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For fires and blackouts in CA, blame Democrats, misplaced priorities, mismanagement, and government-imposed utility monopolies, not climate change

Here is a collection of some commentary on the fires and blackouts in California:

1. Mismanagement, stubbornness have set California ablaze

2. Blame Democrats, Not Climate Change, For California’s Fires, Blackouts

3. California Can’t Keep the Lights On

4. PG&E’s Failures Show the Dangers of Government-Imposed Utility Monopolies

Discussion (8 comments)

  1. geoih says:

    I’m pretty sure that brush fires are a natural occurrence in California, but I doubt their intrusive and incompetent government (is there any other kind?) is helping the situation.

  2. Tom M says:

    As I have traveled to every state except Cally (did I miss anything?) in the lower 48, I recall that most states have a lot of forests and wooded areas of great extent. Since we do have “global warming” which would mean everywhere on the earth according to the environmental leftists we have warmer temps, then why aren’t there more massive forest fires in other states similar to Cally’s? Maybe it’s the dryness or something else that makes a difference. All these above articles make a lot of sense…however, you will never see a politician or bureaucrat admit to any wrong doing or failure on their part. It’s always blame someone or something else. That speaks very loudly of insane egotistical people running the show who are afraid of their own shadows. They are not capable and without a script to follow they are totally lost. The environmental socialist agenda has failed in the forests of Cally…it is plain for any sane person to see.

  3. Not Sure says:

    It’s not just intrusive and incompetent government. From last year…

    Environmentalists push back against PG&E tree cutting in Santa Cruz Mountains

    This “base camp” for coordinating tree cutting trucks and equipment has alarmed environmentalists in the Valley. According to Nancy Macy, chair of the Environmental Committee of the Valley Women’s Club, this has “terrified the community- what plan is PG&E is working from? Why doesn’t the public know anything about it? What are the impacts to the environment, especially in terms of hillside erosion and future mudslides, of cutting down large swaths of trees? What environmental clearance does PG&E have to cut down our trees?”

    “PG&E is not adequately informing residents of their right to refuse to allow the removal or cutting of vegetation. PG&E is not a regulatory agency and their decisions do not carry the force of law,” Macy wrote in a lengthy email to county supervisors dated Sept. 14. That email also thanked 5th District Supervisor Bruce McPherson for his efforts “to keep PG&E from decimating the roadsides of the Santa Cruz Mountains.”

    http://www.ttownmedia.com/press_banner/news/environmentalists-push-back-against-pg-e-tree-cutting-in-santa/article_748d5e14-bc53-11e8-b38c-87a33c1b09b1.html

  4. Ron H. says:

    Quoting Nancy Macy:

    What environmental clearance does PG&E have to cut down OUR trees?

    “OUR trees”? That says it all.

    On a list of “Bad Thing”s, some people apparently rank ‘cutting trees’ ahead of ‘power outages’. Go figure.

  5. Not Sure says:

    “On a list of “Bad Thing”s, some people apparently rank ‘cutting trees’ ahead of ‘power outages’.”

    And, obviously, ahead of deadly, raging fires.

  6. cc says:

    All over the country, power companies have to cut trees away from and under the power lines….except cali, the worst place ever to leave the trees there. These people seriously do not value human life or people’s homes. In progressive cities they even deny you the right to cut a tree in your own yard.

  7. Citizen Buddy says:

    The Blue Gum Eucalyptus tree is an explosive fuel for CA wildfires. The oil in the trees is as flammable as gasoline and the embers can travel many miles.

    The Eucalyptus trees in Malibu have had their removal debated for over a decade. They were a substantial fuel for the Woolsey (Malibu) Fire in 2018.

    Stands of Eucalyptus, which are not native to CA, have been saved by tree activists. Time to get the chainsaws out and eliminate this particular hazard.

  8. lyle says:

    Actually because they were held to be natural monopolies, power companies where regulated. The thought was that building two sets of infrastructure would first leave lots of folks in poorer parts of town without power as the company would not build where there was no possibility of profit, Indeed this was why the REA was created in the 1930s in order to get power to areas where the power companies would not build out lines. The bargain for universal service and the right to use public right of ways and eminent domain was to be regulate by someone. Regulation also got stronger after the Insull affair where utility companies in the midwest were a pyramid scheme of holding and operating companies that was quite deep meaning that those at the top owned only a controlling interest in the top holding company, which owned controlling interests of subsidiaries etc, etc,etc…. Most of the assets of the lower companies where in bonds not equity. In some ares of the midwest the interurban s also needed power plants to run their trains.
    So at least in some neighborhoods of Fort Wayne In, you had originally the city light and power competing with the Traction comapny to provide power, (likey near where street car lines ran) The traction companies did this because their big power demand was during the day and they had the problem that with electric utilities has existed since Edisons Pearl Street plant that to meet peak demand you have to build much larger than demand at other times of the day. The thought was that by getting residences on the traction company iines, you would provide load at night when not as many street cars and interurbans ran.

    On the tree cutting the Puc should have adopeted the national standard clearance requirements around lines (recall that the mid 2000s North East black out was caused by a tree taking a power line down in Ohio, and thus blacking out Mi thru NYC). There do exist standards and if any one went to the National Electric Reliabiliy council(NERC) web site they can be found. The standard are set in a cooperative process with participation of all elecric utility organizations. So either the folks complaining don’t know how to search the web (you used to have to go to a big university library such as the Graduate Library at the University of Mi to find such things), or possiblity the engineering library at a university that has an engineering school.) Searching for such info is now drastically easier than in the past. If I recall the NERC is open to public comment also. as it follows the rules for standards organizations that drafts are sent out for public comment. (Having participated in standandard making efforts in the IT atea in the past)

    Here is a link to the vegetation clearance standards of the NERC :https://www.nerc.com/pa/Stand/Project%20200707%20Transmission%20Vegetation%20Management/FAC-003-2_White_Paper_2009Sept9.pdf
    Here is a link to the NERC standards process https://www.nerc.com/comm/SC/Documents/Appendix_3A_StandardsProcessesManual.pdf

    So once again we have the slightly informed not knowing what is how things are done. One could fault the PRC for not making the standard mandatory for electric utility companies, there exist even standards on how to maintain towers and wires etc. (Being an essentially engineering discipline every thing is specified ) Then the western Electric cooperating council adopts these standards for their utilities. However the slightly informed viewed lower rates as more important than the standards so the PUC decided not to enforce them (because they do cost a good bit of money) I suspect these folks who oppose the tree trimming also oppose new transmission lines on a NIMBY basis, and also oppose building pumped storage reserviors to help handle power requirements after the sun goes down (on Techachapi pass etc )
    Generallly these folks have lost sight of forest for the trees if reducing co2 emissions is the goal without going back to the time of Louis the XIV you have to make trade offs.

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