Californians, including elected officials and policy-makers, are frustrated by the energy crisis that seemed to just come out of the blue. But a closer look reveals highly disturbing reasons and events:
-- The environmental revolution began in the 1960's, worked its way through the education establishment and ended up in the environmental extremist wing of the Democratic Party centered in Northern California.
-- The oil embargo of the 1970's resulted in high inflation and a destructive recession. The call for less dependence on foreign oil resulted in more dependence because new oil and natural gas exploration and production was eliminated by environmentalists.
-- After the Alaska oil fields and pipeline were established, the Exxon Valdiz oil spill freaked-out environmentalists with media-driven alarm.
-- Massive Alaskan arctic oil resources were placed off-limits as a wildlife reserve by the usual suspects, who wouldn't budge, even though exploration and drilling have improved to minimize damage to the local environment.
-- California mandated ELECTRIC cars and cleaner burning fuel like NATURAL GAS.
-- Solar and wind energy was promoted, but stalled.
-- Coal-burning power plants were eliminated and even cleaner coal-burning power plants were not permitted in California.
-- President Clinton closed-off massive coal resources in Utah by creating a national monument.
-- The information and technology revolution and economic boom created increasing national demand for energy, especially in Northern California, the high tech center of the world.
-- In 1996, California partially deregulated electrical power supplies. Southern California Edison had to sell-off most of its power plants as part of the deal.
-- In 1998, the cost of imported electric power began to rise, but SCE had not signed long-term fixed price contracts, bought on the spot market, and was left with a regulated 10% price reduction and a price freeze until 2002 as part of the so-called deregulation.
-- A year ago, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission removed the price caps on natural gas imports to California. Some gas company distributors signed long-term contracts and others opted to buy on the spot market.
-- Last summer, natural gas prices spiked and kept going up. The San Diego area was hit hard by natural gas and electric prices.
-- In December electric and natural gas power costs went through the roof. SCE and PG&E couldn't pay their bills, they're $12 billion in debt and they're approaching bankruptcy.
-- Environmental restrictions and regulations have slowed the construction of new power plants to a crawl for 10 years. No new power plants have gone on-line in 6 years.
-- over 30 percent of the nation's power plants are fueled with natural gas and nearly 20 percent is produced by hydro-electric power.
-- The environmentalists want to eliminate most hydro-electric power by draining dammed lakes to bring back wildlife.
-- THE ENERGY CRISIS AND ROLLING BLACKOUTS HIT THE NEWS!
-- The 5-member California Public Utilities Commission, constitutionally appointed by the Governor for staggered 6-years terms, and whose members can only be removed by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, is a complete failure.
-- California government allotted $400 million to purchase electric power and reduce "rolling blackouts" at a cost of $40 million per day.
-- California government went into the electrical power business by committing taxpayers to $10 billion in bonds to bailout the electric companies.
-- California residents, small and large businesses are impacted severely.
-- Costs and price increases on everything will be passed along to consumers and taxpayers.
-- Large and small business and industry will either lay-off workers, go under, or leave California.
-- The ripple effect of California's energy crisis earthquake will spread to the nation.
-- Next is INFLATION, then RECESSION.
Reducing the waste of power and pollution reduction notwithstanding, how can so few cause so much economic pain to so many? It's simply a pattern of demagoguery, miseducation, propaganda and greed that dominates democracy. Now, it's time for less voter apathy, less cynicism, and more democracy before it's too late.
Daniel B. Jeffs, founder
The Direct Democracy Center
USE BROWSER [ BACK BUTTON ] TO RETURN TO HOME PAGE....