Thursday, August 25, 2005

Email to Hugh

Though it was only a brief mention on your show today, I was very happy to hear you put the blame for the energy shortage in California squarely on the legislature. I wish you would devote more time to the suffering and expense that Californians endure from this lunacy. If you notice, only the state controlled investor-owned utilities are subject to these blackouts (and the high energy costs from the deregulation fiasco). I am a veteran of more than 20 years in the municipal utility business and though you may legitimately question the management in a government organization, we are much more responsive to what the customers want than what gets through the regulatory filters of the state. Assuming you are an Edison customer, have you ever considered or would you even attempt taking an issue to the CPUC? In what fantasy would you imagine them to give a rip?
Contrast that to my current utility, SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District). We have had our ups and downs with our customer/owners but we asked for and got a 6% increase last spring to cover the increased costs of natural gas we use for power generation. At our 12 community meetings, nobody called us liars or accused us of bad management. They did ask us to consider issues about how the increase was being applied (which we did). The neighboring communities of Davis, Woodland and West Sacramento are so fed up with PG&E that they have petitioned us to serve them. If the LAFCO determines that everyone benefits, this will proceed to an election.
Why do we Californians not hold the Leglistature accountable for their failures starting with the deregulation fiasco and continuing today? I know it is not a national issue because no state has the lack of accountability that we have in California. And no state suffers the power shortages and rate abuse that we have here. Surely there is an example here to point out the many dimensions of the costs and danagers from Democrat control.

Maybe August would be a good time to do this since news is so short you are reduced to discussing the list of fattest states.


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