The Lights Go Out in Cali… and Maybe Not Just There

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Americans got a glimpse of the Green Future last week – and it was pretty dark

Deliberate power outages have left millions of people in California with no lights – and no way to recharge their Teslas, either.

And it’s not because there isn’t enough power.

Rather, the state’s utility, Pacific Gas & Electric cut the power – ostensibly to prevent wildfires that might be started by downed (and hot) power lines.

But the real reason for the artificial blackout is PG&E’s massive – and government-mandated –  malinvestment in “green” technologies such as wind farms and solar, which has diverted billions away from critically needed infrastructure investment, such as burying power lines so that Santa Ana winds don’t result in downed lines  . .  . and fires. 

California’s very green governor, Gavin Newsome, even admitted this – elliptically. He told reporters last week that the blackouts are the result of “greed and neglect.”

The “greed” part coming from green crony capitalists who’ve leveraged saving the earth into lining their pockets.

CA’s legislature passed a bill last year (SB 100) that requires half of the state’s energy generation to be produced via “green” technologies  – i.e., wind and solar – by 2026. This created an artificial – because mandated – market for cost-no-object “green” technologies – in much the same way that California created a “market” for cost-no-object electric cars by requiring large numbers of them to be sold in the state each year, even if they have to be given away at a net loss per car. 

PG&E agreed to extremely “green” deals with solar and wind power providers like Topaz Solar Farms in San Luis Obispo County. Topaz , it turns out, is a subsidiary of Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway investment group.

These deals are reportedly worth $40 billion, according to bankruptcy paperwork filed by PG&E in January. 

That’s right. PG&E has run out of money as well as power. Or at least, the ability to safely deliver power . . . without fire

In part because it bought high – and sold low.

When PG&E made its deal with Topaz, the utility agreed to pay a fixed price for the solar power generated by Topaz that is five times higher than current market price, according to an article in the Sacramento Bee. 

PG&E is currently fighting in court to be released from some of these contracts – or at least allowed to renegotiate them. But the obligation to go green isn’t going away. 
 
In fact, it will increase to 60 percent by 2030.

The $40 billion spent so far to go 34 percent “green” (16 percent shy of the 2026 mandated minimum) is on top of an estimated $30 billion in liability for damages caused by the so-called Camp Fire in Butte County last year –  the deadliest fire in the state’s history. It burned more than 240 square miles and reduced 18,804 structures to ash. 

At least 84 people died. 

The fire was apparently started by a downed power line that lit brush on fire.

PG&E turned the power off last week to avoid a repeat and even more liability.

The Santa Ana winds have picked up – and it is exceedingly dry in Cali. It wouldn’t take much bad luck for another branch to fall on another power line and start another fire – perhaps one even worse than the Camp Fire.

And under California law, PG&E would be on the hook for the damages.

But the cost to beat back the brush to avoid the damages is estimated to be at least $150 billion – money PG&E clearly hasn’t got

Where will this green come from?

Californians already pay twice the national average for electricity. They may soon be paying even more for it.

And not just Californians.

Mandated conversion to “green” sources of energy generation isn’t limited to Cali. Twenty nine other states have also mandated what are styled Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS).

As in California, utilities in these states are required to generate a certain percentage of their grid power using “renewable” sources – which effectively means solar and wind since nuclear is off the table due to regulatory impasses that have made it almost impossible to obtain approval for new plants – let alone funding.

But solar and wind are also costly – and not just in terms of money.

They are erratic sources of power – being dependent on the vagaries of weather. Also – in California, at least – they provide no insurance policy against grid power going offline because the home solar systems now required by law in CA feed power to the grid when the sun is up – with the idea being that power will be fed back to people’s homes from the grid when the sun goes down.

But when the grid goes down, everyone’s in the dark.

This darkness will spread as “green” mania – and mandates – spreads.

Better top off your Tesla.

. . .

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53 COMMENTS

  1. Got a chilly taste of the coming third world like electric this week. We had pretty good wind on Monday morning. It of course, no surprise, knocks out the power at about 9 am, as our electric company is not known for doing very good maintenance . Figure it would be out for an hour or so…..

