Letters to the Editor: High taxes and electricity rates don’t buy reliable power in a heat wave?

California heat wave
A jogger runs in extreme heat under high-tension electrical towers in North Hollywood on Aug. 15, at the start of one of the worst heat waves in California in more than a decade.
(Richard Vogel / Associated Press)

To the editor: Is this a great state or what? We’ve had a few very hot days, and we are out of electricity (“Coronavirus complicates California’s worst power shortage in two decades,” Aug. 16).

We are the most taxed state in the union, and we are out of electricity.

We are the most environmentally friendly state in the union. Solar panels and wind turbines abound, and we are out of electricity.

I fly a small airplane, and as I pass over Santa Clarita or Simi Valley, I see tract homes all the way to the horizon, all newer, all surely with air conditioning. And we are out of electricity.


Our elected leaders try to keep the bullet train funded and pass another tax, and we are out of electricity.

When will voters and our elected leaders realize that a robust infrastructure is the most important asset we can have? Give us clean and abundant water, a robust sewage system, smooth and well-maintained roads and, yes, plenty of electricity, because (surprise, surprise) there are some very hot days in California.

Jim Kussman, Glendale


To the editor: I read with great interest about the power grid strain. Yes, we are having extreme heat, but why can’t the grid keep up?

Look at Arizona. From April through September, temperatures in that state’s largest city are often above 100 degrees, often with no relief overnight. Residents and businesses are running their air conditioning constantly, and they don’t have many issues with this.

You reported that consumers cannot go to theaters or malls, so they are using their home air conditioning systems, which is causing a strain. This does not sound believable, as fewer businesses are open and are therefore not using much energy.


Our electric rates are among the highest in the nation, yet they cannot fund reliable service during a heat wave. Just imagine what it will be like when everything in our home is powered by “clean” electricity and the grid can’t keep up.

Debbie Walsh, Riverside


To the editor: The state is pushing us to all-electric homes and cars, yet the state’s grid manager cannot plan for heat events that surely are not unexpected.

While the cost of electricity continues to rise, while more affluent communities appear to reap the benefits of the push to a greener grid, and while we give away excess renewable power when not immediately needed, the state does not acknowledge the need for large storage to better manage these extreme weather events.

If the state is to continue on this path, it had better come up with a power storage solution and get it built.

David Kates, Santa Rosa



To the editor: Quoting your article:

“The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said its customers were not affected by the declared emergency because it generates and imports its own electricity and was able to meet the city’s demand.”

That is why we have the DWP and should be grateful for it. The city’s utility is publicly owned, not “investor-owned.”

Joseph T. Edmiston, Pacific Palisades