Wednesday, October 9, 2019

North Korea-Style Power Service Hits California: PG&E is About to Shut Off Power in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area to 800,000 People; Possibly for Days

Areas to be blacked out in yellow.
In a major unprecedented move, PG&E will shut off power to nearly 800,000 customers in a bid to prevent the risk of wildfire in the wake of projected severe wind events hitting the state this week, PG&E said in a statement.

PG&E will begin the outage in some areas just after midnight Wednesday morning, starting with northern counties in the state.

Portions of 34 counties will be impacted by the outages.

But here is the real kicker:

Power could be out for several days after the wind event.

"Before restoring power, PG&E must inspect its equipment for damage and make any necessary repairs. That process cannot begin until the severe weather event has subsided," the company said.

Of course, the real problem here is having the wrong type of power lines for the area.

One wonders how things would be different if there was competition in power service instead of a government-granted monopoly. PG&E would be losing customers in droves right now.

Naturally, the California government is acting tough when it is responsible for granting the monopoly.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:
California's governor says residents should be outraged and infuriated by news of a widespread power shut-off to prevent deadly wildfires but that the utility had no choice.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that Pacific Gas & Electric had to make the decision to cut off electricity as forecasts call for hot, dry winds that could spark wildfires.
But he said the company must upgrade and fix its technology so customers do not face anything like this again.
Please remember, governments don't solve problems, they are posers and create them.

At this point, it does not appear that EPJ will be impacted but if you don't see any posts for a couple of days, you will know why.



In phase one, power has already been shut off to 450, 000 bay area residents.


  1. Seems more like an agenda 21 / agenda 2030 nudge while fabricating a consequence for weather they will blame on CO2 driven climate change despite it being nothing new or remarkable. If indeed it is that we will see a state law banning or severely restricting residential generators. Another confirming move will see hydrocarbon fueled generators taxed or otherwise made as costly as putting in solar systems. We may even seen putting in solar, wind, or other systems made impossible for ordinary people.

    Now someone will pipe up and say that the more likely cause is incompetence. But I've noticed that what we are told is incompetence nearly always supports the political, economic, and social agendas that are being pursued by those George Carlin called the "owners". Thus we should be looking for the deliberate confirming actions that act as a rear guard to prevent people from compensating for government monopoly incompetence.

  2. PG&E has been allowed to skirt its obligations for decades. One of those is to keep power line areas clear of combustibles so when lines and or poles are knocked down, fire hazards are reduced. The state has allowed them to be lax in their efforts. Along with CA’s other lack of fire management this has led to fires, property damage and deaths.

  3. Robert, are there any articles you can post that discusses how to have a competitive energy market or how to dismantle government established monopolies?

    1. Until most people stop sanctifying theft with their participation in politics, there is little hope of dismantling government monopolies (a redundant phrase since monopolies cannot exist without government coercion). Don't vote.

  4. Great phrase..."government monopoly incompetence". There is a lot of GMI throughout the economy. And I agree that the government will and does move to block people from compensating for GMI. Note Gov Newsum's rent control which is post-dated nine months before its implementation to prevent anyone from compensating for this GMI. Its like that old saying: Don't steal, the government doesn't like competition. Until people stop sanctifying theft GMI will continue to run rampant.

  5. The weather must be truly stupendous in CA. Otherwise, I can't figure out why anyone would want to live there given regulations, taxes, traffic, real-estate prices, earthquakes, etc.

    1. Money. If you want to play the tech startup game you need to be in SF Bay Area. I asked my VCs why they won't invest outside of Bay Area - they said the logistics and lack of talent concentration (and thus ability to hire right people) makes such investments less attractive. I'm not sure I agree, but they are one of the best in the venture fund industry, so I suppose they know what they are doing.

      Now, for the techies who are founders or on founding engineering teams playing this game is the only reasonable chance to get independently wealthy. The Big Tech has to compete with that by offering rather impressive wages for those less adventurous. For junior engineering talent it's basically fool's game - they immediately spend most of what they are paid on housing, and they won't get any stock grants which will make a difference.

    2. I don't know how they can attract talent from outside of CA. I agree it is a fool's game.

      I've been approached for positions at numerous companies in CA but it is simply too expensive to live there. The salary increase isn't mathematically worth not only the risk of seven figure bets in the housing market but it doesn't even cover the added expense of living there in most cases. Usually it just barely covers the interest on the mortgage after the tax deduction.

      The salaries seem impressive numerically but the expense side is so high that it is better to make less and keep more elsewhere.

      Furthermore some of the big tech companies send clear signals they really aren't nice places to work. Clear signals that once they get you there you'll be stuck working 80 hour weeks just not to be fired and be able to have a place to live.

  6. My take is that this is a passive-aggressive response to them being saddled with the Liability of the last fire...Now it's 'gotta turn the power off so we don't have to deal with this BS again'.