    Thirty hours later it FINALLY comes back on. After three missed supposed restoration times, noon, 5pm and then finally Tuesday 1 am, after that they gave up on a time…..It took almost as long to restore my electric as it did after our tornado in 2008 which caused far more damage to the electric system (forcing them to finally replace things). Keep in mind I am not in a rural area, but a fairly dense suburban area, with lots of customers.

    But was the same story for the entire town on social media, no sighting of repair crews, ANYWHERE. After 12 hours some crews finally trickle in. They didn’t seem to have used mutual aid this time, as no companies from out of the area were seen (a company from Michigan restored the power after the tornado, I’m in Indiana). But reports of molasses slow response times from the entire area were flooding social media (not much news coverage from our dud newspapers).

    So it seems they were caught with their pants down (again) by this storm. This company is so mismanaged. I am sure the linemen worked their asses off but it does little good when they are managed as badly as they were.

    Too busy planning windmills and solar panels i guess…..

    • Hi Rich,

      Similar happens here. All it takes is some wind, a power line goes down and the power goes down . . . for the day. Or longer. But they have been busily installing those 5G cables – because being “connected” is a priority. Power isn’t.

      I am grateful I can stay warm even if the power does go out. Wood heat is cozy, too! And I have propane after that. That works independent of the grid, too.

      I have a gennie if I need electricity – to power the well pump, mostly. But otherwise, I’m generally ok. I remember, though, what it was like being a City Boy and dependent on the grid for warmth and light… glad I am not there anymore!

  2. It’s come full cycle…I remember about 20 years ago when these shitheads called the Democrats were running things in the Governor’s office (Gray Davis) and we had rolling brownouts. Led to the 2003 recall elected and “Ahh-Nold” as Guv for almost eight years, after which we were cursed with “Moonbeam, Redux”. Now Jerry Brown-nose’s successor is finding new ways to fuck things up out here in Calipornia.

  3. I live in CA and follow this electricity boondoggle closely, and because of that, I have solar with a storage battery, so these outages don’t effect me.

    However, I think you are mistaken about the reason for our blackouts, Eric. There’s no one major reason, but several.

    – PG&E has a state granted monopoly and has gotten fat and lazy, they do the minimum to keep the grid working, sometimes less, and very little proactive improvement.
    – They are regulated by the CPUC, who will not let them raise rates for things like improvements, because that’s “greed”.
    – When PG&E does try to do something, such as rebuild old transmission lines, the anti-development people and deluded greenies protest.
    – Tree huggers show up to protest clearing trees around power lines. So, we have a fire hazard.
    – CA has decreed that PG&E is liable for all fires

    So, it’s a natural conclusion that power is turned off. It’s impossible to fix the power lines, impossible to trim the trees back, and liability for fires – easy, power off.

    This is what the mental illness known as liberal politics looks like in the end stages.

  4. Santa Ana winds are strictly So. California. The winds in No. California causing the power shut off didn’t really materialize. My power was cut off in the Sierra foothills while visiting family in Orange County. Thursday evening we watched the 10pm news as a blizzard of hot cinders swept and swirled over HWY 5, the Sylmar fire in LA County. A resident was interviewed taking the news crew to the side of his house to see the melted trash cans and scorched stucco wall. Back to his driveway it was evident all the lights were on!

  5. This reminds me of what Lenin and Stalin did. The more people who died due to any idea they put into effect only made it better in their perverted brains.

    High winds are a way of life where I live. One Wed. last spring we were trying to work in 80 mph winds. No fires anywhere. Of course electric lines are made to hold up to high winds. When tornadoes go through you can’t rule out downed lines and fires from that, but everyone know what to do when there is a fire and it’s attacked quickly. The state has some big planes that transport water as well as helicopters. There are volunteer fire dept.’s in every town. Country folk often have a large tank or three to put in a 4WD pickup on a moments notice. We used to keep a couple of those rigs loaded up and ready.

  6. I’ll start believing that the greens really are serious when:

    -They push for employers to implement wide-scale telecommuting

    -They urge the government to fast track nuclear power plants and approve next-generation reactor designs that cannot melt down á la Three Mike Island or Fukushima

    -They push for the winding down of the petro-dollar

    -They push for the ending of Big Agriculture subsidies

    -They support measures to hold countries like China and India accountable for their pollution.

    • I might start taking their claims seriously if the green elites start making the sacrifices they expect the smallfolk to make.

