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CA: Little risk to Schwarzenegger of blackouts, thanks to Gray Davis
ap on Riverside Press Enterprise ^ | 7/21/06 | Laura Kurtzman - ap

Posted on 07/21/2006 8:15:49 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

SACRAMENTO

Despite a midsummer heat wave that has pushed energy use to an all-time high this week, experts say Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger probably does not have to fear the blackouts that ended former Gov. Gray Davis' political career.

And he has Davis to thank for that.

The long-term contracts Davis signed, at great political cost, guarantee plentiful energy for the next few years at what now look like good rates.

"In an interesting twist of fate, he's benefiting from the decisions that his predecessor suffered for," said Frank Wolak, a Stanford economist who specializes in energy. "The terrible contracts" Davis "signed at the height of the crisis are now quite reasonable."

Davis was recalled from office in 2003 and replaced by Schwarzenegger, in large part because of the energy crisis.

Schwarzenegger's Democratic opponent, state Treasurer Phil Angelides, has tried to capitalize on fears of a new wave of blackouts as temperatures climbed. This week, he warned of "a new energy crisis" and blamed Schwarzenegger for failing to build enough power plants.

But energy experts say although population and job growth have pushed the system up near its capacity, today's situation is nothing like the energy crisis of 2000 to 2001.

The blackouts occurred largely because of market manipulation. With utilities dependent on the spot market, energy companies such as Enron withheld supply to drive up prices.

But with utilities now buying power under long-term contracts, there is little danger of a repeat.

And while it is true that fewer plants have been built under Schwarzenegger than while Davis was governor, the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state's power grid, said the state has adequate power supply, even during heat waves like the current one. The high temperatures are forecast to last at least the beginning of next week.

On Monday, the state shattered its previous energy consumption record, peaking at 46,501 megawatts. But the system did not falter, and Cal ISO did not have to trigger voluntary rationing by businesses.

That does not mean the state could not face problems in the future. Experts say California could face blackouts if the electricity supply fails to keep pace with rising demand or if utilities do not negotiate new long-term contracts as the old ones expire in the next few years.

State Sen. Joe Dunn, D-Santa Ana, said if a 100-year heat wave were to hit, the state would be vulnerable to blackouts because it does not have enough reserve power. That requires utilities to generate excess power, costing them money.

A 20 percent reserve, he said, "is very costly. But the problem is, 10 percent is not adequate for a 100-year heat wave."

Angelides says Schwarzenegger is not preparing for the future because he has not encouraged as many new power plants to be built as Davis did. But experts said the slowdown was the result of so many power plants being built during the Davis administration, creating a supply glut that reduced the economic incentive to build new ones.

Building new plants is not the only way to increase the state's energy supply, however.

Given California's energy use patterns, which peak on hot summer afternoons as residential customers turn up their air conditioning, several experts said the state would be better to encourage conservation than build power plants that only get used a few hours a year when demand skyrockets.

Severin Borenstein, director of the University of California Energy Institute, said Schwarzenegger could prod the state Public Utilities Commission to encourage users to conserve energy by charging them more for the power they use during peak hours. In exchange, customers would get cheaper power during off-peak hours.

Although the state spent $35 million during the energy crisis on new meters that can tell when businesses use their power each day, they have balked at being charged on an hourly basis for energy, and the PUC has been slow to set new rates.

Conservation has "taken a back seat to the, 'We gotta build, build, build' mentality," Borenstein said. He said states such as Georgia, Florida, New York and Illinois already charge companies more for peak energy use.

A spokesman for the governor, Darrell Ng, said Schwarzenegger supports a market-based conservation approach but wants to do it carefully to avoid repeating the mistakes of deregulation, which led to California's electricity crisis.

On Thursday, the PUC gave Pacific Gas & Electric permission to install new time-sensitive meters for residential users. But it will take five years to install the meters and participation is voluntary.

In the meantime, California is keeping up with rising demand by applying energy efficient building codes and better technology. Although the state's population grows by 2 percent a year, its energy usage has risen only 1.8 percent a year, said Claudia Chandler, assistant executive director of the California Energy Commission.

"On a per capita basis, California leads the nation in efficiency," she said. "Our consumption is flat compared to 30 years ago."


TOPICS: Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: blackouts; california; calpowercrisis; energycrisis; graydavis; littlerisk; schwarzenegger; thanks

1 posted on 07/21/2006 8:15:51 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

No mention of who put them there in the first place. lol


2 posted on 07/21/2006 8:22:22 PM PDT by Zeroisanumber (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: NormsRevenge

Right, all we had to do was have falsified blackouts cause Davis to sign up for power at triple the value for many years to come.


3 posted on 07/21/2006 8:23:59 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: NormsRevenge
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Yeah, but now my plumbing's all backed up.

4 posted on 07/21/2006 8:35:33 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: NormsRevenge

Huh? I am sweating here in Simi Valley because of a 2 hour brownout that just ended. It's our second 2-hour brownout this week. The first one was 4:30 to 6:30 last Saturday, and now this one from 5:30 - 7:40 tonight. There was just enough juice to keep the lighbulbs dim but not enough to allow even a fan to make a breeze. It was 85 in the house but now it is down to 82.


