Calif. refuses to generate own electricity

Aug. 3, 2012

By Joseph Perkins

George Santayana famously warned, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

So it is that, only a decade after the Great California Energy Crisis, during which wholesale electricity prices ran up 800 percent in an eight-month span, state energy officials once again find themselves complaining of market manipulation by an electricity provider.

In 2000, the scapegoat was Houston-based Enron, which was alleged to have created an artificial shortage in electricity, enabling energy traders to fetch premium prices from defenseless California.

A dozen years later, Houston-based JP Morgan Ventures Energy Corp. a subsidiary of banking giant JP Morgan chase, stands accused of gaming California’s $8 billion a year energy market, raking in $73 million more than it should have for the electrons it shipped to the Golden State during the first half of 2011.

Well, there’s hardly any dispute that now-defunct Enron had its way with California. And it very well may be that JP Morgan Ventures Energy took advantage of the nation’s biggest electricity consuming state.

But California is no blameless victim. That’s because it remains as dependent on electricity generated out of state as it was in 2000. And it remains subject to the tender mercies of energy companies, like JP Morgan, that couldn’t care less how much California businesses and residences pay for electricity.

It’s very much like the relationship the United States has with OPEC. Since this nation depends so much on foreign oil to meet its domestic needs, we can only bitch and moan when the sheiks hold back the supply of crude to artificially inflate prices.

Indeed, were this country producing a sufficient supply of oil to satisfy domestic demand,  motorists in California and the rest of the country wouldn’t seen a 17-cent run up in pump prices during the past month.

By the same coin, the California Independent System Operator, the nonprofit corporation that oversees the state’s electrical grid, wouldn’t be chasing JP Morgan for $73 million in refunds if the state produced enough electricity to supply all of its needs.

And it’s not that California lacks the natural resources to do so. It just doesn’t want to.

That’s because our one-party state government has surrendered energy policy to hard core environmental interests, which believe that consumption of fossil fuels is on moral par with, say, clubbing baby seals.

That’s why no coal-powered electric plant has been built in California in more than two decades; why coal generates 45 percent of electricity nationwide, but only 1 percent in California.

That’s why enviros are trying to permanently shut down the state’s two nuclear power plants, though they supply 15 percent of the state’s electricity, more than generated by solar, wind and geothermal combined.

It is because California considers fossil fuels such an anathema, because it will not allow another megawatt of electricity to be produced in this state from coal, nuclear fuel or natural gas, that California imports more electricity than any other state.

And as long as California continues to rely on imported electricity, rather than electrons generated in state, it will remain susceptible to out-of-state energy providers, like JP Morgan Ventures Energy, which will continue to figure out clever new ways to game the Golden State’s energy market.

That will continue to make California consumers pay a premium for the state’s misguided energy policy.


Write a comment
  1. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 3 August, 2012, 08:41

    Ww need to shut down San Onofre before it’s too late– 35 years of leaks, discharges, safety violation and now massive re engineering required???

    Accident waiting to happen— long past it’s expiration date.

    Reply this comment
  2. Tom Tanton
    Tom Tanton 3 August, 2012, 08:51

    Certainly agree that government intervention has driven our electricity prices way-above other states, and that government facilitated gaming occurs (as it did in 2000), but I don’t think import/export of electicity is the crux of the problem. First of all, many other states in other areas(e.g. in PJM and MISO) trade quite well to mutual benefit. Second, if generation is way more expensive in California (due to stricter regulations,longer permitting, RPS and prohibition on inexpensive forms) than say, New Mexico, why wouldn’t we consumers WANT to import more?

    Reply this comment
  3. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 3 August, 2012, 09:04

    On top of the history of danger and leak at San o— there is NO long term study about exposure to low doses around the plant. And of course the plant normally discharges low doses in violation of law.Euro studies in Germany and France all found increased cancer rates within 3- 5 miles….

