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(LA Times)   California companies deliberately waste electricity so they can cut consumption when told to   ( divider line
    More: Asinine  
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2032 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Jul 2001 at 12:01 PM (16 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

34 Comments     (+0 »)
2001-07-05 12:42:40 PM  
Further evidence of the corruption inherent in capitalism :P
2001-07-05 01:07:20 PM  
Hello people, theres a larger problem here. Its CLOUDY right now in southern california, and has been for the last few days. I expect California to sink within the next month.
2001-07-05 01:11:30 PM  
USE your power. If you don't, someone ELSE will.
2001-07-05 01:40:35 PM  
Boycott HP.
2001-07-05 01:43:57 PM  
Do other forms of "non-corrupt" government even have power for their citizenry?
2001-07-05 01:50:21 PM  
"Non-corrupt government"? Where do you find one of those? And is it possible for one to exist or is it simply a myth?
2001-07-05 01:51:52 PM  
Non-corrupt government is make believe, like elves, fairies and eskimo's :-)
2001-07-05 01:51:52 PM  
cut them off all toghether
2001-07-05 01:59:25 PM  
At this moment I have developed a 30 foot steel rod that portudes from my arse. Right now in my area of California, there is a thunderstorm brewing and when the time is right, I shall collect as many lightning strikes as I can and store that energy in my arse. Then I can turn around and sell that energy to So Cal Edison at a large profit. My farts shall wield a shocking force, and California will be at my mercy. *menacing laugh* hahahahahaha
2001-07-05 02:15:34 PM  
The reference to capitalism as our form of government, while not technically correct (we're a federal republic) is an interesting irony in itself, and unfortunately, all too true in some cases. I wonder if it's possible to find a governmental/economic relationship that works?

Odoe: Make sure you point that 30 foot rod somewhere else when you let them fly... you could put more than an eye out with that...
2001-07-05 02:19:09 PM  
If it's an energy source, us Californians are getting screwed. Case in point (but not specifically electricity):
I just got back from camping in Bryce Canyon/Capitol Reef in Utah, and the cheapest gasoline (regular) we paid when out in the middle of nowhere was only $1.62/gallon. Meanwhile, I noticed last night when I got home that the gas station down the street is selling regular for over $2.00/gallon. Pretty farked-up? You decide!

-he who stacks pork
2001-07-05 02:45:16 PM  
Thank your local environmentalist for that, Porkstacker. Making products expensive to produce or transport just gets passed on to the little dude. Of course most Dasani sipping enviro Nazi's won't have to feel the pinch as hard as a regular guy.
2001-07-05 02:47:20 PM  
You can say what you want about how assinine this appears to be, but I have to defend the practice of "running fat" in order to position yourself to make energy cuts later. The company I work for (here in Southern California) went through heroic efforts to conserve energy late last year, and got our energy use down about 21% from normal levels. This was extraordinary, and we felt great about it. Then the power crunch hit and the electric company ordered us one day to reduce usage by 15% - starting that day! After having cut buy nearly 21% during the previous months, there was little left to cut without closing the doors. We tried - we shut off even more lights, and even had people doubling up on computers for a week - and we managed to shave off another 3%. But, being a major aerospace company with over 10,000 employees at this location, closing the doors for one week is out of the question.

Since we didn't meet our reduction requirement of 15%, the power company "premium rate" kicked in and the company was billed over $1 million per day for about seven consecutive business days. This was a 75-times increase (not 75-percent, but MULITPLIED by 75!) from our normal energy cost during this period.
2001-07-05 03:03:35 PM  
Washington State ships most of our power to California, and we Still get price hikes and brown outs here. We produce moe than enough energy for our state, but seem to have problems because our power is cabled down to california so they can make more money per kilowaht hour. this is bunk. I say let california make their own power, and quit imposing regulations that stop them from making it. Most of the alternative energy in california (Windmills and such) could be expanded and cleanly provide for the state, but it is stopped in halls of power so some a$$holes in other states can make more money selling them their power, while jilting their own communities.... Good thing I am not bitter!

