Skip to comments.Duke Energy Says 'Despicable' California Report Misstates Facts
Posted on 09/18/2002 7:31:09 AM PDT by ZGuy
Dow Jones Newswires
NEW YORK -- Duke Energy late Tuesday became the second independent power producer in California to challenge the facts of a report by the state of California charging generating companies with failing to produce all the power they could during blackouts.
The California Public Utilities Commission told the state Senate on Tuesday that most of California's blackouts and service interruptions during the 2000- 2001 electricity crisis could have been avoided if generators had produced all available power.
"They are blatantly misrepresenting what has occurred out here," Duke spokesman Pat Mullin told Dow Jones Newswires. "Frankly, it's despicable."
The seven companies blamed in the report for causing blackouts in California scrambled Tuesday afternoon after the commission released its report. Though they were unable to refute all of the commissions findings immediately, they said they produced as much power as possible during the crisis.
Generating companies initially were reluctant to provide too much detail in their responses, because they have signed confidentiality agreements with the commission.
Later, Duke and Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE:XEL - News) unregulated unit NRG Energy specifically countered factual allegations against their companies.
Specifically, the commission report says Duke had, on average, over 800 megawatts available and unused during the blackouts and service interruptions on May 8, 9 and 10, 2001.
"Duke alone had more available and unused power than the total amount of power that was needed to avoid the blackout" on May 8, the commission's report says.
Mr. Mullin said that absolutely isn't true.
"We have checked, and on those dates all of the units that were available were maxed out," Mr. Mullin said. "The only units that weren't were being operated by the California Independent System Operator through automatic generation control, and two units were on planned maintenance outages approved by the state."
"The CPUC report is clearly misrepresenting the facts or doesn't understand how the system operates," he continued. "Or they are blatantly disregarding the state's own data and then somehow saying we were responsible for the blackouts."
How can one challenge "facts"?
Or, conversely, how can they be "facts" if they are subject to challenge?
Methinks the lead might better read "Duke Energy...became the second independent power producer in the state to challenge the assertions of a report by the state of California..."
And, given the record of the Davis administration, said "assertions" are likely to be highly "challengeable".
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Last year, the WSJ was printing this:
Rolling blackouts began at midmorning after the Portland, Ore.-based Bonneville Power Administration had to reduce output because of low water levels in its hydroelectric system. On Wednesday "I borrowed water, and today we are paying the price," said Kellan Fluckiger, director of operations at the ISO. "We so badly wanted not to put the lights out."
Facts are only useful to the left when they can be twisted beyond recognition. And when the facts refuse to be twisted, they foment civil unrest.