    If that’s not enough— the plant and old nuke power in general is not cost effective…

    read below from todays OC Register…

    Reply this comment
  4. Hondo
    Hondo 3 August, 2012, 09:21

    I used to surf at San Onofre state beach all the time which is right next to the plant and I’m doing fine. The fish are doing fine. I still have to turn on the light to pee in the middle of the night because my wiz still doesn’t glow in the dark ( that would be so cool if it did).
    The last person leaving Kali won’t have to turn off the lights, they will be already off.

    Reply this comment
  5. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 3 August, 2012, 09:40

    Hondo– I surfed at Old Mans for 30 years three times a week. I have cancer. I know many other surfers from there and in he area who have cancer.

    I AM NOT SAYING THE TWO THINGS ARE CONNECTED. But the NHS and many experts agree–why not check?

    What danger is there in checking to see if the long term exposure is causing cancer?

    You can google this— the studies in France and Germany both found that with old plants using the exact same tech as san o— pediatric cancer rates increased dramatically.

    Why do you think SDG and E is against the study?

    What a goofy Country.Nuke power from these old leaky plants is NOT cost effective and is foolish.

    Reply this comment
  6. Wayne Lusvardi
    Wayne Lusvardi 3 August, 2012, 09:48

    According to the data at the link below, coal power was 8.14% of the total power mix for California in 2011

    Reply this comment
  7. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 3 August, 2012, 10:00

    LOL In my post above I said NHS…..! I think that was a Freudian slip. I meant NSF— National Science Foundation!

    Ted (defying labels since 1945)

    Reply this comment
  8. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 3 August, 2012, 12:39

    Hondo– I surfed at Old Mans for 30 years three times a week. I
    Teddy, how do you manage to surf wearing your water-wings?


    Reply this comment
  9. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 4 August, 2012, 08:40

    Desert poodles have no swimming skills!

    Reply this comment
  10. The Rt Rev Ted Steele
    The Rt Rev Ted Steele 4 August, 2012, 09:20

    Poodle– If you knew anything about surfing you’d know that surfing with water wings is easy.



    Reply this comment
  11. BobA
    BobA 4 August, 2012, 11:01

    To all concerned:

    Why is it that the people with the amount least scientific training have the most to say about the ills of nuclear energy?

    Personally, I think these people would prefer it if America went back to being an agrarian society and forgo modern technology altogether. Of course we all know that what they really want is for everybody else except themselves to forgo modern technology. After all, they care and are good environmental stewards: it’s everyone else who’s the problem and to stupid to know what’s good for them.

    Reply this comment
  12. David Travers
    David Travers 4 August, 2012, 11:17

    Why would you want a coal fired plant in California when nat gas is and will be cheap far into the futire? Have you ever seen valleys filled with fly ash left over from coal fired plants?

    We recently just brought a large generation plant online on the Delta that replaced 5 small coke fired plants in the area. We have a large peaker plant sitting in Pittsburg CA that is running only two of 5 generators to supply San Franciso under contract replacing an ancient plant there.

    If the demand for energy was needed those other generators would be under contract supplying energy to someone. I am not convinced we are in that bad of shape. Solar is growning and takes the edge off of peak demand. 5% solar would go a long way towards shaving demand at peak times.

    Reply this comment
  13. The Rt Rev Ted Steele
    The Rt Rev Ted Steele 4 August, 2012, 11:58

    BobA– I love nuke power. I support it— just not old leaky discharging plants that ought to be decommissioned as promised the day they went in 38 years ago.

    I am no scientist but have 2 college degrees and a grad degree and can read. You don’t have to be a scientist to be an informed American voter.

    Have a super duper day Boba h


    Reply this comment
  14. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 4 August, 2012, 12:48

    Why is it that the people with the amount least scientific training have the most to say about the ills of nuclear energy?

