20 pm

James Michael is a registered user.

The State and the environmentalists need to take the shackles off of the timber industry which has been in decline for nearly 30 years. There are many articles that attest to this fact...there are more trees per acre now than there were 150 years ago. True that PG&E is not guiltless but they are not the main culprit...the timber industry would have "trimmed the herd" and cleaned the forest floors while planting new growth. I'd blame the State, the environmentalists, local planning commissions, and the exodus of people from the cities and still wanting all the conveniences of living in a city before I went after PG&E. These fires are occurring in areas that have always had fires in the past, the only difference is that now there are people living there.

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Dec 4, 2019 at 11:19 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

In order of responsibility: State Regulators (mostly Democrats), State Legislators (super majority Democrats), PG&E Management (Democrat and Republican) and Environmentalists (hard left Democrats) ALL share the blame.

Notice the pattern?



Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Dec 4, 2019 at 11:24 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

I've read many talk about how PG&E is shareholder driven and that may be true. I've also heard that they are very cozy with regulators and legislators, but lets be serious, if the regulators and legislatures weren't so corrupt, none of this would have happened.

It isn't hard to do the right thing. There's lots o'money to be made by playing the game. That's why most go into elective office poor and come out millionaires.

Think about it.


Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Dec 4, 2019 at 11:25 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.


I've read many WRITE about...gah!

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