California Capsule: Davis Heaps Obscenities on Lawmaker : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Looks like the governor is starting to lose it!

California Capsule: Davis Heaps Obscenities on Lawmaker

LCG, April 18, 2001—The governor of California, lost for words yesterday when challenged by a state Senator over his threats to seize power plants from out-of-state "pirates," reacted with a stream of billingsgate that would make a sailor blush.

Gov. Gray Davis, obviously angry, profanely lashed out at state Sen. Tom McClintock, a Southern California Republican, when the latter brought up the seizures as Davis was trying to drum up legislative support for his plan to buy 10,000 miles of transmission lines from Southern California Edison Co.

It was a "symphony of obscenity," said McClintock, who added "He came to sell the utility bailout, and I think he did exactly the opposite."

"As he knew not what to say, he swore," wrote Lord Byron in 1823 in a poem about the Mutiny on the Bounty.

Davis also blamed rising power costs on Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the state's largest utility which was forced by high power costs to seek protection under Chapter 11. Noting that the state spent an average of $45.8 million in taxpayer money buying power in each working day of the week before PG&E declared bankruptcy on Friday April 6, $57.4 million each working day the following week and an average of $73.2 million a day last week, the governor put two and two together and got PG&E.

"Bankruptcy is not a good deal," Davis instructed, "because those additional costs are costs that taxpayers or ratepayers will have to absorb."

Gary Ackerman, executive director of the Western Power Forum, saw the bankruptcy in another light. "If anything, I think that generators and marketers would take solace in the fact that bankruptcy brings order to an otherwise volatile situation."

Power plants in the Los Angeles basin have emitted twice the pollutants in the first three months of 2001 that they did in the same period last year, the Orange County Register reported this morning. In the case of oxides of nitrogen, which Southern California keeps a wary eye on because it causes smog, power plants in the region emitted 2,045 tons in the first quarter of this year against 905 tons in the first three months of 2000, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Average electric rates in the state capital of Sacramento will likely rise an average of 22 percent. Directors of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District indicated yesterday that they are prepared to vote in favor of the rate hike tomorrow when they take up a new rate structure scheduled to go into effect immediately after a final vote on May 3. At least five of the seven directors indicated they would vote in favor of the proposal which would raise the average residential customer's monthly electric bill by about 19 percent, or $13.

A few miles north of Sacramento, in Chico, top officials from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the California Department of Water Resources, the Modesto Irrigation District and the California Independent System Operator were holding a meeting this afternoon explaining the relationship between water reliability and electric power reliability. Both are important in the fertile Central Valley of the state – water released to generate electricity in May won't be there to irrigate crops during the heat of July.

The meeting is being held at the Sierra Nevada Brewery, but U.S. Rep. Doug Ose, a Sacramento Republican, is there to keep things in hand.

Directors of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power yesterday approved a plan to pay electric customers for cutting back their use of power this summer. Under a program that would last from June 1 to September 30, a typical residential customer would receive a $4 monthly credit if he used 10 percent less power this year than last year. The credits would be deducted from bills beginning in October. If a householder reduced consumption by 20 percent, he would get an $8 credit.

The arithmetic works well for the LADWP. If a residential customer typically uses 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity and saves 50 he gets $4, which is 8 cents per kilowatt-hour. The LADWP can then sell that power to the state, which is currently paying ten times that and will be paying more this summer.

-- Martin Thompson (, April 18, 2001


Good for Davis! When are the rest of these jerks goin' to get the idea that this is not politics as usual.

-- PHO (, April 18, 2001.

Let's see now. What drove PG&E to bankruptcy and SC Edison to the brink? Isn't it the simple fact that both companies were required to sell their product (electricity) for less (much lwss) than they were paying for it. Does anyone know how any company can survive doing that? If so, please come forward and be the hero of the day. Otherwise, the solution is limited to reducing the cost of electricity to the retail providers of power or allow them to raise prices accordingly. What other options are there?

Now, reducing the cost of power is outside the control of the state, thanks to the stupid reregulation plan which forced the utilities (PG&E & SC Ed) to sell their generators to companies mostly ouside CA. That leaves raising rates to the consumer the only other option, the last thing a politician wants to do. Its the proverbial between a rock and a hard place.

The state buying power for the utilities to supply customers merely delayed the inevitable and spent gobs of tax money which will be retrieved later from, guess who - the same folks who got the power at artificially low prices. Now Davis wants to buy transmission facilities from SC Ed. This will only be a one time windfall which, without an increase in consumer electric prices to the consumer, can only postpone another bankruptcy. Other than as a temporary bandaid, it is not clear what stste ownership of transmission lines achieves, except to further muddy the issue and divert attention. The money would be better spent building generation plants!

Some may feel this is not politics as usual. It sure ain't business as usual!

-- Warren Ketler (, April 18, 2001.

Good analysis, Warren. Davis is in way over his head. He has about as much business sense as a baboon trying to play chess with Bobby Fisher.

-- Billiver (, April 18, 2001.

"Good for Davis! When are the rest of these jerks goin' to get the idea that this is not politics as usual.

-- PHO (, April 18, 2001."

Your an idiot, and obviously you don't have an inkling of what's going on in the bankrooms of the Capitol. Davis is out, and that isn't good enough for him! Good riddance.

-- one in the know (oneintheknow@Iknow.know), April 18, 2001.

Ditto, Warren. VERY well stated and simplafied. Don't think you could have explaind it any better and to the point with so few words.

-- NdewTyme (, April 18, 2001.

I may or may not be an idiot, but that is beside the point. Pete Wilson and his Republican cronies are responsible for the mess we are in now. He nearly distroyed the city infrastructure in San Diego when he was mayor there. He couldn't be re-elected dog catcher from San Climente south. So what does the rest of California votes do? -- Elect him govenor, of course. Too bad Wilson wasn't elected to the second best job in the country -- President of the U.S of A. Then California wouldn't be in this mess.

-- PHO (, April 19, 2001.

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