    Come on, Teddy “Kelly Slater” Steals knows everything about everything, including nuclear science 🙂

    Reply this comment
  15. Bob
    Bob 4 August, 2012, 14:18

    Here in Colliefornia if you put up solar panels and generate more electricity than you use can you sell the excess back to the utility?

    I’ve heard that PG&E won’t let you do this. You’d think that since we pay some of the highest rates in the country and our rulers want us to use “green” energy they’d do everything they could to encourage people to generate and sell excess capacity to the utilities.

    Reply this comment
  16. The Rt Rev Ted Steele
    The Rt Rev Ted Steele 4 August, 2012, 14:23

    Poodle— I know I live in your head, it’s obvious. But are you also threatened by my superior surfing skills? LOL Hmmmmmmm

    Come in down! Wahooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    Ted “Mongoose” Steele, DVM

    Reply this comment
  17. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 4 August, 2012, 16:12

    Poodle relax as usual. Your stick is kinda stale. Teddy is always fresh and current and on point. Chernobyl, San Clemente branch is something to concern everyone. Teddy is providing a community alert!

    Reply this comment
  18. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 4 August, 2012, 17:11

    1%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% Baby, paint that on your water wings Teddy 🙂

    Reply this comment
  19. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 4 August, 2012, 17:12

    Teddy,laying down on teh board is not “surfing”, you have to actually stand up 😉

    Reply this comment
  20. the Rt Rev Ted Steele
    the Rt Rev Ted Steele 4 August, 2012, 18:41

    Thanks u haul….

    the poodle is a 1%er?

    Reply this comment
  21. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 4 August, 2012, 22:56

    He sure likes the 1%. They laugh all the way to the Cayman Islands while he spins rightie populist posts from his cubicle.

    Reply this comment
  22. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 5 August, 2012, 01:39

    Teddy, who puts your water wings on??? 🙂

    1%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% BABY!

    Reply this comment
  23. The Rt Rev Ted Steele
    The Rt Rev Ted Steele 5 August, 2012, 08:13

    I wonder how many other 1%ers live in trailers in Adelanto???

    Hey trolls— I am going on vacation!

    ORDER—post about me EVERY DAY !!!

    Ted—— Troll Master ™

    Reply this comment
  24. The Rt Rev Ted Steele
    The Rt Rev Ted Steele 5 August, 2012, 08:14

    Oh– and I leave you with this– Calpers 234.6 BILLION strong as of today !!!!!!!!!!

    vacaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaation !!!!!!!!!!

    Resting Ted

    Reply this comment
  25. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 5 August, 2012, 08:34

    Uhaul never vacations. Junkyard dogs are always on the lookout for invasive trolls!

    Reply this comment
  26. BobA
    BobA 5 August, 2012, 09:16


    I agree with you 200%. Nuclear power will meet our needs until something better is comes along. There are revolutionary sources and types of energy being explored but they are years away. The biggest concern in that area is that the current powers that be will do everything in their power (and that their money can buy)to protect their monopoly and prevent any new sources of energy from displacing them.

    The San Onofre reactor, as are most nuclear power plants in the US, is based on old outdated design that should be brought up to date ASAP without the impediment of a bunch of ignorant protestors who are illiterate in science and particularly nuclear physics. All they know is what they’ve been told by even dumber media ignoramuses who think solar power and windmills are the technologies of the future. Our ancestors would beg to differ.

    If those people are so opposed to nuclear power then they should have no problem with recycling their sewage and using for fuel to power their homes. It certainly would be a newer technology that solar power and windmills. I’ll just make certain that I live upwind from the.

    Reply this comment
  27. The Rt Rev Ted Steele
    The Rt Rev Ted Steele 5 August, 2012, 13:33

    Well said Bob A—- Now– I am off on vacation! See ya in awhile!!

    Your Servant Always–

    The Ted Unit

    Reply this comment
  28. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 5 August, 2012, 17:48

    Teddy-take your SOCK PUPPET ACCOUNTS (Queeg and Uhaul) on Vaca with you…Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Reply this comment

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