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Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Saturday, October 11, 2003

Funny that the Gropenator didn't mention this plan during his campaign.

Which plan, you ask? Only the deregulation of California's energy markets, says the San Francisco Chronicle.

Schwarzenegger's energy strategy is being driven by some of the same members of former Gov. Pete Wilson's team who led the push for energy deregulation in the mid-1990s. The governor-elect, for example, picked for his transition team Jessie Knight, a former Wilson appointee to the Public Utilities Commission and a leading proponent of deregulation.

Consumer groups already are warning that the proposals made by Schwarzenegger during the campaign would expose electricity users to greater fluctuations in prices while limiting state oversight of power trading -- a combination that could allow the type of market manipulation that plagued California during the state's energy crisis in 2000-01. [...]

Under Schwarzenegger's plan, large industrial and commercial energy users would be allowed to sign contracts and buy cheap power from private generators instead of the utilities. Called "direct access," this central provision of the Wilson plan was abandoned during the energy crisis. While large users who were in the program were allowed to stay, the state barred any new businesses from contracting out for power.

The proposal would create two markets for electricity: Residential users and small businesses would continue to get power from the state's utilities, while large users could take their chances with private energy firms.

Erik Saltmarsh, director of the state's Electricity Oversight Board, said the plan carries risks for large users if they make deals with energy-trading firms that later go belly up -- such as Enron.

"There is a certain amount of fairness in saying, 'Let them take the risk,' " Saltmarsh said.

PUC Commissioner Jeff Brown opposes the plan, saying it would leave residential users and small businesses to pay off the billions of dollars of debts racked up by PG&E and other utilities during the energy crisis.


This reminds Magpie of the cliché that says a sure sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, each time expecting the result to be different. The Gropenator's proposal is like the whole energy crisis and Enron scandal never happened.

Via Left Coaster.

| | Posted by Magpie at 8:23 PM | Get permalink




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