      • Hi Jason,

        This is such an obvious point that I don’t see how people are not moved by it. Yet, if I bring it up to a true believer, they claim it’s irrelevant. This used to puzzle me but I now believe that the greatest propaganda success of the elite class has been to condition most “mundanes” to instinctively accept a subordinate position for themselves as the natural state of things. Perhaps this explains the extreme hatred of Trump supporters by the political and elite class, “who do these uppity, ignorant rubes think they are, questioning their betters”.

        Same point can be made about the gun grabbers, I’ll start to believe that they’re sincere (their proposed policies will still be awful and harmful) when they give up their own guns. Celebrities like Alyssa Milano, who employs an armed guard and lied about it when she got caught, are the worst.

        If I bring this argument up, the gun grabbers act like I’m crazy. Well, of course, these people need protection. I counter, so only politicians and those wealthy enough to delegate armed protection to others are entitled to guns? Regular folks aren’t worth enough to be allowed to protect themselves. Don’t you see that recognizing that “these people need protection” is tacit admission that gun control won’t work? Blank stares or anger is all I get in response.

        Cheers,
        Jeremy

        • Well-said (as usual) Jeremy!

          We, the mundanes, are the ‘niggers’ of today. So many politicians, judges, etc. believe and have no shame about openly stating that we don’t even have the right to protect ourselves, even in the most basic of ways, that they declare any attempt to do so as “takiong the law into one’s own hands”!

          To think that they would declare the most basic of human rights to be a transgression of their law, and something which only the chosen and appointed “:protectors” have the right to administer…and that they would even outlaw anything remotely capable of offering even the most basic protection, such as pepper spray in many states here- or things like slingshots and bows in countries which have gone further down the drain, like Australia, while it is obvious after all of these decades that their sick policies have have allowed crime to flourish….and that yet so many people still buy into this mentality…is just mind-boggling.

          And of course, it is obvious by now, that regardless of the facts and decades of experience and outcomes, that reality and fact still do not matter to the brain-dead fools who tolerate and or support such policies, because facts and logic do not matter to those who base their opinions and decisions of emotion.

          And now that women have been fully politicized, and that a very large percentage of men have been feminized into essentially being on the same level as women- operating via emotion rather than clear thought based on analysis of real facts and experience, the tide has inevitably turned to the point where there is little resistance to the absurdities mentioned above.

  7. They are shutting of the power to divert attention from the fact that last year’s fires were started by directed energy beam from satellites. Smart meters may have also had a hand in the fires, another fact that they want covered up.

    • Got to wonder what the hell is different from the forest fires from the past to the ones of the last couple years.
      Now the fires melt the engine blocks and aluminum rims off the cars, yet not 50 feet away trees with green leaves and houses with perfect paint on them??! New “Smart” fires?
      Whack as fuck..

        • For one thing, it takes a bit over 1,000 degrees to melt aluminum but that has to go on a while. Those last fires I saw with straight lines were obviously some sort of energy device.

  8. People found out their solar panels don’t work during a blackout. The panels installed officially just sell power back to the grid it does not power your home. You have to do it your self and create a separate electrical system with your own batter, converter and separate outlets. I’m sure the tesla owners in Cali are feeling the range anxiety.

  9. It’s really amazing how fast we are turning into a third world country. I think brownouts and blackouts will become common over the next decade.

    And it far more then California. In my neck of the woods, in Northern Indiana, a place as “Republican” as it can get, the local electric company (NIPSCO) plans on dumping 75%+ of its generating capacity in the next ten years (some of which still have decades of usable life left). Why would you ditch 75% of your capacity? Because it’s evil coal! They “plan” on replacing it with a hazy mix of green sources mainly solar and wind (the plan of course isn’t very clear for obvious reasons). They even have the gall to run radio ads saying these green sources of power are “lower cost”!

    This won’t end well. We already have some of the highest rates in midwest and of course they will rise as they try to build these green monstrosities all over our countryside. A good portion of our local economy is heavy manufacturing, which need reliable and affordable power. Which I may add, this company already has problems providing (expensive and poor maintenance). I know of big investments passing over our area due to the crumminess of our power company alone.

    A home generator is quickly becoming a popular feature of houses here already. I’m in my mid forties and it seems that after big storms it seems the electric goes out more often and takes far longer for it to come back on. Have others noticed that as well?

