BAILOUT WATCH: Keeping an eye on the energy industry and the politicians
Bailout Watch #21 – Special Report: The Manufactured Energy Crisis – Mar 19, 2001
Do you think it was just a coincidence that (1) the 48 hours of rolling blackouts last January followed an announcement by the utilities that they would no longer pay their energy bills; and (2) the blackouts ended once the Governor signed legislation to authorize taxpayer purchases of electricity from the energy companies? If so, you probably also believe that you caused the "energy crisis" because YOU use too much electricity and YOU wouldn’t let anybody build any power plants in California. You probably also think that deregulation would be a good thing but state officials screwed it up by trying to protect consumers. If this describes you, you can stop reading this and return to your regularly scheduled programming.
If you are skeptical about the energy crisis that will cost Californians $60 billion or more, download this Special Edition of Bailout Watch.
This report brings together the details of the manipulation of the California energy markets during the deregulation debacle. The report refutes the various energy industry myths that have been used to justify price spikes and blackouts, including the false contention that energy consumption in California has exploded and our energy supply is inadequate.
The 1996 California law deregulating electricity lifted controls over the energy industry and ignited a greed-driven, profit-maximizing frenzy which has enriched both the utilities and, most recently, the wholesale energy companies. The latter have used their cartel power to manipulate supply and prices and reap record profits at the expense of California’s consumers, businesses and the economy. Tens of billions of dollars has been transferred from Californians into the coffers of the cartel.
California remains extremely vulnerable to the whims of the energy cartel. The "energy crisis" won’t be resolved until the deregulation law is repealed, a reliable and affordable system is restored based on public power, and the energy cartel is broken up through government action.
The bottom line: the "energy crisis" was manufactured by utility, energy and Wall Street firms for their financial gain.