Connell Does State a Disservice on Contracts

Re "Hidden Costs Revealed in Power Pacts," July 3: State Controller Kathleen Connell has done a disservice to Californians in releasing the contracts with her own analysis. It is far easier to second-guess the governor than to craft concrete proposals to solve the energy crisis. In releasing these documents, any credible policy advocate would have offered recommendations to address purported inadequacies in the contracts. Yet she did not. This crisis will be solved by our elected officials putting aside their differences and working together. Connell has clearly demonstrated that she is unable to rise to the occasion.

The money paid to consultants to lobby on Californians' behalf in Washington, to take the nation's largest municipal bond issue to market and to no less than save the state and national economies from recession--when our own president does nothing--is money well spent. Thanks to Gov. Gray Davis and his team for all their hard work.

Scott A. Burritt

Los Angeles

Can someone please tell me the difference between Iraq threatening to take over the Middle East oil fields and the private electricity producers threatening to withhold energy because they don't know exactly what they will be paid ("Power Sales Halted by New Pricing Curbs," July 3)? Both were and are threats to our entire economy because energy is a need, not a want, in our modern society. If energy is priced too high, we do not have the option of walking away from the sale like we could a fancy car we cannot afford.

Eleven years ago, we were willing to murder over 100,000 Iraqis so our economy wouldn't come to a halt from lack of oil. Just before the bombing started, James A. Baker III of the first Bush administration was quoted as saying, "It's jobs," as the basic rationale for our war against Iraq. We are now in the same situation with the private energy producers. These people are threatening to bring our economy to a halt so they can make as much money as possible. This is a good example of capitalism without social conscience. Sounds to me that it's time to send in the National Guard.

Craig Blanchard

Long Beach

There is nothing new in reducing electricity voltage to reduce power consumption; nothing for Edison to be "intrigued" about ("Davis Urges Drop in Voltage to Stave Off Blackouts," July 4). In my home country, England, we had voltage reductions in the '70s when we had a coal miners' strike that reduced the supply of fuel to power plants. At the time, we barely noticed the loss of light, and it was certainly not worth replacing all the bulbs in the house for such a minor inconvenience.

This is a suggestion that is worth further investigation and, if feasible, should be implemented.

Roger G. Mitchell

San Gabriel

Re "Energy Novice to be Paid $240,000," July 4: I have no experience in the energy industry and am unemployed. With these qualifications and to reduce the unemployment rolls, I'll work for only $120,000. What ya think, Gov.?

Zoltan Puskas

Santa Barbara

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