    • Why doesn’t NIPSCO repurpose their coal plants to burn natural gas? This way, the steam turbines can be left in place, while they change the fuel used to heat the water.

      Why are they changing when Pres. Trump just had the EPA relax the standards for power plants? Obama’s clean power plan was changed in to something else, the name of which escapes me. Anyway, thanks the a relaxation of the regs, NIPSCO could keep their coal powerplants going a while longer…

      • “Why doesn’t NIPSCO repurpose their coal plants to burn natural gas?”

        MM,
        Well, carrying the idea further, why don’t they convert the coal plants to burn pelletized waste plastic? Make plastic waste worth a percentage of coal’s value per KWH and the problem of plastic pollution would be mitigated, with thousands of pounds collected locally/daily. It is a capitalistic solution.

        Re: air pollution? Plastic is so cheap, that proper filtration systems would still be economical.

        • With Trump’s sanctions against China, they have reacted by not taking our plastic and recycling it. Now it’s going into our landfills and will surely create a huge problem. There are some refineries being made that use plastic for fuel. They’re self powering in that they use the fuel that isn’t right for an engine to melt the plastic that produces real fuel. It mainly makes light oil fuels such as # 1 and 2 diesel and jet fuel.

  10. this is so easy to fix. the only way to NEVER have a water or electric shortage EVER again is to bring in 8 million non whites into Cali. works every time. ask bangladesh

    • Hi SPQR,

      My 50 on this: The elites want to transform the country into an oligarchy on the Chinese model; with a technocratic-governing elite controlling the wealth as well as the people (via wealth). The necessary prerequisite for this is the undoing of the middle class as well as the prosperous working class; to push them into debt servitude and dependence. To keep them on the knife’s edge of fear and dread – and too tired and too busy trying to survive to have any time to think – much less act. See Carlin’s rant about “obedient workers.”

      • eric, yesterday I saw a video of some online news service. They showed where 7 fires were started simultaneously. I don’t believe in coincidence and no rational person should.

    • Yeah, PDQ!

      Who else would want to live in Cali these days (and NY; IL; WI, MA….)?

      These places are all hemorrhaging working/middle-class whites, to the point where even with all of the replacement third-world foreigners coming in, they are no longer even maintaining a zero-net sum game- but are now actually losing population.

      Unlike 100 years ago, no Europeans want to come here, so they have to ship in third-worlders any way they can.

      The people who are fleeing the hell-holes like CA. STILL really aren’t aware of what the real problems are and or don’t care; they’re just really leaving because of economics- and so, just like exNYers did to FL and NC, they are just going to allow their new digs to be made into exact replicas of what they fled.

      And it’s all starting to steamroll now….getting into the remotest, most backward rural areas even- such as the one I fled to.

  11. Eric, ya know what kills me? Despite the fact that we see absurdities like this daily, indicating that normal life as we’ve come to know it here is well along the path to extinction; the average person you talk to -friends, neighbors, relatives- are completely oblivious! They drink the Kool-Aid heartily; They make plans for the future as if life will continue unchanged from the way they’ve always known it to be; they plan for careers; retirement; grandkids; investments…LOL- completely oblivious to radical changes which are occurring; the fact that we have already been pushed over the precipice and are on the way down in free-fall…

    How can so many be so oblivious, when what is happening is so obvious??!!!! THAT is the scary part! If it were just the politicians and a handful of commie-greenie crackpots, that’d be one thing; but the fact that those crackpots can not only do what they do to destroy society unopposed, but can do so without being detected for what they are by the average person, much less be opposed, and nay, even be supported in many cases, proves that we are in no better a situation than the average North Korean.

    I mean, you would think at some point enough people would realize that something is terribly wrong, now that it’s gotten to the point where it is affecting many of them personally, and say ‘enough is enough!’- but I guess the magic of non-stop national mass media and government-controlled “edumacation” have wrought their intended purposes in rendering their victims oblivious.

    • I know it, Nunz…

      Some days, I have real trouble devoting myself to work. I think: The day might be better spent cutting a couple of cords up for next winter… or fixing the fence line so I can get the four or five head of cattle I have been intending to get… so I have something to eat when the S hits the F.

      • I’m hoping to have a manual well pump installed soon. I’ve had it on the back burner for quite some time. It certainly would have made life less miserable during Katrina’s aftermath. We were without power for 21 days.

