Blackout summer bummer?

BlackoutApril 21, 2013

By John Seiler

All California’s anti-energy activism might take a toll this summer with potential blackouts like we had back in 2000-01 during the California Electricity Crisis. The San Onofre nuke plant is down. Hydro power is down. AB 32 and other regulations discourage building non-renewable power plants, such as those running on natural gas. Bloomberg reports:

“The California Independent System Operator Corp. said last month that managing the state grid, especially in parts of Southern California, will prove “difficult” because the system will be operating without Edison International (EIX)’s San Onofre nuclear power plant and two natural gas-fired units, while hydroelectric output will be at a three-year low. The nuclear plant, California’s single largest source of baseload power, accounts for 3.7 percent of the state’s capacity.

“Southern California wholesale electricity for July through September already is at the highest level for this season since 2008 on the outlook for a shift to costlier, more volatile fossil fuels. A strain on the grid could lead to power failures reminiscent of the state’s worst energy crisis in 2000 and 2001, when generation shortfalls and market manipulation by traders at companies including Enron Corp. sent prices to record highs and triggered blackouts that affected millions of customers in the most populous U.S. state.”

Actually, although Enron certainly was culpable, a bigger cause of the shortages was the phony 1996 “deregulation” of the electricity industry, which ever since has been held up as a failure of free markets. Actually, there was no “de-regulation,” only a different, and worse, form of regulation. Another cause was Gov. Gray Davis, who in the middle of the crisis in Oct. 2000 actually took a month-long vacation to “study” the crisis. When he came back, he panicked and made everything worse.

Now, it looks as if environmentalist extremists will have their way and send us back to the Stone Age.

My advice: Buy a lot of candles.

Related Articles

Landmark water bond now faces voters

As August draws to a close, the state has seen a striking instance of successful high-level bipartisan wrangling. Sacramento secured

Kamala Harris’ Misuse of Power

Steven Greenhut: I know it’s naive, but state attorney generals are supposed to provide fair ballot summaries for proposed initiatives,

Beatles on Tax Day

Today is Tax Day, the day when the government puts a gun to your head and shouts, “Stand and deliver!”