5 posted on 07/21/2006 8:38:28 PM PDT by ZGuy
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To: NormsRevenge

Gray Davis....the name seems familiar!!


6 posted on 07/21/2006 8:39:35 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (History is soon Forgotten,)
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To: NormsRevenge

Yeah, those long term contracts Dumbwad Davis should have signed 6 months prior when we'd have gotten electricity a hell of a lot cheaper. Thanks to Davis waiting for FERC to do his job for him, we're now locked in to FAR HIGHER electric prices than if he had acted sooner when prices were a lot lower. And the spot market prices have gone a lot lower since. So spare me this media swill that Davis did us some great favor. He continues to screw us everytime we pay our electric bills with rates higher than most any other state.


7 posted on 07/21/2006 9:54:48 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting out of anger in November is a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House)
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To: ZGuy
Brownout?? Does that mean you don't get the full line voltage? That would seem to be dangerous to equipment like refrigerators and your computer.

I can't seem to remember if things like a fridge's compressor is line voltage sensative but I wouldn't want to take a chance. AND if it screws your equipment up, there's no recourse from the power company.

I think it'd be safer to have a blackout.

8 posted on 07/21/2006 10:00:26 PM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: MikeA
Just curious how much your paying per kwh/hr... your total cost/kwh used. I'm paying $0.296/kwh. This includes an "energy cost adjustment" that essentially doubles my bill.
9 posted on 07/21/2006 10:24:16 PM PDT by 1FreeAmerican
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To: ZGuy

At my house and a few of my buddies the air conditioners run all day and it remains hot enough outside to make it a struggle to even keep the temperature at 80. But it isn't a heat wave in Oklahoma, its a fact of life that it is going to be miserable in July and August.


10 posted on 07/21/2006 10:30:45 PM PDT by Mr. Blonde (You know, Happy Time Harry, just being around you kinda makes me want to die.)
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To: MikeA

I'm glad to see someone else here recognizes this article for the piece of revisionist history garbage that it is.

Typical socialist claptrap from the ap.


11 posted on 07/21/2006 10:30:58 PM PDT by hotshu
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To: 1FreeAmerican

Not sure. California Edison bills me by automatic debit from my bank acct. so I don't get a paper bill anymore and I don't know my online password to check my online statement. If you really want to know, I'll re-set my password and find out.


12 posted on 07/21/2006 10:51:26 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting out of anger in November is a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House)
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To: hotshu

They just can't wait to vindicate a crumb like Davis. Anything to try to take away from Arnold to help Gray Davis Part II, Phil Angelides.


13 posted on 07/21/2006 10:52:14 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting out of anger in November is a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House)
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To: NormsRevenge
Vote for Angelides and within 4 year he will make Davis look like a piker and then the GOP can takeover.

Just Say No to Rinold !
14 posted on 07/21/2006 10:57:46 PM PDT by John Lenin
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To: NormsRevenge
"And he has Davis to thank for that."

Holy Cow sometimes the press makes me laugh really really hard. They really think that we are so stupid.

Does anyone remember a man named Pete Wilson. The only thing that Grey Duffus did for CA is whore out the Governors office (kinda like the Lincoln bedroom, just without the sex), give us rolling blackouts, put us into a depression with a $38 billion in deficit, companies going out business by the hundreds (due to outrageous worker comp insurance)and business's moving out of state by the hundreds.

Other than that and no personality he wasn't to bad.
15 posted on 07/21/2006 11:04:08 PM PDT by Anti-Christ is Hillary (If Moreen Dowd can call herself a journalist than so can I.)
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To: MikeA

Davis went into the exact scenario that the electrical companies wanted him to enter...pay a higher fee for years to come. I wouldn't exactly say that the guy was smart or competent.


16 posted on 07/21/2006 11:07:54 PM PDT by pepsionice
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To: John Lenin
"Vote for Angelides and within 4 year he will make Davis look like a piker and then the GOP can takeover."

Angelides is just another Grey Duffus without a personality.
17 posted on 07/21/2006 11:08:41 PM PDT by Anti-Christ is Hillary (If Moreen Dowd can call herself a journalist than so can I.)
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To: NormsRevenge
Power demand soars in California as heat wave lingers ^

CaISO.com 7-21-06


18 posted on 07/21/2006 11:10:25 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......The Ca GOP: Where conservatives votes count but their opinions don't.)
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To: Anti-Christ is Hillary
It has to get worse before it will ever get better. Rinold blew a golden opportunity for change in this state, I think by design. I'm voting for Angelides, Rinold is a walking time bomb running the state on bonds that are going to bankrupt the state eventually.
19 posted on 07/21/2006 11:12:16 PM PDT by John Lenin
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; NormsRevenge; MikeA; hotshu; Dog Gone
"it is true that fewer plants have been built under Schwarzenegger than while Davis was governor"

Let's us keep our focus on the facts of the matter, shall we?