        • Hi Handler,

          I have wanted to do the same – but since the divorce, everything is a kind of rearguard action. I have my hands full just keeping up the place, caring for the animals and trying to keep up with the articles and such. This is when I miss having a her around. The irony is, she probably feels the same at times. Ah well.

          • We have wells we don’t use. While a manual pump would be nice, just a home-made pvc bucket would be a boon if the power goes out and stays out.

            A decade or more ago, we had a huge line of tornadoes move through a 200+mile long strip and downed lines for 200 miles. Fire wasn’t a problem since they came in a huge line of rain. We set up clean plastic barrels and caught our water off the roof of the house and barn. This was at the end of February and it was 90 degrees. We stayed clean and used our kerosene lanterns at night. We had plenty propane so cooking didn’t take a hit. It rained for days so taking a shower was just a matter of standing under the run-off and rain makes a dang nice shower. I’ve had to use that sort of shower in freezing weather. It’ll wake you up.

            • I had a friend that used a ~2″ x 10′ PVC pipe with a cap glued on one end. He drilled a small hole in the cap and a couple more I guess at the other end to tie on a long string. Dropping the pipe down the well casing, it would eventually sink and fill up through the little hole but most of the water would stay in the pipe when he hauled it up.

              He eventually contaminated his well that way.

              • The best sort of pail is a pvc pipe just under the size of the casing. You cap one end and then remove most of it. You put a piece of anything that will seal with a heavy bolt attached so when you drop it, the piece goes up, the container fills, and when you pull up the sealing piece goes down and seals. It’s basically made like a bail so when you sit it down on the bolt, it empties quickly. I have a bail but lordy, I don’t want to try to raise it up by hand.

                Of course you can use a gas powered trash pump if the water isn’t too far down and have pressurized water. In fact, if you put a foot valve on it, once it’s full it fairly much doesn’t matter if it’s fairly deep to the water.

              • Well, if you have a normal well set up for on-grid household purposes, then your bailing pipe needs to be small enough in diameter to slip past the pitless adapter and the electric pump pipe to get down to the water level.

                In our case, the hand pump sits on top of the well casing and the 2″ steel pipe and internal sucker rod goes down past the pitless and the electric pump pipe, but not quite as deep as the electric pump.

                Originally, our well head was down in the bottom of a covered/insulated well pit, with the electric pump and pipe hanging by a fitting on a thick C-shaped plate. There was no alternate access to the well water even if you took off the pit cover and climbed down in there. They had to pull the electric pump, weld on a casing extension up through the pit cover, install a pitless adaptor down near the bottom of the pit, and then reinstall the electric pump and install the new hand pump and associated pipe.

                I suppose there may be other configurations of wells and pumps.

                • I should add that there was no EASY access to the well water. I suppose one could have rigged up a hoist from a beam across the top of the well pit, and lifted up 280′ of plastic pipe, wiring, and the electric pump just enough to remove the supporting C-plate thus exposing the head of the well casing.

                  God help you if you drop the pipe/pump!

                  • Here was my first statement:”We have wells we don’t use”. But it would matter what size the casing is. I have an old well with 12″ steel casing. It had pretty good water but my wells are so far apart I don’t use them when there’s no need simply because of having to pay for another meter. I have one about 80′ from the house and another about 100′. Neither contains a pump nor anything else. The old 12″ well is too far away to use. I have two wells 12′ apart with a pump in the one that makes a lot of water and nothing in the other. The best water is in the one 1/2 mile away….oye vey, that would be one hell of a walk with jugs of water.

                  • There’s other people reading these comments that might appreciate the information. Most rural homesteads only have one well. I bet a lot of them don’t even know exactly what’s down there. I know that I didn’t because most mountain systems were spring fed in CO. I helped the crew pulling and reinstalling pipe so I got to see how everything fit together.

                    • I worked on wells for years as a side bidness. I often fixed problems caused by the drilling crews that did the installation.

                      Then Texas made you have a “permit” and you couldn’t qualify for one without being a driller for 5 years.

                      Just another way the bureaucratic process is used by big bidness to get rid of competition.

                      I’ve seen times people were told their pump no longer worked. I’d check it and find something like a bad start capacitor, a $5-30 part.