Oh and yes, there are non-corrupt governments. Tibet had one, but look what happened when all the other 'corrupt' governments see no profit in helping them.
2001-07-05 04:57:27 PM  
Torquemada: There's nothing wrong with making the price of consumables reflect the environmental cost of their production. I'm all for it. Charge everyone more for power. Raise the price of gas. Maybe then we'll stop behaving so irresponsibly.

Remember when the Bronco and the Blazer were big cars? Remember when your father used to yell at you to "close the door, what do you want, to heat the whole neighborhood"? Remeber putting on a sweater instead of turning the heat up past 67? Remember buying a small fan instead of central air conditioning? Remember when it was your turn to drive all of the kids to soccer practice? Remember riding your bicycle all over the neighborhood? Remember when households only had 1 TV? Remember when a child with a boom-box in his or her room was "lucky"? Remember when we all used to turn off our computers when we weren't using them?

Increasing the cost of something should lower the demand for it. Unfortunately, most Americans seem to feel that gluttony and conspicuous consumption is a right.

Environmentalists don't "feel the pinch as hard as a regular guy" because they're trying to be responsible consumers.
2001-07-05 04:57:46 PM  
Bring back the public guillotine.
2001-07-05 05:09:49 PM  
Torquemada: Blaming the enviromentalists is the easy way out. A closer fact would be for all of us to take responsibility for using much more power per person (and per business) today than any other time in America despite great advancements being made in power friendly appliances, computers and lightbulbs. I'm afraid the entire "Enviromentalists aren't allowing me to use the ludicrous amount of power that I'm entitled to because I'm an American" line isn't going to get simpathy from anyone.

Yes, the power company is grasping at straws here and what they did at Mcscott's business and HP isn't working, but the problem wouldn't be as bad if HP and other businesses weren't consuming the energy they are, along with all the homeowners in California abusing there air conditioning, televisions and PCs. Conservation's not a sin, but last time I checked gluttony was.
2001-07-05 05:11:22 PM  
LumpyClaus, beat me to it. Little freaky that we both chose the word gluttony though.
2001-07-05 05:28:51 PM  
You (all of us, actually) deserve to pay more for gas, and suffer, suffer, suffer. It's time to find alternative sources for power and oil. Too bad we have to get these two wide-o coonts out of the white house before anything can be better.

I just wish Nader were in there to fix it all. Yeah, I know, it'll never happen...
2001-07-05 05:46:05 PM  
A couple of facts about the "energy crisis" that exists in California. It was known over ten years ago that there was going to be a higher demand for electricity in that state because of the steadily increasing population. The state itself did not place any more limitations on building its power plants than any other state in the union.

But the power companies there realizing that there was an increasing demand for electricity coming did nothing to expand their base of production. They did this to create an artificial scarcity of product so that they could be allowed by the public works commision to increase their prices... there by increasing their profits, and increasing the profits of their stock holders. And they continued to do this, but did not think ahead far enough. Because when the time came that the demand for electricity outstripped the supply, they had to buy the electricty from out of state for huge mark-ups. Which is why now a few of the power companies are going under, and some of the others are taking the huge profits they have reaped over the past 10 years to go ahead and build some power plants. And these power plants are being subsidized by the state government because of the crisis that they created.

So the power companies took advantage of business friendly utility laws to be able to make more money and now everybody in California has to suffer because of it.
2001-07-05 05:56:57 PM  
Eventually, they are going to figure out that the way to get people to use less power more efficently is to RAISE THE DAMN PRICE!

You'd think that people in america could find a capitalistic, supply-demand pricing solution. I mean, here we have a limited supply of a product, so what do we do? Sell it at a low, fixed price, regardless of demand, then sit around and wonder why there isn't enough available.

2001-07-05 06:13:11 PM  
Everest! Right on bro! Exactly frickkin right. That's why this is a blessing in disguise, and so are all those gas guzzling SUVs. Maybe they will help force some change!
2001-07-05 07:31:25 PM  
Wow gas for 2 bucks, reminds me of how much gas cost in germany.

