Somebody explain to me (and to the Democrats in Sacramento) what is going on with the state's power crisis. Recently, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced caps on wholesale electricity prices in a number of Western states, including California (June 19). Big deal. Has Gov. Gray Davis not already locked California into several years' worth of energy purchases at above-market wholesale prices? (Davis touted this plan a few weeks ago.) If so, how does a newly imposed price cap affect the rates that the state has already obligated itself to pay?
Now Davis and his fellow Democrat, state Treasurer Phil Angelides, proclaim that they are saving taxpayers by approving a $5-billion loan, to be supplemented later on by a $12.5-billion bond issue ("State to Pay Electric Bill With Loan, Not Taxes," June 20). Instead of simply subsidizing energy purchases, California taxpayers can look forward to paying for those same purchases, plus interest on borrowings and bond issues! Only Democrats would characterize that as salvation.
Michael J. Allegretti
In "Energy on Agenda, but Issue Is Blame" (news analysis, June 20), Ronald Brownstein reports that Gov. Davis wants to lay the blame for his energy crisis on President Bush.
Last January I was in a shopping mall picking up a tuxedo to wear to Bush's inauguration. Over the PA system came an announcement warning of an impending blackout. How's Davis going to blame Bush for something Davis accomplished himself by refusing to act when advised of the problem in 1999, before Bush even became a presidential candidate, much less president?
Well, I'm through conserving. My air conditioner is back on and I'm not shutting down my three computers anymore.
Why, you ask? Because foolish writers and scared politicians have removed the only reason for me to conserve. And if you think I'm so stupid as to believe that price caps are going to solve anything, guess again. What I do believe is that if I don't start using more power, the result of the price caps will be to penalize me based on prior use of electricity. So, power up, I say, since I have to create a history of waste before I can be rewarded by the politicians.
Definition of a power crisis: When greed comes face to face with stupidity.