                    • Bidness-control (via permits and “requirements”) is just like “gun control” in that it accomplishes the very opposite of what it’s pushers would have us believe it is supposed to do.

                      A very large percentage of household HVAC units are “repaired” or replaced entirely, for many times the cost of the actual simple repair that is really needed- a simple capacitor or contactor, by a “licensed professional”- Yet if you’re a handyman who fixes ’em for $50 instead of the $800-$3000 the scamming “pros” will charge, you may well end up in the can because you’re “not licensed” and “don’t meet the state’s requirements”.

                      In my 20’s, I used to be such a handyman. I had all the busy-ness I could handle, just by word-of-mouth; never once advertised. Would fix elderly folkses A/C’s, plumbing leaks, etc. -small jobs- for usually $50-$150 (I don’t think I ever had to charge anyone more than $150 for anything!)- I made good money, and saved people a lot of money and did quality work….but eventually quit, because the risk of being caught doing something honest wasn’t worth it in NY even back then- you don’t want to be nailed for being [gasp] “an unlicensed contractor”- as the penalties are severe, and the one is made to look worse than a kid-toucher.

                      Meanwhile, I take a trip[ down here to KY to start looking around in preparation for bailing from NY- and while I’m gone my mother’s hot-water heater takes a dump; she’s calls the expensive plumbing places, who install a new thermo-coupler (gas job) and charge several hunnert bucks….and forget to reattach the flu when they leave!

                      But they’re fully licensed…so of course, they are beyond reproach…but if I had ever done something like that, I’d be under the jail!

                      But of course, in NY now, the real reason to ensure compliance with licensing, is to guarantee that local Uncle gets his cut of the job- i.e. to make sure that proper permits are applied for- and in places like Long Island, those permits usually cost more than the parts and labor of the job itself- e.g. depending on the town, $350-$750 just for the permit to install a new water heater!!!!!

                      And that there are millions of people who are perfectly willing to put up with this, and even pay 5-figure property taxes to live in such places, is why we will never be free, at least in this part of the world.

                    • I know, 8.
                      And they have it so it all meshes together:

                      You need a license to get insurance; if you have the license, they’re gonna keep track of you, to make sure that you buy a permit for every job that you do (customer pays, of course); permits=they can keep track of everything you do so can estimate how much you make, to make sure you pay all of the various Uncles taxes; and of course you have to have your sign and lic. # on your vee-hicle; so you need commercial plates and commercial $$ insurance for the vee-hicle…..

                      So it looks like you’re making a lot of money in the trades…but in reality, 70% or more of the money is going to the uncles in one form or another; that and insurance; and at least 50% of your time and effort is Uncle-related BS rather than work- i.e. waiting for inspectors, and doing things to satisfy them; paperwork; filing taxes; etc.

                      And then they pretend that all of this licensing bullshit is “to protect the consumer from being ripped off”- but it is all that BS that makes the work 80% more expensive than it need be…..and it also empowers the crooked guys (the ones who didn’t go into politics) to do what they do, ’cause as long as they have a license from the almighty state, unless they do something extremely obvious that makes it look like the state ain’t protecting the ignorant incompetent masses, no one’ll bother ’em; but do honest and economical work without a license and the control that it brings, and well…..THAT is a crime!

                    • You’re dead on Nunz. I’ve been in town and stopped by to check something. I’d find the problem, grab an extra I kept on the pickup, replace it, test it and go on.

                      Later when somebody was home I’d call and tell them they were back in bidness.

                      What do I owe you? Oh, I’ll think of something, don’t worry about it.

                      But call a permit holder, he sends someone from 60 miles away and charges at least $1.5/mile plus time and then the highest price he knows of for what he replaced and often, replaced a few things that don’t need it but do it anyway to pad the bill. Pull the old controller off, throw it on the ground and they come back to a brand new one you get $250 for that you paid for on a deal when buying something like a pump and got the controller free…..that they never put on the new pump since the old one works.

                      Oh, you wanted a new controller. I can get one and get back to install it in a week or two and it’s only $300. Oh, you don’t want it? I used to keep everything repaired for my family who lived close by. I wouldn’t charge them anything although they’d always insist on paying me and I’d say, $20 will cover it. Hell, I had to order the part and drive 60 or 120 miles to get it and it cost me twice that plus gas and labor.