20 posted on 07/21/2006 11:12:51 PM PDT by SierraWasp (Memo To: Uncle Sam Re: Terrorists, Insurgents and Illegal Combatants...NoUniforms... No Prisoners!!!)
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To: pepsionice
"Davis went into the exact scenario that the electrical companies wanted him to enter...pay a higher fee for years to come."

I'm not usually a conspiracy person ,but being that Duffus is a Dem and we all know that they are lier's and thieves, I sometimes wonder if and if so how much money he got from Enron.
21 posted on 07/21/2006 11:13:12 PM PDT by Anti-Christ is Hillary (If Moreen Dowd can call herself a journalist than so can I.)
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To: John Lenin
Arnold already has made Davis look like a piker in his sucking off the big moneyed special interests! It's a verifyable FACT!!!

This election is trying to force us to choose between DUMB & DUMBER!!!

22 posted on 07/21/2006 11:18:46 PM PDT by SierraWasp (Memo To: Uncle Sam Re: Terrorists, Insurgents and Illegal Combatants...NoUniforms... No Prisoners!!!)
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To: SierraWasp

I hope it's not even close, I hope he loses by 10%. He was never really a good actor and he sucks as a politician. He couldn't hold Ronny Reagans jockstrap with two hands.


23 posted on 07/21/2006 11:24:43 PM PDT by John Lenin
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To: NormsRevenge

Borenstein is a Professor at Berkeley...Of course, he would suggest that charging Californians more for power is the answer to conserving energy.(sarc.)


24 posted on 07/21/2006 11:34:41 PM PDT by Goldie Lurks (professional moonbat catcher)
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To: John Lenin
"I'm voting for Angelides, Rinold is a walking time bomb running the state on bonds that are going to bankrupt the state eventually."

Did you vote for "Rinold" at the Recall? If so, what the hell did you think you were going to get? (He's married to a frellin Kennedy for crying out loud!!!!!) He has never claimed to be anything more that a no new tax guy. He is counting on bonds to help grow us out of the recession that Duffus got us in and like it or not it is working.

But you go guy vote for Mr. Personality, with Angelides as gov. we will be bankrupt in 2 years. Angelides will make Duffus look like Wilson. Mr. Personality has already promised a $10 billion tax increase and we won't only be in a depression with hundreds if not thousands of companies moving out of the state, those citizens who can't afford to move out of state will loose everything.

But you can go ahead and punish Arnold. That makes plenty of since.
25 posted on 07/21/2006 11:35:00 PM PDT by Anti-Christ is Hillary (If Moreen Dowd can call herself a journalist than so can I.)
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To: Anti-Christ is Hillary

If you want to prop up the dems in this state vote for the GOP punching bag. I know better.


26 posted on 07/21/2006 11:37:51 PM PDT by John Lenin
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To: John Lenin
Hey! He thinks he's as slippery now as he was when he would get oiled and coiled before one of his musclebound pose downs in his Mr. Universe days!!!

CA solved the big "Path 15 problem" and that's why we haven't yet bumped into the black-out problem. But if anyone besides me saw that graph at the ISO today that showed how close we are coming to the maximum available... Tomorrow's super hot Saturday could very well be the very day it happens.

I gotta remember this reply on this thread in case it does so's I can crow while Arnold eats crow!!!

27 posted on 07/21/2006 11:40:09 PM PDT by SierraWasp (Memo To: Uncle Sam Re: Terrorists, Insurgents and Illegal Combatants...NoUniforms... No Prisoners!!!)
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To: Anti-Christ is Hillary; NormsRevenge
"He has never claimed to be anything more that a no new tax guy."

Sorry, but that is not correct at all!!!

Norm! Thanks for posting that graph! Will that same graph work for tomorrow? Or will it need to be a new one???

28 posted on 07/21/2006 11:45:29 PM PDT by SierraWasp (Memo To: Uncle Sam Re: Terrorists, Insurgents and Illegal Combatants...NoUniforms... No Prisoners!!!)
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To: SierraWasp

It's going to be 95 in Long Beach tomorrow, that means 115 and up inland.


29 posted on 07/21/2006 11:46:45 PM PDT by John Lenin
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To: John Lenin

Yep! I gotta hit the hay!!! G'nite...


30 posted on 07/21/2006 11:52:35 PM PDT by SierraWasp (Memo To: Uncle Sam Re: Terrorists, Insurgents and Illegal Combatants...NoUniforms... No Prisoners!!!)
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To: NormsRevenge

No doubt about it, Davis was the best governor we ever had. Thats why he was recalled. The liberals and the MSM never ceases to amaze me.


31 posted on 07/22/2006 10:02:15 AM PDT by Uncle Hal
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To: SierraWasp

Thank enviro regulations and Nimbys for that.


32 posted on 07/22/2006 5:27:07 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting out of anger in November is a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House)
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To: NormsRevenge

This is too pathetic for words.


33 posted on 07/22/2006 5:28:05 PM PDT by ladyinred (The NYTimes, hang 'em high!)
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