Eber: Government takeover of utilities

In Venezuela use of energy is counted by the minutes and hours.  You never know when you will be able to read at night or work during the day.  Socialism kills an economy.

“History has shown the State has a long history of failure in taking on large tasks beyond their reach. Just ask the DMV, Caltrans, Coastal Commission, and other regulatory agencies whose incompetence is a major contributor to increased construction costs. Unquestionably, this has been a major factor in creating the present housing shortage the state is experiencing.

Were an energy monopoly to be created, we can see how government policies would hurt consumers. The first thing we could expect is rationing energy distribution to limit green house gasses.  Further reducing fossil fuels would be right behind trying to increase sustainable energy sources without factoring in the practical consequences. Environmentalists will also join the mix aiming to eliminate electricity generated by dams in order to save fish.”

As we move toward government ownership of energy in California and the banning of cheap energy sources by government fiat, the cost of living in California will soar and businesses will be forced to leave.  This is a recipe for disaster—as the folks in Venezuela already know.

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Government takeover of utilities By Richard Eber

Richard Eber, California Political News and Views  1/23/19

In the aftermath of the deadly Camp Fire disaster a few months ago, hundreds of lawsuits from some 14,000 plaintiffs are being filed each week.  Ambulance chaser attorneys are flashing their red lights faster than the word “Roxanne” can be screamed out.  The feeding frenzy is on!

PG&E trying to protecting themselves from 30 billion dollars in claims is in the process of declaring bankruptcy. No one knows for sure if they will successfully be able to emerge some day as the same company prior to when the deadly fire struck in Northern California.

Not everyone is pulling for the embattled utility to successfully fight off the chapter 11 proceedings.   State Senator Jerry Hill, (D-San Mateo), has suggested that instead of being “too big to fail, PG&E, the state’s largest utility, may be too big to succeed”, He  may be right as PG&E is reportedly considering, separating its gas from its electrical operations.

Ultimately, Hill and many of his Progressive associates would like to see PG&E, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric become a part of one vast public utility agency. As quasi socialists, what makes them believe a government entity could do a better job than private enterprise is anyone’s guess?

History has shown the State has a long history of failure in taking on large tasks beyond their reach. Just ask the DMV, Caltrans, Coastal Commission, and other regulatory agencies whose incompetence is a major contributor to increased construction costs. Unquestionably, this has been a major factor in creating the present housing shortage the state is experiencing.

Were an energy monopoly to be created, we can see how government policies would hurt consumers. The first thing we could expect is rationing energy distribution to limit green house gasses.  Further reducing fossil fuels would be right behind trying to increase sustainable energy sources without factoring in the practical consequences. Environmentalists will also join the mix aiming to eliminate electricity generated by dams in order to save fish.

Social justice activists would be right behind giving low rates for the poor and increasing energy expenses for business and the wealthy.  Brownouts and additional manufacturers leaving California progressives would be consider being acceptable collateral damage.

Does anyone have the phone number for the Chamber of Commerce in Austin? Welcome to the government takeover of energy in California

It will likely require the use of third party to intervene for one to receive a routine hook-up. With government bureaucracy,   getting permits can be expected to be more complicated than tax preparation.

Good luck. Think a world of energy shortages where the Latin expression “force majeure” will not only include acts of God and nature but government stupidity as well.

Envision PG&E’s customer service hot line being replaced by a Government Agency similar in efficiency to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. (DMV).   When the customer service line is reached, a recorded line answers and says, “Your call is being recorded for quality control purposes.  It is very important to us There are 115,387 requests for service in front of you. Your call will be taken in the order it was received.”

Dial 1 and your call will be answered within 48 hrs

Dial 2 and be able to register to vote

Dial 3 to take a brief survey to help improve our customer service

Finally a representative answers the phone.

This is Chuck.  Sorry for the 2 hour wait. How may I assist you?

Mr. SmithWe have a gas leak in our house and don’t know what to do.  Can you send a field representative to check this out at once?

Chuck:  We are quite busy now.  Perhaps we can schedule a visit in 3 days.

Mr. Smith:  This is totally unsatisfactory.  My family will have to abandon the house and move in with my Mother-in-Law who hates me.

Chuck: I can check with my supervisor to see if we can get you a voucher at a nearby Motel 6?

Mr. SmithBut our house might blow up if we don’t get the gas leak taken care of right away!

Chuck:  If this is the case I can give you the phone number of FEMA

Mr. Smith:  This is ridiculous.  Let me speak with your Supervisor.

Chuck: Sorry Sir; my supervisor is stuck in traffic and won’t be here for half an hour.

Mr. Smith: You are lying to me Chuck.  It’s 1:15 in the morning.  How can there be traffic at this time?

Chuck: Sorry Sir, I am calling from Bombay!

This is not one of those Jack Benny “Your money or your life? Can I think about it”, moments.  We are talking about reality.  If government of state of California takes over public utilities they will undoubtedly use taxes to cover over their incompetence.  In addition they will jack up rates to consumers to subsidize public housing, the homeless, Sanctuary Cities, or whatever the cause of the week might be.

This nightmare scenario might seem extreme; but what evidence do we have that Big Government is going to solve anyone’s problems?  The chief example right now we are dealing with is affordable housing in California which is not only unaffordable but in short supply as well.  What is Sacramento doing to fix this?

Their answers are taking local control away from urban planning and have the State perform this task. Apparently, they have little concern this might have on current residents of these communities.  Who cares about schools, law enforcement, traffic, congestion, or recreational facilities? Building additional units is all the State cares about.

Even worse with public money involved with constructing so called affordable housing, cost prohibitive Project Labor Agreements (PLA) will be required to do the construction.  Utilizing only union workers adds up to at least 20% of extra expenses. With excessive cost overruns being the norm on virtually every public construction project undertaken by the state, why would these new housing developments be any different?

Did it ever occur to the State of California that their cumbersome CEQA laws, duplicate regulations, costly permit applications, and reduction of property eligible for building, is the problem rather than the cure for the State’s housing shortage?

Unfortunately, the Progressive’s in California who have created this mess, just don’t get it. In a similar way they believe if the State gets into the energy business they will do a better job than private utilities in delivering gas and electricity to consumers for less money.

If one questions the absurdity in the Government pushing aside Capitalism, they can always direct their questions to Chuck in Bombay who firmly believes “Your call is very important to me”.

 

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.