                      My older kinfolk, for the most part didn’t have extra income. Screw it, I’ll make it back from the banker!!

                    • Nunz, here’s a good one for you. I was 60 miles away shopping recently and when I was finally through and thoroughly disgusted, I stopped by Pinkie’s(a liquor store).

                      There was a Chevy pickup just nearly identical to mine, same damn ugly dark charcoal paint. All these guys about 40 are gathered around it and one had a rod trying to get in the top of that pickup. I walked to the door of the place and saw he was there to fix another Chevy, same color but 2500 4WD with everything gone off the front spindle, the reason there are so many people there. I walked back out to the locked door and just reached through the crowd with nobody paying attention, inserted my door key and unlocked the door, pulled it out, nodded and walked away. Everybody stood there just staring at me. When i was leaving I aske the guy who was working on the other pickup where he lived. He looked confused. I said, “I just wanted to trade your long bed for my short bed”.

                      I was amazed I didn’t get any attaboys for opening the door(probably the guy with the rods was getting paid) or offered anything for doing it. It took me tens times as long to write about it as to do it. But still. People just aren’t as courteous as my age group.

                    • Darn, 8, I think I would’ve locked the door again!

                      When I used to schlepp junk, I used to save keys from the cars I’d junk (the ones that came with a key, anyway)- Had about nth teen keys each for Ford and GM, which meant I could unlock about 95% of ’em; some Chruddler (Chrysler); and assorted ones for the foreign jobs- Was nice for unlocking ig-nish-ee-ons….but probably would’ve been faster using a slim-jim for the doors, then trying 17 different keys, and discovering the lock was the one or two keys I didn’t have!

                      Then there was this skinny girl who came up to me in a parking lot and asked if I’d give her a jump. Froze for a minute…then got my cables… 🙂

    • Yes, if you have batteries. Many systems don’t and instead use the grid as their storage thus ‘Grid Tied’ systems.

      Not a bad way to save the cost of a battery bank, until SHTF.

  12. PG&E is going to be a prime example of what is wrong with US businesses today:

    https://ycharts.com/companies/PCG/stock_buyback

    The executive management of the company decided to spend money on share buybacks instead of maintenance. Oh, you could argue that both are possible, or that they met the “minimum” maintenance required by regulators, or a million other reasons, but buying back shares (and paying out dividends) when clearly there are fundamental issues with the company should be cause for a shareholder revolt. Instead they get rewarded for their accounting prowess.

    • Yep. Sure looks like they thought they were in the financial engineering business, not the electrical engineering business.

      If you can’t get the power delivered to your customers (no matter how it was generated: coal, nuclear, solar, hydro), you’ve failed as a utility. But the customers had no choice in who to buy power from, because PG&E had a geographic monopoly, granted by the state & local governments. So they’re sitting in the dark with no alternative than to spend $30k on a whole-house solar + battery system and go off-grid (assuming it’s even allowed there – in some places it’s illegal)

    • Yep, it’s not going underground with transmission and distribution lines that PG&E needs here, it’s just plain ole line and ROW maintenance. As much fun as we poke at HL&P/CenterPointEnergy, it takes a Cat 3 hurricane or above to drop significant numbers of distro lines, and I can’t remember them having any transmission line outages during hurricanes in the last 30 years.
      They keep the ROW mowed and tree trimmed, and replace insulators, brackets, etc. So, what’s PG&E’s problem with puny little Santa Anna winds? Mantenance, as you point out, diversion of funds for Wall Street eyewash. The managers up in the top of PG&E Tower need to be frog marched to a cell at San Quentin for their negligence. Maybe that will get their attention.

      BTW, the 2003 Northeast Blackout was caused primarily by ROW maintenance issues on the part of First Energy in Ohio, tree trimming specifically, and a software bug preventing their control room staff from seeing transmission line trips…maintenance and software “features”, like the recent Boeing problems. Hmmm!

  13. The war on fire began in the 1800s.

    Coupled with the war on drugs – marijuana was no longer allowed to rapidly grow in the burn area and secure the soil – the war on mudslides was declared.

    Now it seems that the war on winds at hand. Wind contains copious amounts of carbon dioxide ergo it must be eliminated.

    Smokey the Bear says, “Only you can prevent forest fires. By dying.”

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