Thank god i live here in oklahoma where i just filled up my car with gas for 1.16 a gallon. I have not seen any rolling black out here.

Guess it sucks to be in California.
2001-07-05 07:49:56 PM  
Gasoline costs so much in California because environmental laws have required gas producers to make a special gasoline SPECIFICALLY for California, which is not marketed anywhere else, and which ironically enough, contains MTBE, a chemical 'known to the state of California to be harmful to the environment'. Also, two of the refineries which make these 'boutique' fuels have caught fire in the past few years, severely reducing production.

As for electrical power, shortages are exactly what you should expect when demand increases and price is capped. Deregulation, my ass. A free market is NOT at work here.
2001-07-05 09:25:41 PM  
Reminds me of the old practice of over insulating a house. Back in the late 80's, new houses were getting twice to three times the R value in their walls. Cost more, but the house stayed cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Then energy costs dropped and so did over insulation.

Makes me want to go buy some fiberglass.
2001-07-05 09:40:30 PM  
At this moment I am powering my computer using the electricity I have stored in my ass with special lightning rod collector. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
Fark the power companies!
My ass is supreme!!!
(although I do tend to choke on my own farts)
2001-07-05 09:42:18 PM  
Mr. Porkstacker - Is it possible that the incremental tax rate components and sales tax are higher in CAL? Aren't all taxes higher in CAL? (and, even higher in CA?)
2001-07-05 09:44:56 PM  
Hey! I have an opinion on that!

What were we talking about...?
2001-07-05 10:09:37 PM  
Hmm, Lumpy, I think you've changed my mind.

Gas, oil, should all cost way more. Then maybe we'll get some real environmental benefit from alternative sources.
2001-07-05 11:44:26 PM  
LumpyClaus: Odd i do not remember any of those things that you describe. Then again, living in base housing and being a military family we never did pay for electricty. Just had to make sure the grass was cut to regulations, and when we moved made sure that the house was in the same state that we moved into it. And my parents had to make sure we where in before base curfew.
2001-07-05 11:59:58 PM  
Before we start bashing California too much, their energy use is the fourth lowest (per capita) in the nation. Who's the worst? Texas. Check the graph here:
2001-07-06 02:57:25 AM  
would not doubt it, but Texas is not having any problems with blacks are they?
2001-07-06 06:41:45 AM  
We had a thread about gas costing two buck a month or so back - just to remind you, gas costs the equivalent of SIX bucks here in the UK - but guess what - I manage to commute at 85mph in a 1.2 litre car (1200 cc or whatever measure you use in the US) and I'm happy to be polluting on average half as much per person as you are.

The only reason you might concievably need an SUV is because your roads are crumbling to bits - I drove from San Francisco to Tahoe this March, and man, your roads suck
2001-07-06 07:29:12 PM  
Hmmmm.... so you go regulate the shiat out of everything: gas 5 bucks/gallon, luxury tax on big cars, hike the price of electricity etc. etc. - which means you end up forever fine-tuning the laws to make them "fair", and have to watch while the swine get fat off the inefficiencies of the market.
Alternately, you drop all regulation, trusting in the invisible hand, and watch as big business maximises profits by all means - i.e. delaying structural changes, monopolistic practices, patent hogging etc. etc.

My conclusion: I give up. Next up: Roads in the US do indeed suck the biggie. Hey! Is that just to make SUVs at all necessary? "Our all-new Environmental Exploiter can ride over potholes two foot deep with nary a bump. Yay."
BTW, does anyone remember Greenpeace (of all people) building a car that did, oh, more than 100 miles to the gallon about ten years ago (at the usual 80 mph etc. etc., all the amenities) round about the time all the big auto companies were flatly refusing to admit that that was at all possible? I still giggle at that one, occasionally. Then I stop, because people start staring at me.

/end rant. Thank-you, and good night.
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